This week, hear from World Race: Gap Year participant, Ellie Zeller, as she shares about her time serving with Samaritan's Purse in Houma, Louisiana. 

In the two weeks that the World Race: Gap Year squads were in Louisiana, they were able to complete disaster relief projects for 80+ homes and were able to witness 20+ homeowners give their lives to Christ!

Check out this story from Ellie, with photos from Grace Harang, of an encounter with a woman who needed physical help and spiritual care: 

The past two weeks have been a great testimony of the reward that is reaped from hard work! 

On October 15th, the squad loaded into vans and made the trek down to Houma, Louisiana. The town was tragically affected by Hurricane Ida, which sadly altered the lives of many. Our squad had the privilege of enduring hours on hours of physical labor in order that the homeowner might understand how truly valued and cared for they are by the Father and His children! 

Our experience was made up of several physically taxing projects, such as hours spent tearing out insulation from an overheated attic or using a chainsaw to remove parts of heavy fallen trees. While this may sound draining, we actually got to experience the abundant life that comes through servanthood instead! I am feeling extremely grateful for the opportunity to rely on the Lord physically in order to benefit His Kingdom here on earth. 

One woman lost her kitchen, bedroom, hallway, and everything she has ever known to Hurricane Ida. Not only has she raised her four children in that house, but she herself grew up within those walls from the age of 2. 

When we first arrived to start the demolition of moldy walls and rotten wood, her broken heart was very evident. The entire day was spent comforting her tears as she watched us carry all of her tarnished belongings out to a trash pile on the curb and begin breaking down the foundation of her life. We sat and wept with her as she mourned the place that once held the memories of her life. 

Due to the extensive work needed on the house, we returned for the entirety of the next four days and within this, had the opportunity of tending to her heart as well. Throughout this time, she kept asking us how we were able to have so much joy while doing physically exhausting labor. The answer we gave was simple: Jesus. 

I can sit here and say that the woman we arrived for was not the same woman we left. Day by day, we witnessed her spirit come back to life, despite the sight of her home being torn apart. She began asking us to pray over herself and her children because she recognized a different kind of love living within us. 

On our last day, we joined together to eat a meal that she prepared for us and we sat and ate in communion and fellowship. The sounds of sobs that we listened to on that first day had now been replaced with contagious laughter. This was the real need. The Lord didn't send us there to fix her house, for He cares much more about the soul. 

Thank you Father for bringing restoration out of destruction. For there is no other Love as precious as this one. 

Are you wanting to share the love of God to those hurting and in need of hope? 

Come find out more about our programs at our OPEN HOUSE at our Headquarters in Gainesville, Georgia on Saturday, November 13th. Registrations are now open!