My Wife and I Have Cried a River in the Past Few Days: Finding Hope after Irma

September 16, 2017
Shelley Henderson | | (704) 621-6106

My Wife and I Have Cried a River in the Past Few Days: Finding Hope after Irma

Middleburg, FL (September 16, 2017)—Sam walked up to The Salvation Army canteen parked on the main road that runs through Middleburg, Florida. He looked hot, tired, and was covered from head to toe with dirt.

“I’m glad you are here. Can I get something to drink and take one back for my wife? We have been working on our house since this morning,” he said.

Sam lives a quarter mile off of Black Creek. The creek rose 32 feet—he got four feet of water in his house. Sam’s street is a long, narrow road with comfortable homes. Once manicured lawns are now covered with debris and soggy sheetrock. The street is lined with cars and tall piles of furniture. Everything that was in the house is now on the curb.

“My wife and I have cried a river in the past few days,” said Sam, tears filling his eyes. “This is the closest to hell I will ever be.”

When the water began to come into the house, Sam and his wife prayed. Sewage began to seep in along with the floodwaters. They lost everything.

“Originally we paid $300,000 for our house. Today someone came through and offered us $20,000. We can’t sell – no one wants a house that has flooded. We will stay here.”

Sam’s plan is to make the master bedroom their home for now. They are working with the power company to get electricity back into their home, but first, they have to get all of the sheetrock removed in damaged areas.

“It will take us more than a year to get re-established, but we will be ok,” Sam said confidently. “We believe in God. The best thing I ever did was find God’s word and live in it. Once you get into the Word, you let it guide you and you can’t think of anything else.”

Lieutenant Carrie McCall, a Salvation Army officer from Charleston, S.C. prayed with Sam and gave him a bag with drinks in it to take back to his wife. She told him that dinner was served at 5:15 p.m. and be sure to come back—they needed to eat to keep their strength up.

“We will be back,” Sam answered. “We don’t have any food and don’t have time to go to get something. We have so much to do.”

Water, food, prayer. Practical help for those who need it the most. We are in communities serving, making life a little easier for people who have lost so much. The Salvation Army is here, standing strong in Florida.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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