Hurricane Ian left billions in damage in South Carolina and Florida.

Truett McConnell University (TMU) students and staff are coming together to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian’s devastating damage, which left thousands of residents scrambling to recover.

During TMU’s recent fall break, a group of nine students and staff members participated in disaster relief efforts alongside Samaritan’s Purse in Englewood, Florida­–a community demolished by the storm.

The team spent several days removing fallen trees, dragging debris from damaged property to the streets, removing damaged parts of homes, tarping roofs, and cutting out moldy materials.

The group would minister to the community when the students completed the physical tasks. Freshman Grace Braunschneider said, “Attending this trip was a great opportunity to refocus on things greater than myself, and now I know that one of the best things I can do to combat the temptation of selfishness is to serve others.”

Braunschneider explained that because of deciding to participate in the trip and not falling into selfishness, a woman whose house was destroyed in the hurricane came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior, leaving her life forever changed.

TMU students work together to clear debris as a result of Hurricane Ian.

The unity felt on the trip was terrific, according to group members. Volunteer Justin Brown, a TMU senior, shared, “I was surprised to see how everyone came together for this community.”

“Before this trip, I had never heard of Englewood, Florida,” said Brown. “But while there, I met people who had traveled from as far as California to help. I have never seen such a large outpour of people wishing to serve in the name of Jesus.”

The students gave up their long-awaited fall break to participate in the efforts and to show the community that they are not alone in this world because Jesus loves them.

If you want to make a difference and participate in future disaster relief efforts, contact the World Missions Center to learn more about TMU Move Teams. Currently, Samaritan’s Purse has three Disaster Relief Units in Florida—Fort Myers, Englewood, and Punta Gorda—where volunteers are helping hurting homeowners in Jesus’ name.


Chandler Ducker is a senior English major at Truett McConnell University.

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