Celebrating God’s Work on Maui

December 22, 2023 • United States
As our work in Maui concludes, we are grateful for what God did in the lives of homeowners during the nearly five-month response.
As we conclude relief efforts and move toward helping Maui residents get back into homes, we are grateful for what God did in the lives of homeowners during the nearly five-month response.

Samaritan’s Purse concluded its relief efforts in Maui. We praise God for His work in many lives and hearts as we work toward efforts to help hurting residents get back into homes again.

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Our teams were on the ground just days after the Maui wildfires erupted on August 8 when brushfires near the historic town of Lahaina, Hawaii, were blown into a fury by distant Hurricane Dora. The deadly blaze killed more than 100 residents and destroyed large swaths of the island’s most historic areas, including thousands of homes in Lahaina and the upcountry neighborhoods of Kula.

More than 700 volunteers joined clean up efforts in Maui, which included clearing out burned trees.

More than 700 volunteers joined clean up efforts in Maui, which included clearing out burned trees.

Our staff and volunteers quickly prepared to help the many hurting residents in Jesus’ Name. When local authorities deemed it was safe to enter the affected areas, we removed damaged trees and worked to recover valuables left behind in the ashes.

Over the almost five-month response, we also transported 41 tons of relief supplies, along with our disaster teams, to the island on airlifts by our DC-8 and 757 aircraft.

Edward Graham, Samaritan's Purse Chief Operating Officer, joins in prayer for a Maui resident.

Edward Graham, Samaritan’s Purse Chief Operating Officer, joins in prayer for a Maui resident.

More than 700 volunteers joined our relief efforts, ministering to homeowners and local officials, sifting through ash for treasured belongings, and pointing Maui residents to the hope found only in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains ministered alongside the Samaritan’s Purse teams, offering spiritual encouragement and emotional support to the bereft communities. Over the course of the response, the chaplains prayed with nearly 10,000 residents. We praise God that more than 100 of these individuals prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

Billy Graham chaplains prayed with more than 900 Maui residents.

Billy Graham chaplains prayed for nearly 10,000 Maui residents and more than 100 came to faith in Jesus Christ.

These spiritual breakthroughs happened as volunteers completed 929 cleanup and sifting jobs on Maui. Each one represented a story. The mementos our teams found among the burned-down homes allowed residents to honor and remember loved ones and their life before disaster.

“I don’t care if its chipped, broken, or in pieces, I’ll take anything you can find,” one woman told us, desperate to find a simple porcelain mug given to her by a loved one. She beautifully described the importance of our work, sifting through ashes even after the total loss of a house fire. “I will collect anything from the ashes, broken or not. I want to turn it into a mosaic. When I see that mosaic, it will remind me that God has brought beauty from ashes.”

Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham prayed with local church leaders and residents during his visit days after the blaze.

Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham prayed with local church leaders and residents during his visit days after the blaze.

We praise God for the part He has allowed our teams to play in His mission, finding the beloved mug for this woman and bringing out of tragedy, hope—especially in new life in Christ.

Faith and Derrick Mori are two of more than 100 Maui residents who made decisions for Christ as volunteers helped them clean up their property.

Faith and Derrick Mori are two of more than 100 Maui residents who made decisions for Christ as volunteers helped them clean up their property.

Please Continue Praying for Maui

As we continue working on the island, now helping residents get back into homes, please continue to lift up Maui communities still picking up the pieces of their lives. Pray for those grieving the loss of family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. Pray for parents as they continue to help their children navigate the trauma from witnessing horrific tragedy and loss of life. Pray also for local churches as they minister to still-hurting residents.

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U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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