Samaritan's Purse Dedicates Two Mobile Homes in Mississippi

June 29, 2023 • United States

Brothers John and Josh Hatcher received new, storm-rated mobile homes after their previous homes were destroyed by a powerful tornado in March.

U.S. Disaster Relief

An EF4 tornado zeroed in on John Hatcher’s brick home in Wren, Mississippi, on March 24. John, his wife, Leighlynn, and their two daughters were fast asleep. But the thundering roar of the twister woke John up. He quickly rushed down the hall to protect his children.

“I dove in a bedroom at the end of the hallway with the kids and held them down,” John said. “By the time I got to them, the living room started coming apart and rain was hitting us. Glass, sticks, mud, and bricks were flying. The intensity of it was unreal. We were just hoping to survive.”

John looked up and saw the roof being ripped apart in the bedroom where he was pinning down his daughters, so he rushed them into the bathroom where Leighlynn was holding tight to a towel bar to keep from being blown away. John started looking for a safe way out of the destruction. But every exit was blocked. A car that had been blown into the side of the house blocked one path, while a large downed tree blocked another. They felt like the bathroom was going to fly apart next, so they crawled to a nearby bedroom and rolled through a window just as the ceiling came crashing down.

The Hatcher family thank God for providing them with a new home.

The Hatchers thank God for providing them with a new home.

“I believe the Lord was watching over us,” John said. “He’s the only reason we walked out of that house. We were blessed to come out of it, and we’re blessed to have this new one.”

On June 28, John and his family were given the keys to a new, completely furnished mobile home provided free of charge by Samaritan’s Purse. Our ministry’s mobile home replacement program in Mississippi provides units to homeowners who have no insurance or other means to replace their destroyed homes. The new units, in two- and three-bedroom configurations, offer lots of enhanced features for storm safety and durability, including stronger roofing and floor joists, tempered glass, and thicker walls. They can withstand winds up to 110 mph.

Josh Hatcher (left) and his brother John with his family (right), receive brand-new fully furnished homes free of charge from Samaritan's Purse.

Josh Hatcher (left) and his brother John with his family (right), received brand-new, fully furnished homes free of charge from Samaritan’s Purse.

Seth Kavin, a program manager with North American Ministries, presented John and his family with a Billy Graham Study Bible to add to their new home during a dedication ceremony.

“We want them to know that this isn’t us, it’s the Lord,” Seth said. “It’s Christ who has enabled us to do this for them. We want to remind them that God has not forgotten them and that He loves them.”

Feels Like Home

Next door, John’s brother Josh also received keys to a new mobile home. The same tornado that demolished John’s house picked up Josh’s mobile home and flung it across his backyard into a field, wrapping it around a massive oak tree. Josh had only been in the home for less than two weeks. His previous house was destroyed by a fire in February. Fortunately, Josh and his two children were not at home when the storm barreled through.

“It was heartbreaking. It was depressing,” Josh said, when he learned from John that his home was gone. But now Josh’s heartbreak has been replaced with joy. When Josh walked into his new residence, he said “it felt like home.”

Josh (right) thanks God that he and his family were not home when the tornado hit.

Josh (right) thanks God that he and his family were not home when the tornado hit.

With all that Josh has been through, he said his faith in God has kept him strong.

“God has a purpose for everything,” he said. “Whenever something bad happens, God will bring good out of it. Look, I’ve got a brand-new home. God kept me and my kids safe and He kept my brother and his family safe. I’m blessed.”

In all, nearly 40 families will receive new mobile homes through the Samaritan’s Purse replacement program. Please pray for these families as they restart their lives again.

As John Hatcher said, “It’s a new beginning. A fresh start. And if it wasn’t for Samaritan’s Purse this wouldn’t be possible. We’re so thankful that we get to come home now and don’t have to worry about anything.”

Through prayer, the Samaritan's Purse staff dedicates the new homes to God and His providence.

Through prayer, Samaritan’s Purse staff members and the families dedicate the new homes to God.

Samaritan’s Purse was on the ground in less than 24 hours in Mississippi after a series of tornadoes tore through the Magnolia State in late March of this year. We served several communities in and around Rolling Fork, Silver City, and Amory. More than 1,100 volunteers helped alongside over 400 homeowners. We praise God that 46 residents gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ during the response.

Our current work in this hurting community is focused on the mobile home replacement program. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, was in Mississippi to pray for homeowners in May.

The new mobile homes provided by Samaritan's Purse can withstand winds up to 110 mph.

The new mobile homes provided by Samaritan’s Purse can withstand winds up to 110 mph.

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief 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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