Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Samaritan’s Purse focuses on the people

Samaritans Purse focuses on the people


According to the Samaritan’s Purse website, the organization has worked for more than 40 years to help those in need all over the world,.

After the tornado that devastated areas of Tuscaloosa on April 27, Samaritan’s Purse began offering a helping hand and uplifting voice to those in need.

Brian and Pati Bartholme of Ft. Wayne, Ind. are two members of Samaritan’s Purse and part of the disaster relief team stationed in Tuscaloosa.

“The biggest goal is sharing the gospel – that’s the number one priority,” Brian Bartholme said. “To do that is by showing love. There’s not a specific goal to go to a house and do a specific thing; it’s we need to do whatever needs to be done for that person.”

Samaritan’s Purse has specially equipped RVs for disastrous events. Teams of workers have been assisting at many homes and locations that were hit by the tornado. Pati Bartholme said many students and local citizens have volunteered with Samaritan’s Purse. There are a number of operations such as cleaning up debris, moving trees and setting up tarps that have been completed every day.

“We get all the volunteers to come in and that’s our platform to work from,” Brian Bartholme said. “The main objective of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the gospel. We do that in various ways – either by speaking with people or by the works that we do.”

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse work as brother and sister organizations. BGEA’s rapid response team members have been traveling to Tuscaloosa alongside Samaritan’s Purse as they venture out into the community.

As stated through the official website, the Rapid Response Team “exists to recruit, train and deploy Chaplains to disaster areas to offer God’s compassion and hope through Jesus Christ to those affected by a man-made disaster or natural disaster.”

Suzanne Thompson is a Rapid Response Team Chaplain and has been helping in Tuscaloosa for nearly three weeks.

“Our job is to come up alongside Samaritan’s Purse and offer them spiritual and emotional care and then also to come up alongside the home owners and offer them spiritual and emotional care,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she feels the work that Samaritan’s Purse has done for tornado disaster relief is pleasing.

“I think it’s amazing what Samaritan’s Purse has done here,” she said. “They’ve had work orders that they’ve gone through. I think this is one of the biggest deployments they’ve ever had and the people’s lives that they’ve touched is incredible.”

The Samaritan’s Purse Reconstruction Team, which is responsible for tasks such as rebuilding, will move into town following the completion of the disaster relief team’s work.

Samaritan’s Purse conducts daily orientations for local persons interested in volunteering with the organization. The meetings are held at First Baptist Church in downtown Tuscaloosa at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration can also be done online.

“You have to look at the people. The work is secondary. Part of the thing we want the people that come and volunteer to understand is absorb the people and listen to them because they need to talk through things, and it gives you a chance to get to know them and experience what they are going through and to minister to them.”

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse visit their official website at


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