Salvation Army Disaster Volunteer Finds New Purpose from Hospital Bed
New Orleans, LA (September 6, 2012) — When leaving for New Orleans, LA, longtime disaster services volunteer David Carlise never expected to perform his Hurricane Isaac response work from a hospital bed. Five days later, from his Oschner Hospital bed in Gretna, David is having a greater impact on individuals than he ever imagined.
David Carlise and Alton Ming arrived in New Orleans with their fully loaded Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (Canteen), Friday, August 31, after driving more than 300 miles. Prepared to serve for 14 days, David and Alton had plans for long days of cooking, feeding, and sharing a tear or a laugh with the thousands in need from Hurricane Isaac. But a Saturday morning emergency trip to the hospital changed everything and has led to a new path of service and ministry for David.
At home in Columbus, MS, David Carlise spends his Sundays worshiping at The Salvation Army church. David’s strength of faith has led members of his attending hospital staff and others to seek a personal relationship with Christ or to learn more about the Bible’s teachings. He arrived prepared to feed empty stomachs and has found his days filled with feeding hungry minds and hurting hearts, quickly becoming The Salvation Army’s model for emotional and spiritual care in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.
“This is not where I expected to spend my time in New Orleans.” said David Carlise. “I am supposed to be out in the community, in the canteen, feeding people. But God certainly had another plan for me and I’m blessed to do His work.”
Demonstrating further that David is part of a larger plan, his arrival at the hospital was by mistake. The responding ambulance crew was unfamiliar with the New Orleans area and transported him to the wrong location. Upon his arrival, David began witnessing to two people in the emergency room. After being placed in a semi-private room, David had the opportunity to share prayer with his roommate and roommate’s brother, who openly stated he wasn’t sure about Jesus. The brothers later began praying on their own.
Yet to be released from the hospital, David has witnessed to nine people, with five accepting Christ.
“We have our own David the evangelist,” said Salvation Army Major Jean Wilson, director of Emotional and Spiritual Care. ”He is living God’s plan and reminding us all what it means to be in service. You never know when or how God will use us, and we have to trust that it is His plan. Whether people want us to pray with them or just to listen, we are here to serve.”
The organization has served over 61,500 hot meals, 71,512 drinks, and 45,515 snacks in Mississippi and Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac response began. Salvation Army crews have also ministered to nearly 2,200 people with emotional and spiritual care.
For more information regarding The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Service program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the 2012 Hurricane Season to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text* messaging the word “Storm” to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word,“Yes.”
Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.