The Enormity of the Storm
Introducing homeowners to a God that is bigger than the hurricane.
John has lived in South Florida for a while, and felt pretty comfortable in his home during storms in the past. But Hurricane Ian made a late turn and came inland further south than expected. Spring Creek Village, John's small 55+ community in Bonita Springs, took a huge hit from storm surge and a lot of damage in the strong winds. John lost his car, his golf cart, even his dog as the waters kept rising. As he sat in his house with the water coming inside and boats floating down the streets outside, the enormity of the storm settled on John. The loss of everything he owned weighed heavily on him, and John felt convinced he would end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.
In the midst of our first conversation with John, one of our staff mentioned that God loved him, and John stopped them. "Nope, no way, not me," he said. That was the first week we were able to send teams to serve in his home. At one point during that first week, John looked one of our staff and said, "My friend gave me help, but you have given me hope." Volunteers and Crisis Response staff helped with tearing out the damage and beginning to restore the home that John had been convinced he wouldn't be able to fix. They also spent lots of time talking with him, sharing their faith and encouraging him. By the second week he admitted that he was starting to believe that God loves him.
Week after week and team after team, volunteers came from all over the country to share the love of Christ with John and his community. Two of the churches that sent teams were Trinity Church, our partner in the Katrina Response, and One Harbor Church, our partner in the Florence Response. These two churches were uniquely gifted to come alongside homeowners who had experienced a hurricane since they both had firsthand experience with building back after a storm. It seems the message is getting through. Most recently John told our staff, "I know, God loves me."
Our staff gave John a Bible, and he has been reading the Gospel of John. Recently he made an emergency trip to the hospital, and when he came back our staff stopped by to see how he was doing. John acknowledged that God was with him at the hospital. He still has a long way to go, both in the restoration of his home and in his faith walk, but we praise God for the work he is doing in John's life.
We are praying for more teams to serve in John's home, in his neighborhood, and in the many other communities around Fort Myers that are only beginning to recover from Hurricane Ian. We are praying for more conversations and opportunities to introduce homeowners like John to the God that is bigger than the storm that they went through.
Send a Response
Share your thoughts with the author.