A few weeks ago I preached about how we as believers have a responsibility to help the broken “rise up” so they may walk again. If Free Will Baptists in the state of Florida are to survive, we must work together at a level beyond the local church.
No one in the State of Florida is exempt from the devastating effects of a major hurricane. Ivan and Katrina left a path of devastation 100 miles inland. When a major hurricane hits life does not soon return to normal. When a tropical storm or a category-one hurricane makes landfall, it is not a time of great concern for most unless they reside in a floodplain. People simply gas up their vehicles, buy extra batteries, stock the shelves with a few non-perishable items, wait out the storm, and have a community wide barbeque. Category-two storms create minor concern and minimal damage.
Major hurricanes present a different scenario. We had just moved to Pensacola when Ivan made landfall. We evacuated to Georgia only to get caught in a tornado that was a product of the hurricane’s outer bands. We watched Fox News and saw familiar sights destroyed. Churches from Georgia sent us back with all the supplies we could carry on my truck and trailer. When we returned the damage was worse than we could imagine. Space would not permit me to write about it. One man made a statement, “Things will never be the same.” No statement better sums up the effects of a major hurricane. In time we saw several people come to Christ as a direct result of aid that was brought from churches. After Katrina the devastation was indescribable. Due to a logistical error the people of lower Mississippi had virtually nothing for over weeks. Most of the aid in this devastated region came from Floridians traveling the “I-10 corridor”.
It is only a matter of time before another major storm devastates Florida. Unfortunately, there are not enough contractors to come close to being able to repair the damage. These areas are also plagued with conmen beyond measure. It is our responsibility to work together and do our part to alleviate the suffering. Always remember you may be next!!!