STORM DESTRUCTION IN FLORIDA
Dear WMF Ministers,
I returned yesterday from ministering in Panama City, Florida over the weekend. The area looked like a vast wasteland. Exceptionally large facilities had their roofs torn off; strong buildings were twisted as if they had been constructed of tissue. Millions of people are now forced to start over. I spoke with one elderly couple who had bought a lovely place (with cash; but without insuring the home) and retired there. The bulk of their retirement savings they watched blow away in the hurricane. Congregations of great size cleared their parking lots and put tents up outside to meet therein. Smaller churches have great problems. Damage along the beach shore was not so extensive. The interior of the city lay in ruin.
The stories I heard were touching. So many of them like the ones we have encountered when tornadoes touch down here within our precincts. Yet the sun does rise and there is clear shining after the rain (II Sam 23:4). As I told them, storms are not new to the earth. They are a part of the “sorrows” category in Matthew 24. Despite their presence here and there, God has always retained a people amid the rubble who have loved him regardless and who have rebuilt their cities and lives. All day as we ministered in services to hundreds of weeping and brokenhearted people we saw the hand of a loving and caring God. Each service was powerful: full of grace and glory. What a sight it was to see people whose personal properties disappeared in moments, happily presenting their tithes and offerings unto the Lord.
Pray for the people in the region, remembering Paul’s admonition, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good to all men, but especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
Your gifts to WMF missions will help to lighten the load of relief efforts around the world. Remember WMF in your 5th Sunday offerings.
Be encouraged and God bless you.
Director of International Missions