Southeast Region's Update on Hurricane Ian:
All of us have been watching the news this week bracing ourselves for Hurricane Ian and subsequently watching the damage it has left in its wake. What a week it has been. Many of us have friends or family that live along the gulf side of Florida and have reached out to them to ensure they are safe… Moreover, each of us have family in our larger Open Bible community who were deeply impacted by Ian’s impact this week. Specifically, we had three churches who felt Ian’s force more than most. Those churches were in Lehigh Acres (Word of Life), North Fort Myers (Open Bible Community Church) and Punta Gorda (Primera Iglesia Hispana de la Biblia Abierta).
Like you, our hearts went out to our pastors who lead these churches, and we were communicating with them via text and phone to ensure their safety. To the glory of God, each of them are safe and healthy. We rejoice in that.
Our pastors have been busy, not only tending to their own homes but also checking on the members of their congregation, and additionally needing to figure out what to do with the damage to their church building. Thankfully, our Lehigh Acres church is doing well in that regard. Our Punta Gorda church has some damage but is manageable. Our North Fort Myers church building was not as fortunate as its damage was extensive and the congregation is not currently able to meet inside the main church building.
As you can imagine, our pastors are feeling the overwhelming responsibility in leading their churches through this. There is still no electrical power or water in these areas. Gas is hard to find for vehicles and generators. It is a challenging landscape to say the least.
You may give here if you would like to contribute to assist these churches. Contributions will be forwarded to the Southeast Region office for distribution as needed.