On September 10th, our CGO (Center for Global Outreach) was hit by Hurricane Irma. Kara Walter (pictured above, left) shares her testimony of making the tough decision to stay in Fort Myers during the storm.
Proverbs 15:23, "A person finds joy in giving an apt reply - and how good is a timely word!"
As a Floridian, I know what hurricanes are capable of because of the aftermath. Each survivor has a story to tell along with a need -even if it is just a friend to talk to. God showed me those needs the day Irma was presented and I had a desire to be open to help the people of Fort Myers after the storm. For the first time in my life, I was able to make the decision to stay or go and even decisions on how to prepare for the storm. I chose to stay because I came to New Mission Systems International to connect with the Fort Myers community. God gave me so much peace in that decision and He used a woman of faith, Jeannette Steiner, to have my cup overflow with peace during the storm when she sent a video message to Jenny Tuggle and I. She said that God assured her that Jenny and I would be safe and her confidence behind those words was like hearing that from God Himself!
While hurricane winds are scary, I am terrified of tornados because I am ignorant of them. When we were under a tornado watch at midnight the night before the storm, I was a bit nervous, but Jeannette's sweet words kept coming into my mind. I went to bed at 10:30 and woke up in a panic at midnight because my bed was shaking violently and I seriously thought I was in a tornado! It turns out, it was just my heart beating so fast! When I took a deep breath and remembered what God told Jeannette, I shook off those thoughts and went back to sleep -GO FIGURE!
As the heaviest winds arrived on Sunday afternoon, Jenny and I were still immune to what was actually going on outside because of the shutters on every window. Immediately when a heavy wind startled us, we decided to move into the master bedroom near the bath. I found a crack through the shutters and decided to take a look. I have never been so amazed at nature before as the tree branch outside looked like spaghetti flapping around and hitting the ground over and over and the rain looked like sheets of white coming with the wind like an army marching!! I marveled and was then startled as the glass looked like rubber due to the high winds. Jenny and I made the decision to go into our "hurricane cave" in the bathroom. I was in the tub and Jenny was on the floor with her two large labs. God gave us peace and we sang praise songs so loud for and hour and a half in order to tune out the winds. And the dogs slept.