18 wheels and a heart to serve
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — In the dark, John Kincaid could…
Neither his home nor his church had electricity, but Jim Beasley was keeping the faith.
“Colossians 3 tells us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things, and we are going to be all right,” said Beasley, minister for the Meridian Woods Church of Christ in Tallahassee, Fla., after Hurricane Michael swept into Florida from the Gulf of Mexico. It was the most intense storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.
The day after the Category 4 storm passed, Beasley was at the store, buying an electric generator for $400.
“We have a phone tree, and we were able to call all of our members. Everyone is okay,” Beasley told The Christian Chronicle. “We have a lot of trees down, and people have lost power, but we are going to be OK.”
Beasley said he didn’t know when power would be restored to the church’s building.
But the loss of electricity is only an inconvenience, the minister said. Things could have been much worse. And in other parts of the Panhandle, they were.
In Panama City, patients at the Bay Medical Sacred Heart Hospital had to ride out the storm, but about 100 were transferred 100 miles west to a hospital in Pensacola.
The hurricane bypassed Pensacola. That’s a blessing for people including Gene McCorvey, a member of the Olive Manor Church of Christ.
“I feel blessed, but I want everybody to be safe,” McCorvey said. “People have lost their homes, and they don’t have phone service. My heart goes out to the people because, as Pensacola residents, we have been through hurricanes, and during Hurricane Ivan, we didn’t have electricity for two weeks.”
“To God be the glory. The trees fell all around my house, but they didn’t fall on my house.”
Melvin Whitehurst, minister for the Olive Manor church, lives near the Gulf Coast in Lillian, Ala. He said he planned to contribute to a food and supply drive for hurricane victims organized by the nearby Bay Minette Church of Christ.
“We are supposed to be the church,” Whitehurst said, so “we ought to act like the church and help our brothers and sisters.”
Lena Morgan, a registered nurse at the state mental hospital in Chattahoochee Fla., had to spend two nights at work before she could get back to her home in Marianna.
“To God be the glory,” Morgan said after she finally was able to survey her home. “The trees fell all around my house, but they didn’t fall on my house.”
Jesse Jackson, a member of the Meridian Woods church, felt the same way. He works as superintendent of Lake Wales Charter Schools in central Florida and drives about five hours every weekend to Tallahassee to see his wife, Sandy, who is a city attorney.
After the storm, he got home as soon as he could and found his wife and his home safe. The storm pulled a large tree in his yard up by its roots, but it fell away from the house.
As he began clearing away debris, “one of the kids came up from the neighborhood and started to clear branches,” he said, “and my neighbor came with his chainsaw and his truck and started cutting logs and hauling branches away.”
Several disaster relief organizations affiliated with Churches of Christ are working now to get relief supplies to the hardest hit areas. Look for continuing coverage in the days to come.
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