My heart has been heavy and hurting, as I am sure yours has been, too, for those who suffered from Hurricane Ian. A week before the hurricane hit, I attended the Fort Myers Prayer/Action Chapter meeting and met the lovely ladies who are Spirit-filled, powerful, praying women, who love what God loves, hate what God hates, fight for the vulnerable, and stand for righteousness.
Fort Myers took a direct hit from the hurricane, which devastated the community. I was eager to hear from them when they got cell service and respond to my texts about how they were doing and how we could help. The following responses give you a feel for what some endured and how to pray.
Nancy Mastous, Fort Myers Prayer/Action Chapter secretary: We feel the prayers – we fared fair, but that was the scariest day of my life. My daughter and her family, who live two doors away, stood for almost three hours in sewage and spent three hours in the attic with their girls and two dogs with floaties from their pool. As the water receded, they walked, tied together, in raw sewage to my house. We tore up the carpet and have a mess, but thanks be to God, we are livable. It’s heartbreaking but being safe is amazing. Our God has protected most bodies, and most things can be replaced.
Karen Dorfman, Fort Myers Prayer/Action Chapter Leader: The hurricane has left me feeling many emotions. Tears flow over the sadness that so many around me have lost everything. Their entire life is out on the street to be thrown into the garbage. Worse, some have lost loved ones. Yet there is a sweetness in the midst of it. The endless stories of people helping dig mud from homes, pull up carpets, and tear out drywall. Washing sewage from a friend’s clothes. Giving strangers meals and churches piled high with supplies. We are on mission. This is what missionaries do. I thank the Lord that He has given me the gift of Hurricane Ian. The Lord has provided, strengthened, and shown His steadfast love throughout this tragic act. Tragedy changes hearts. It is easy to be complacent and take simple things like water and electricity and to be able to read your Bible for granted. When our electricity came on after five days and the water after nine days, both times, I instantly fell to my knees in tears and thanked the Lord. My heart will never be the same after this, and that is exactly what God wanted all along. My Heart.
I am proud of these ladies and their faithfulness and trust in God. They decided they would still hold their monthly meeting in October and not let anything stop them from interceding in prayer for our nation. May we pray for them. May we follow their example.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:1,7