As Hurricane Irma churned its way across the Carribean, Grace Brethren congregations in Florida prepared in case the storm would make landfall on the peninsula. GraceConnect surveyed the pastors this morning as to how they are preparing for what has been labeled the largest hurricane in recorded history.
Right now we have a team buying and distributing plywood for any who needs hurricane shutters, water is in good supply but plywood is not. We have teams ready for post hurricane if needed in areas of tree removal, roofing repair, chainsaws, debris removal & the Suntree Grace church may be used as a shelter if needed. It will be available around the clock. We’re all praying it passes and praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Caribbean it is now impacting. — Jason Brown, Suntree Grace Brethren Church, Melbourne, Fla., and Oceanview Fellowship, Indialantic, Fla.
Here in Ft. Myers at Friendship Grace Brethren Church we are boarding up and securing our homes and facilities. We have several of our elderly from our church that will be staying at our home through the storm. We will have mattresses and blow up mattresses on the floor to accommodate some who live in mobile homes or are in the anticipated surge zone. Some of our people have left or are leaving today the area.
As a Ham Radio operator, I am involved in Emergency communications and have assignments with our local Amateur Radio Emergency Services Communications Unit to provide communication post storm should we lose traditional communications. I may also be assigned to a shelter post storm should there be a need for additional communications post storm. We began our emergency communication protocols last night at 7 pm and will continue until such time post storm we can suspend operations. In many cases, ham radio is the only way to get information out of an area immediately after the storm.
We have prepared many times and God has always taken care of us and we are confident that He will again take care of us.
Thanks for the prayers and getting the word out. As I write this I am dripping sweat as I am taking a break from putting up our shutters and preparing the house for several elderly overnight guests beginning Friday night. — Dr. Rich Schnieders, Friendship Grace Brethren Church, Fort Myers, Fla.
We appreciate everyone’s prayers. I have lived in Florida for 20 years and this is the first Hurricane that I am concerned about. After seeing Hurricane Havery’s destruction: everyone is scrambling to prepare, evacuate or hunker down as the storm approaches. There are long lines of people waiting to purchase water and gasoline. Many supply items have been purchased in person, but a lot has been purchased through Amazon. Many of the online items will be arriving Thursday and that will give us a small amount of time to prep. Gulfview Grace is only a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico and we usually have trouble with flooding during the rainy season. Please pray for the safety of those staying or going. Pray for the aftermath, we know God gives us opportunities to be a light to others during the difficult times in life. — Dustin Zerwas, Youth Pastor, Blue Movement Student Ministries, Gulfview Grace Church, Port Richey, Fla.
This morning (9/7/2017), Grace Church, Sebring, Fla. (Randy Smith, senior pastor), posted this note on Facebook: Due to the current forecasts and the possibility of dangerous conditions this weekend, we have canceled all of our Sunday services (9am, 10:45am, and 6pm) as well as our bus trip to Ocala for GraceCon.
Also this morning (9/7/2017), Grace Church, Ocala, Fla, (Todd McQueen, pastor), posted this note: Grace Family: all our Sunday functions have been canceled.
This afternoon (9/7/2017), the Grace Brethren Church, Brooksville, Fla. (Erik Brunk, pastor), posted this: We have decided it is best to cancel service for this coming Sunday, September 10 as a result of hurricane Irma. Our churches in Ocala, Sebring, Port Richey, and Melbourne have done likewise. The level of sustained winds will make it unwise to drive. The church is open and available for those that live in trailers.
This afternoon (9/7/2017), Great Commission Bible Institute, located in Sebring, Fla., posted this announcement: As most of you may know we are located right in the center of the state of Florida in the projected path of Hurricane Irma. While there is certainly still time for the storm to change directions or paths we have taken all precautions to insure our student’s and staff member’s safety. The students will be relocating during the storm to Grace Church Sebring and other local family homes where we are already prepared with plenty of supplies, food and water. Please keep us in your prayers and certainly all that are in the path of this powerful storm. And pray that we can continue to be a beacon of light, a harbor of peace and an instrument of compassion to all of those around us in this time.