On Friday, August 13, 2004 Hurricane Charley hit Southwest Florida making landfall as a Category 4
hurricane at around 3:45 p.m. at Cayo Costa Island, about 10 miles northwest of Cape Coral, Florida.
We give all praise to God for sustaining us faithfully through this storm!
"And when the storms swirl and rage there are mercies anew;
In affliection and pain You will carry me through
And at the end of my days when Your throne fills my view
I will sing of Your mercies anew!
From Upward: The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project (2002 PDI Praise)
The storm is projected to head toward Florida, so Thursday afternoon (August 12) we boarded up and made preparations.
Around 2 p.m. on Friday the rains began. The storm approached the area as a category 2 hurricane, projected to make landfall near Tampa.
The storm quickly intensified and turned, setting it on a course directly toward Cape Coral and Sanibel. We lost power around 2:50 p.m.
Soon after the storm jogged north, going around Cape Coral, now headed toward Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor.
This turn spared us the brunt of the storm.
On the north side of the storm the winds blew west toward the Gulf.
As the storm passed by the winds seemed to come from both directions at once.
On the south side of the storm the winds blew east toward the coast.
Here is what was left of the pool following the storm.
Inside I was tracking the storm.
This was the area radar at 4:25 p.m.
The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The LORD is clothed,
He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods lift up their waves.
The LORD on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea.
Your testimonies are very sure;
Holiness adorns Your house,
O LORD, forever.
Following the storm we went out to survey the damage.
The back of the house was not damaged.
Our grapefruit tree did not survive.
The swing set collapsed, but can be repaired.
We lost some shingles in the front.
Our church sustained some damage to the front and to the roof. Grace Baptist Church houses the offices of Founders Ministries.
Grace Baptist Church building before
Grace Baptist Church building on Sunday, August 15, 2004
On Sunday, August 15, we meet at 10:00 a.m. in the dark for a bilingual service.
We had a wonderful time of thanksgiving. Over two hundred people gathered for worship.
Some of the members of our congregation lost their homes, but we were able to account for every person.
God spared our lives and we were all thankful. Pastor Tom Ascol gave us the following exhortations:
1. Think much of Godís mercy and grace that He gives in Jesus Christ.
2. Express your praise to God in the presence of other people.
3. Meditate on the Day of Judgment. It will be much worse than a Category 4 Hurricane.
4. Meditate MORE on Jesus Christís deliverance.
5. Recognize that now is a great time to serve other people.
6. Write down your priorities. Remember what was really important to you at 4:30 last Friday afternoon. And remember what no longer seemed to matter. Pray that God will enable you to live in the light of that perspective.
7. When phone service is restored, call to check on friends. There are many, members and friends that I have not heard from. Letís make sure that no one is unaccounted for.
During the service we sang "Made Me Glad" by Miriam Webster (2001 HillSongs Music):
I will bless the Lord forever.
I will trust Him at all times.
He has delivered me from all fear.
He has set my feet upon a rock.
And I will not be moved,
And Iíll say of the Lord:
You are my shield, my strength, my portion, Deliverer,
My shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need.
Click HERE for more images of the Aftermath of Hurricane Charley
Click HERE for images of our Clean up from the hurricane.
Soli Deo Gloria!