First of all, we want to say a big “Thank You” to everyone who was praying for us recently as Hurricane Irma made its way towards Florida. We watched the weather carefully and as it became more certain a big hurricane would affect us one way or another, we began to make preparations. We were able to buy plywood to board our windows, cases of water, canned food, and a generator before everything was sold out. We were thankful we started preparing early because the stores were crazy the last few days with empty shelves and long lines. With some of our friends deciding to evacuate, we thought long and hard about what we should do. We had bags packed and were praying for God to show us clearly if we should leave and fight through the crazy traffic, or hunker down and wait it out. After sitting down with Dale’s parents and praying for direction, we felt ours came. If we could locate a generator, we would stay. If not, we would leave since being without electric for an extended period of time would be difficult with kids. We knew it would be complete miracle if we found one because stores had been sold out days ago. Dale called some local stores and amazingly, was able to find a place that still had a few! So we finished making preparations to stay through the storm. The storm came during the night, so we could hear the winds whistling but weren’t able to see much of what was happening outside. We stayed in the inner rooms of our house for protection and around 2 am was when the worst of the hurricane came through our area. Thankfully, some of our kids had already fallen asleep so they weren’t scared. Us that were still awake sat in the kitchen and asked God to put a protective bubble around our home and to weaken the storm. We know many family and friends were also praying for us, and we felt God really answered prayer. Right before the hurricane got to us, it downgraded from a Cat 2 to a 1. Our home only had minimal damage and even though the YWAM campus has a lot of clean up with trees down and power lines, no one was hurt. Our kids ended up having off school this whole past week and some schools are still off, but things in our area are starting to get back to a bit more normal.
We are currently wrapping up our summer season and preparing for a very large fall quarter here at YWAM Orlando. Our current summer school leaves this week for 2 months of outreach in Asia. Starting next week, our new students will begin to arrive. It’s looking like we will have a record number of students in our Discipleship Training School, which is really exciting. We still have hurricane cleap up to do, but electric is back on and we are making good progress. All the staff have been working hard and we’re looking forward to soon having our campus bustling with activity again as new students begin their missionary training.