LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN EVERYTHING
My grandmother always told me to look for the good in everything. I suppose this means even in the aftermath of a hurricane, I need to look for the good. I followed Mom Rogers advice, and I found the good in the people surrounding me as I witnessed folks from all walks of life coming together to serve. Everywhere I looked, I saw numerous individuals giving their time and resources to help the victims and communities of Hurricane Irma.
“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,” 2 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV)
Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on my home state. The destructive winds destroyed homes, roads, and businesses leaving behind a vast rebuilding project. Although the destruction is evident everywhere, I am amazed (and inspired) at the strength and perseverance of our residents. I have witnessed communities coming together and people working together to give as much as they are able to give in an effort to serve one another. Their efforts have made such an impact on me that I wanted to share a few of their stories with you. These individuals continue to give selflessly in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
“Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.” Hebrews 13:16 (CEB)
As restoration efforts began, utility companies throughout the nation arrived to assist with the power outages. I believe there were more than 15 million people without electricity. Caravans of service trucks lined the highways and interstates as they headed to the sunshine state to help with the restoration efforts and we are forever grateful!
After Hurricane Irma left our community void of many necessities, FAITH Neighborhood Center, a local food bank, distributed FEMA food and water to 1201 individuals, 34% were under the age of 18. FNC staff and volunteers served a total of 315 households of South Lake County. I’m also happy to share that FNC will soon be distributing personal care items, diapers, and cleaning supplies to families in collaboration with FEMA’s continued relief efforts.
A group of bloggers known fondly as The Blessing Counters created a Go Fund Me page for a sister blogger, Marva Smith. Marva along with her husband, Sylvester, and their two children reside on the island of Tortola located in the British Virgin Islands. Hurricane Irma made a direct hit on the Virgin Islands as a category 5 hurricane. Tortola is in a state of wreckage due to Hurricane Irma. Marva and the residents of the Virgin Islands need our prayers and support. You can read more about Marva’s story and receive updates here. As I write this post, I am in prayer for the residents in the line of Hurricane Maria. I hope you’ll join me in prayer.
Among the efforts of so many individuals selflessly serving, my path crossed with two amazing women. Actually, it was my husband who crossed their path, literally. Sher Alloway and Teresa Olinger, Irma Pet Rescue, were traveling late one night after spending a very long day assisting with a wild horse rescue. Unfortunately, their truck broke down just after midnight, and they needed assistance. After several unsuccessful phone calls, they contacted my husband, Scott, in hopes that he would be able to assist.
I remember Scott hanging up the phone at 2 am. He looked at me, and without hesitation, he told me that he had to help them. My reply, “I know you do.” My husband is a good man with a big heart, and there was no way he was not going to assist these two women stranded alongside the road, miles from home, with little resources available because of Hurricane Irma. To keep it short, I’ll borrow Teresa’s words, “there’s so much more to this story” but I want to focus on the impact these two women have made because of their giving hearts.
Sher and Teresa dedicate their time rescuing pets – dogs, cats, and horses. They help find and save these animals in hopes of reuniting them with their families. I encourage you to check out their website to learn more about their heroic efforts because words just aren’t enough to express how much these two women have served, and how much they have inspired me. They truly have a heart for giving.
Continue to Serve One Another in Love
These are just a few of the stories from the past week. There are many more stories I hope to share with you in due time, stories of inspiration and hope. If you take anything with you today, I hope you look for the good in everything and appreciate the importance of serving one another in love.
“Someday – maybe many days – you will perform some simple act of love and think nothing about it, and that act of love will be the stack pole of a person’s walk with God.” Pastor David Crosby
If you have been impacted by a hurricane, recent or past, we would love to hear your story. You may share your story below or reach out via email. Our stories connect us and serve as a testimony to those around us just how great our God is today and every day. We are our stories.