Story by Kathy Szymskirsky
Photos by Dan Esber unless otherwise noted
Hold the child in your arms and keep it just above the rising coastal waters that flood the fort. At Myers’ beach house, John knew they were in danger. In desperation, he cried out to God to save him and the baby. After a while, a kayak came up to him. He put the child in the seat and held him tight through the storm. That memory was later used to lead him to Jesus Christ.
Pastor Chris Jennings of Calvary Chapel Cape Coral (CC Cape Coral) has been helping people non-stop after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ian more than a month ago. in many of the forts. Myers Beach, an unimaginable ruin — mobile home parks have been completely wiped out, homes and personal belongings washed away or ruined by 12 foot sea waves, storefronts, boats and other debris collected by 150 mph winds. , deposited in the mangroves. Swamps—endless opportunities. Recently, his church moved to Calvary Chapel, Pennsylvania. He worked with a team in Philadelphia (CC Philly).
When asked how he found these opportunities, Chris continued: This one day we were pulling a lot.A woman came out from the second floor of the house and said, “Are you here to help me?” I said I would come back later with the team. ”
Upon returning, they found John, a plumber, working on the ground floor. Chris continues: We started talking to him and he explained how he survived the storm by staying in his house with the kids and clinging to his kayak. We asked if we could pray for him and I used that kayak analogy and told how God sent His Only Begotten Son to have you have eternal life. I asked him if he wanted to do it, he said. yesWe prayed and John accepted the Lord. ”
Jose Ortiz is a volunteer by the grace of God, serving the pastoral staff and bodies of CC Philly. Part of a team of 14 members, CC Cape he served the community at Coral for a week. “The Lord has been there long before we were. John knows the Lord was listening to him. I would love to,” Jose added.
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Associate Pastor Jerry Paradise oversees disaster relief at CC Philly. After contacting Chris, he organized a group to come with Cape Coral with Jose as coordinator so they could be seen as one by the community. Scott Griffith, a longtime congregation member of CC Philly, sensed the promptings of Holly’s spirit and volunteered to be his leader on the team, leading daily prayers, clearing away from construction expertise, and even being a homeowner. Up to consolation, they encouraged others to do the work they did best. “Everyone had a special place on this journey, and each role was as important as the other.” He continued, “It’s amazing to see how God put the team together. was.”
Chris repeats.on this trip [with CC Philly], we had a contractor George Miguelez who knew exactly what to do with each house. At this stage of the cleanup, the emphasis was on removing debris, cutting walls to a certain height to allow the house to dry, and repairing the roof before starting to treat the mold.
Bonnie Padron, south of Cape Coral, was thankfully not at home when a 16-foot sliding glass door was blown off during a hurricane, losing part of the roof and collapsing the ceiling. Bonnie’s story reached Chris and the team through a friend of hers who attends her chapel in Calvary, Florida, Naples. “When I looked at the front of her house, it wasn’t that bad, but the back of her house was completely open, with insulation and ceilings covering everything,” explained Scott Griffiths. Seeing the devastation, he wondered if he was the right person for the job. It was then that Philippians 4:13 came to life for him.I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
When Bonnie finds out that she has lost her home, car, and possessions, she knows that Satan cannot take away the faith in God that has sustained her. “I lost my husband seven years ago, I lost my parents in 1984, I had a missing sister, I had cancer, and so much more. “He’s not going to catch me,” she declared.
Bonnie feels like the female version of the biblical character Job, but knows that God works in people and brings God’s joy and love to others. Scott says: We had the opportunity to pray with him and the woman with the Samaritan purse, Bonnie, and the entire group were wrapped up in prayer. ‘ Bonnie recalled as tears welled up in the 25-year-old roofer’s eyes.
building of faith
Scott initially wondered how God worked because he fully expected to have more opportunities to share the gospel with unbelievers, but about half the house belonged to believers. . “If God only sends us to the unbelievers, what does it bring to those who know Him?”
Throughout the week, the Gospel was preached to homeowners and those providing assistance. Many seeds were cast, some were harvested, but the faith of believers was filled with incredible fidelity that God did not forget them. He prayed that God would use him and his gift in some way. Calvary Chapel Magazine Bless him and CC Cape Coral. [reassuring] They weren’t forgotten,” Jose revealed.
the beauty of a shining church
Pastor Jerry of CC Philly said through years of disaster relief work: In that environment, people are so welcoming, appreciative, and receptive that it is so easy to share the gospel. ”
We are not sufficient to think anything out of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant of the Spirit, not of the letter. Thing. For the letter kills, and the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
CC Cape Coral believers know that rebuilding will take years, and they will continue to serve their communities. Chris’ recent teaching on 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 encouraged the team and himself.
Jose recalled how Chris’ encouragement for Christ’s sufficiency was immediately recognized throughout the week. rice field.[but] Only Christ can intervene to do something like this. ”
Overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to them through the CC Cape Coral Congregation, Jose said: They made us feel at home, loved us, washed us, fed us three meals a day and Chris’ heart as a pastor was so good.CC Cape Coral may be small But, he admits, it was amazing to see a small church do well in a community, let its light shine, and rebuild together in the Lord’s fulfilment.
CC Cape Coral welcomes your prayers as we continue to provide relief to those in our community. You can also help financially through the donation link on cccapecoral.org.
(For more information U-turn of Christ, see their website)