Currently disciples across Florida are preparing for the worst from Hurricane Irma which is nearly the size of Texas. At the moment Irma is bearing down on the Southwest Church in Ft. Myers/Naples area, then the Sarasota church, then the Tampa Church. The Gainesville Church, the 1200 Church in Tallahassee, Crossway in Tallahassee, South Lake and the Orlando Church should all feel the effects of rain and tropical force winds. The South Florida Church is also experience rain and tropical force winds with gusts up to 100 mph. Needless to say the vast majority of our churches will feel it and three are currently in the direct path. And this could all change with the unpredictable nature of these storms.
Our first response after Irma will be south towards the Florida Keys as they have completely evacuated because of the surge and direct hit. We have several members who live south so we will make sure they are taken care of as well as the community. Then we will come further north to contact the members in the northern counties. After it is considered safe, of course we will reach out to the Florida west coast churches to see how we can respond.
So this is a preliminary report as we get ready for Irma to arrive. We will keep you posted as long as we have power and cell phones. We have been in touch with all of the disciples and from all that we can tell everyone is in a relatively safe place, we are prayerful and trusting in God to see us through whatever challenges lay ahead.
We are grateful for your prayers and share a special camaraderie with our brothers and sisters in Texas! Let's also be praying for all affected by the serious earthquake in Mexico.
Much love from the Florida Regional Family of Churches.
Ron Conkling, Tampa
John Brush, South Florida