As I (Troy) am writing this, our family is awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Matthew to reach the South Florida East Coast today as a category 4 hurricane (131-155mph winds, catastrophic damage). While our home is boarded up (thank you #NoPlaceLeft team), our FL family members, teammates & disciples are all take care of and we are safe with friends in Lakeland, FL (thank you for the hospitality, Mutz family), our hearts are heavy for those who stayed behind and the potential devastation that awaits them.
I know this brings many opportunities to share the gospel and demonstrate the love of Jesus to our community (and we pray with anticipation to steward these opportunities) but until then, we must pray. We will be ready to bring hope to the hurting through the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Our family has never been through a catastrophic event like this. We have been through tornadoes in the Midwest and earthquakes in Japan but the scenario of knowing something is coming and having to “wait and see” is new to us. It is also grieving us deeply as the death tolls rises in Hurricane Matthew’s path which it is headed for our mission field of South Florida–a region that is massively massively lost — 96% lost to be exact. We are rooted firm in the peace of God & His gospel while also restless for these people down here who are about to get slammed with this devastation (Yesterday, while the boys & I were helping the team board up homes, we were shocked at how many people are unprepared and scrambling–Home Depot was out of everything they needed to survive). There is a sense of helplessness while we await the imminent and yet we find ourselves trusting the Lord. All we can do is pray and prepare for what lies ahead. We are ready to be deployed back into our community (we will keep you posted with how you can help).
For now, thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your expressions of concern and love. Please please keep us, our team and the millions who are scrambling to evacuate or brace themselves for the storm in your prayers. Pray for the people of Haiti, the Caribbean and other locations that are being destroyed by this storm. We are trusting the Lord will use this to glorify His Name be bring beauty from the rubble.