The last few months at First Church of the Brethren North Fort Myers, Fla., has shown us all that God is truly in the details of our lives and our church. The strategic location of our building and the large parking lot made us the focal point of essential water and food distribution after the devastation our community received from Hurricane Ian.
Jesus Lounge Ministry has partnered with the Student Life Alliance in West Palm Beach, Fla., where pastor Founa Augustin Badet is the treasurer, and the Delray Beach Library “Let’s Talk Period” program to support at-risk teens and tweens with hygiene and feminine hygiene kits. The ministry is a Church of the Brethren new church start in Atlantic Southeast District.
Church of the Brethren ministries are assisting survivors of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona through shipments by Material Resources, Children’s Disaster Services teams in Florida, and acts of love and compassion in Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic damage along Florida’s southwest coast on Sept. 28 when it made landfall near Fort Myers. More than a week later, first responders are still out searching the hardest hit neighborhoods for survivors. With the death toll over 100, this storm is one of the deadliest in the state’s history. The level of damage has impeded relief and response efforts as volunteers come to help. Shelter and rental cars are scarce in the state, with many volunteers driving over two hours to get to the damage zone each day.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed. So far there are no reports of injury among church members, but there is news of minor damage in two churches.