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FSM 240 / FN 349, DO   "Witnessing Adventures!" No.1
Copyrighted May, 1993 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland.
Through the Storm!
Family Teens Take Hurricane Relief Shelter by Storm!
After the Storm, a Ray of Hope & a Message of Love!
"Thou Hast Been a Refuge from the Storm!"--Isa.25:4.
Through the Storm!
From the Miami Home, U.S.A.
       On August 23, 1992, the story of old Leland Valentine came to life for us as the Lord miraculously protected us through "Hurricane Andrew", the most severe & devastating hurricane to hit this area since the great Miami Hurricane of 1935!  Although we were on the northern edge of the hardest hit area, our rented home & property suffered only minor damage such as fallen trees, broken fences & the loss of a screened-in patio.  Though 65,000 homes in the area were completely destroyed & an estimated 150,000 people were made homeless, we suffered no serious personal losses! PTL!
       The Lord, in His pre-vision, had miraculously supplied truckloads of provisioned plywood weeks before, as well as hundreds of pounds of nails. So when the hurricane warnings began, we were able to board up all windows & doors immediately, as we had all the materials necessary to do so!  We even had plywood to offer to our neighbours, for which they were very grateful!  We learned firsthand that for those living in a hurricane zone, having enough wood on hand to board up windows & doors is a vital part of survival preparations!  
       When the hurricane warnings began there was general panic in the area, as Dad has so often warned us would happen in times of emergency!  People were rushing to buy plywood, food, batteries & water, which soon ran out.  We are so thankful for all of Dad's admonitions to us throughout the years to be prepared for such events!  Although we were not as prepared as we could have been, what we did have in the way of food & water helped us survive the first few days, when almost all facilities in Dade County were either destroyed, without power, or closed.  Supplies of everything were very limited & looting was rampant until relief came to the area.
       Our first & possibly greatest lesson was the importance of hearing from the Lord in such a life & death situation.--And the biggest decision we needed to make was whether to stay or evacuate.  Located only five miles from the mandatory evacuation zone, we felt we should move all the children & some childcare workers to another Family Home located a safe distance from the storm.  We contacted the Home & they graciously welcomed us, God bless them! Because we made this decision early & the team got off quickly, they were on the leading edge of the evacuation before the traffic started to pile up--another very important lesson for such situations!  Before it was over, about a million people had fled the three-county area which was worst hit.  
       Once the children were out, we made plans to move everyone else in two more stages & closely monitored the news. Several hours after the children's evacuation, one news report said that some of the highways had gotten so congested that drivers were abandoning their cars in panic & trying to escape on foot, creating even more impossible traffic jams. This & other reports brought to mind scenes from the movies, "Earthquake" & "The Day After".
       In light of this news, we needed to re-evaluate our decisions concerning the teens & adults who had remained in the Home & the course of action we were going to take.  We only had two alternatives: We could evacuate & risk getting caught on the highway; or we could try to weather the storm in our Home & trust the Lord for His protection.  The Lord showed us that we should stay.  
       We continued to batten down the hatches all afternoon & into the evening. We also read through the "Emergency Handbook" a couple of times, gleaning counsel for our situation & putting it into immediate effect as best we could. How we appreciated that counsel!  The hurricane was due to hit about 5:00 the next morning, so at about 10:00 p.m., after much desperate prayer, some of the teens & adults lay down to try to get some sleep.  It had been a long, hard day of preparations. Having done all we could, it was now time to trust the Lord to keep us through the storm!
       At about 4:00 a.m., when the hurricane was only a few miles from shore, the winds started to gust heavily & our electricity went out.  We woke everyone so we could all join together in prayer, quote the Word & claim the Lord's protection as the fierce winds began to blow.
       About an hour later the hurricane started to "peak", with the wind hitting velocities of 165 miles per hour (264 kph). Trees began coming down around the house!  Broken roofing shingles flew through the air! The aluminum framework of our screened-in patio crumpled like so many straws & crashed into the house!  In spite of all this, everyone remained calm & peaceful. We sat in the hallways, the safest place in the house, singing, praying & reading Psalms! In fact, everyone was so tranquil that at the hurricane's peak some of the teens & adults, still exhausted from the day before, fell asleep again & didn't wake up until it was all over!  Someone woke up hours after the storm had passed & asked if we were in the "eye" of the hurricane, the moment of calm in the middle of the storm.--Ha!  Truly a picture of "Peace in the Midst of the Storm!"  PTL!  
       We had expected to be hit directly, which would have meant we would have been hit twice with the fierce winds, once before & once after the eye. But since we were on the edge of the hurricane, we only got hit once!  PTL!  While in prayer, a brother in another city received a vision of our Home surrounded by Angels with their wings spread, deflecting the wind!  We knew that they were there protecting us miraculously!
       By a miracle, our telephone lines were not broken! And on top of that, we were among the first people in the entire county to have our electricity reconnected!  News reports said that it would take weeks to restore power, & most of the county was without electricity for that long.  When the electric company came to our street, less than 48 hours after the storm, we asked them how they got there so fast.  "We don't know," they said, "they just told us to come here first." PTL! The Lord also miraculously supplied a generator through a Home's supporters in another city.  This dear Home brought it to us in time for us to have electricity the first night after the storm!  GB'm! What a Family!
       A 35-foot house trailer belonging to a couple who had just come back to the Family was parked at a trailer park in nearby Homestead. It was completely destroyed! But TTL, the couple was safe in our Home & just three weeks before rejoining, obviously inspired by the Lord, they'd had it fully insured--including hurricane coverage--& their claim for the full value of the trailer went through speedily! Another miracle!
       So after a good prayer & praise meeting to thank the Lord for His wonderful protection, we turned our attention to the enormous needs of others around us.  We were doubly thankful that we suffered so little loss & damage ourselves, as this made it possible for us to concentrate on seizing this golden witnessing opportunity to reach this area in its hour of great need. Now the real excitement begins!
Family Teens Take Hurricane  Relief Shelter by Storm!
From Jay & Rose East, U.S.A.
       When the first relief centre for the South Florida victims of Hurricane Andrew was set up in the Homestead Middle School, the teens from the Family's Miami Home were the first volunteers to arrive on the scene. They were there before anyone else, including the Red Cross! This centre soon became the major relief centre & distribution point for relief supplies for the entire Miami area.
       From day one, they did a fantastic job & were a tremendous testimony! The policeman who was in charge was so impressed by how our teens organised the shelter, kitchen, & food distribution that he had them sworn in as deputy law officers & later brought the state attorney general to the shelter especially to meet them. They were the only volunteers under 16 years old allowed to help!
       The first nights they went bed-to-bed in the shelter, before people went to sleep, & prayed with nearly every single person--about two hundred in all--to receive Jesus. Whole families received the Lord together. The first couple of nights our girls even stayed awake with some of the babies who were frightened & crying, so that the mommies, many of whom had several small children, could get some sleep.
       One ninety-year-old lady, after receiving Jesus & being cared for physically & spiritually by the teens, said her own prayer: "These teenagers have shown us so much love, Lord. Now show them how much You love them in return!" It was beautiful! Another elderly lady received Jesus in tears with one of the teens & then asked the teen if she could offer another prayer, thanking God for sparing her! Almost immediately, people started referring to them as "Florence Nightingales" & "Angels of Mercy".
       The people were so touched by the teens' love & witness that when someone came in announcing that there were buses waiting to transport everyone to another shelter which had air conditioning & better facilities, only six people left! The authorities were surprised at the lack of response, but many of the people later told the teens they didn't want to leave because of them. It was really touching! "The hands are different!" (See Good Thots 2, page 1247, paragraph 50.)
       Family Videos played throughout the day & night--Kiddie Viddies for the children & "SOS" & "20 Minutes to Go!" for everyone else. One of the first nights, the U.S. assistant secretary of defense was there evaluating the situation. While he was talking on one side of the room, "20 Minutes to Go!" was playing on the other!
        Since the centre is officially under the supervision of the Red Cross, they are not supposed to allow any type of religious activity there. But in spite of a few weak attempts to try to stop them, the teens were able to carry on their witnessing without any problems.--And they didn't pull any punches! Knowing that they had the Lord's approval, they took authority in the Spirit & no one did anything to stop them. There would probably have been a popular revolt if anyone had. PTL!
       Although the teens were more than happy to pitch in & help with the physical work, they soon learned that they needed to stick to the spiritual as much as possible. That was the job that only they could do! They soon earned the nickname "the Encouragers" & their spiritual ministry gained the respect & recognition of all. After the immediate crisis was over, they were hardly asked to help with any physical work as the Red Cross & others saw how valuable they were in keeping the inspiration level high.
       No one else was witnessing there at all, either inside or outside the shelter. The Encouragers not only witnessed to the homeless camped out in the shelter & the others who came daily for food, but they also had quite a ministry with the National Guard, Red Cross volunteers, doctors, nurses & others. They distributed thousands of Posters & tracts & prayed with & counselled hundreds. They sang everywhere for everyone, encouraging & lifting spirits. They put Posters on the walls of the shelter for decoration & even put up a prayer request chart. Before long, others had marked three miraculous answers to prayer on the chart! In short, they provided the spiritual support for the whole operation!
       Two of the girls said that the first time they jumped onto the back of an army truck carrying a bunch of big, burly, armed soldiers, it was quite a leap of faith, but all ten of them humbly prayed to receive the Lord! In the days & weeks to follow, this became an everyday occurrence.
       The disaster really drew people to the Lord. It hit the poorest part of the Miami area & obviously the Lord did it in His Love so these sweet people could be reached. Very few expressed any bitterness, almost no one. Rather, it broke them & helped them to get their values straightened out. It was certainly one of God's set-ups!
       When most of the teens' sheep were moved from the school, where the relief centre was first set up, to a nearby "Tent City", the teens went with them. There they continued going tent-to-tent, & bed-to-bed, praying with hundreds more to receive Jesus & distributing thousands of "Somebody Loves You!" tracts &, of course, more Posters!
       Before long, the teens appeared on three South Florida TV stations. Channel 7 showed them in one of the tents, singing "Ain't It Good to Know?" to some of their sheep. The whole tent, as well as the TV reporter, joined in prayer afterwards to receive Jesus. A West Palm Beach station filmed them singing & afterward the whole crew got saved! They were also filmed by a local Spanish-broadcast news station.
       When CNN (Cable News Network, a worldwide broadcasting company) arrived on the scene, the teens sang for the crew on a personal level. They considered the teens very special. One of their top international reporters  later interviewed them for an international broadcast & commented that he's been around the World, but had never seen love like he had in our teens. He also asked them to put him on their prayer list. They not only witnessed to, but developed personal friendships with those they ministered to, both great & small.
       When U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle & his wife, Marilyn, visited the shelter, the Encouragers were able to sing for them & gave them a copy of the audio Tape "How to Win!" & the Kiddie Viddie "Let's Be Friends!"
       They had already met Marilyn Quayle once before & given her some Posters. So when Mrs. Quayle saw them this time, she recognised them immediately & helped them get through the Secret Service, who were exceptionally tight & mean that day. When they told the Vice President that they admired him for his anti-abortion stand & they were praying for him, he responded by saying that he & Mrs. Quayle believe in the power of prayer & that they would also be praying for the situation in Homestead.         Mrs. Quayle also told her husband what a help the girls had been at the shelter, for which he thanked them.
              (Editor's note: When Dad & Mama heard about the marvellous way the Lord was using these teens, they sent them a special word of encouragement & appreciation. Dad & Mama also emphasised the importance of identifying themselves as "The Family" so that the World would get a chance to see us as we really are. Following is an excerpt from the next report from the Homestead shelter team:)
       "GBY! WLYVM! Thank you so much for your inspiring & encouraging messages, especially the one from Dad & Mama! We read it to the teens last night just before they went to bed & they were set free & totally flipped out! We & they are honoured to be able to represent the Family. Please tell Dad & Mama that we recognise this as a golden opportunity & will do everything we can in this situation to show the World what the Family is really all about!
       "Please tell them that we so appreciate their encouragement & counsel & that the timing was perfect! Today CNN put the teens on live, internationally, singing `Put a Little Love in Your Heart!' & `They Say a Man Can't Be a Christian'. Our friend from CNN especially liked the latter & was as thrilled as we were that it would be seen by many of the World leaders whom he knows watch his broadcasts!
       "After the songs, they also did a live interview with the head of the International Red Cross, who introduced them as the teens helping at the Homestead shelter, known as `The Family'. (They later met the head of the American Red Cross as well.) This was the first interview or news clip where we were actually introduced & named! The Lord waited till we got Dad & Mama's message before letting anything come out. PTL!
       "We never know what a day will bring forth! We had thought of giving the teens a day off today, but when we proposed it to them they all said they preferred to go back to the shelter! Then all of this happened! God bless them for their perseverance & love for their sheep! PTL! WLY!"
       When the teens started identifying themselves as "The Family", it caught on like wild fire! One Marine asked them if they were "The Family", meaning the COG! When they responded by saying some of their parents were in the COG, he flipped & said he knew us in 1976 when he was a hippy!
       Several days later, in the midst of caring for the homeless & the destitute, they got word that President & Barbara Bush would be making a visit to the very shelter where they were working. The Lord miraculously opened the door for them to pass him Posters & her a copy of the Kiddie Viddie "Happy All the Time!" as a gift for their grandchildren. They also enclosed a brochure explaining the Family's local Work & a personal note. Still, they hoped to be able to meet the President personally & sing for him.
       The teens had already met Jeb Bush, the President's oldest son & right-hand man, who lives in Miami. Upon arrival at the shelter, Jeb took an immediate liking to the teens. So when the girls heard that his dad was there & told him they wanted to sing for the President, he chuckled & said, "You're going to have to be very aggressive!" They took his advice.
       Pushing their way through the crowd after the President's press conference, they came to a Secret Service man who told them they couldn't go any closer. They kept pushing, & begging him for a chance to be able to sing to the President. Finally, seeing that the girls were not going to give up, he told them to stand right where they were & he would bring the President to them, which is exactly what happened!
       As they held the President's hand & sang "Ain't It Good to Know?", he was moved to tears. Television cameras captured the moment. They were also able to have a few words with the President, letting him know we were praying for him & explaining that we had given his wife a Video for his grandchildren which emphasised "family values". He assured them he would watch it on the plane back to Washington.
       Upon seeing the teens again later in the day, the President requested that they sing the same song to Mrs. Bush, who hadn't heard it the first time. This time tears came from her as well!  After the song, with the television cameras rolling & photographers clicking away, the Bushes hugged & kissed our teens before continuing their tour of the shelter!
       After singing for the President the first time, the singing team was immediately surrounded by reporters from every TV network & station present--local, national & international. CNN, CBS, ABC & others did interviews. They appeared on CNN "Headline News" the same evening with a short clip of them singing to the President. Locally, they appeared live on all the major stations. So the Lord used the President's visit to further spread the Message.
       Many others also came up to the teens after their song, complimenting them for their performance, including the U.S. congressman from the Miami area & the state governor who were accompanying the President on this tour of the shelter. After this, they became known as "the kids who made the President cry."
       Meanwhile, the teens' ministry at the Tent City continued going strong & they had great success with the Marines who were stationed there, many of whom were between the ages of 17 & 23. This turned into yet another "Consider the Poor" ministry as most of these young Marines are either from poor backgrounds or they joined the military because they were misfits in society & they didn't know what else to do with their lives.
       The Daily Foods became an immediate hit with them & it got to the point that some said they couldn't leave their copies on their bunks in the barracks because other Marines would come & "steal" them in order to read them! The team reported: "We've never seen such a demand on the part of sheep for their Daily Foods as with these guys! They also love the Posters, & the walls of the barracks are plastered with them! Some of these boys have very traumatic testimonies & backgrounds. They are needy & hungry & many are already testifying that their lives are changing! They have been genuinely touched by the Word & the love they are receiving. These guys have never experienced anything like it. They are getting classes almost daily & they are very disappointed when the teens don't show up for one reason or another. When they get word that we aren't going to be around for a day or two, they demand sufficient Daily Foods to keep them going!"
       At one point, the Tent City tightened up considerably when its operation & scheduling were taken over by a civilian organisation. To get in as volunteers, especially in the entertainment or religious category, became next to impossible.  But the Lord miraculously kept the door open for the teens, who had led the colonel in charge of all the tent cities to the Lord & really won his heart! When he let it be known that he felt the teens should be free to do whatever they wanted, the new administrators' hands were tied because, as one official put it, "They're his tents!"--Ha!
       On one occasion, the colonel even helped the teens pass out "Somebody Loves You!" tracts to his men. He & other officers were very impressed when they asked for volunteers amongst the Marines to stay on longer than scheduled at the Tent City, & the teens' regular sheep, which totalled 15 to 20, all volunteered to stay because they didn't want to leave the teens!
       When President Bush & family returned to Miami on a campaign tour, the teens were able to see him again. They first met with his son, Jeb, who told them that the President & Mrs. Bush & their entourage had all watched the Kiddie Viddie on Air Force One (the President's official jet) as they returned to Washington following their visit to the disaster area. He said they all liked it very much.
       This time, on his return, when the President saw our teens, he broke protocol, tore himself away from his Secret Service guards who were trying to hold him back & ran towards them--arms outstretched--& gave them each a big hug & kiss! They had another KV prepared to give him, "Wear a Great Big Smile", which they passed on via one of his aides. When the President got the Video, he held it up in the window of his limousine to show the teens he had it, & then pressed his nose up against the glass to make a clown's face himself. "Love lets the little child in you come out to play!"
       At one point, the Lord supplied $1,000 worth of tickets for the teens to have a special day off at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.  His special blessing for all their hard work & sacrifices. PTL! The Lord also rewarded them & their Home with an abundant supply of their material needs. Through some of the contacts they made at the shelter, they were personally given truckloads of everything from food & paper diapers to flashlights & shoes. They had so much above what was needed locally that they were able to share it with all the Homes in the Southeast U.S.--enough to keep them all supplied with many household supplies & food products for weeks or months!
       Eventually, the Homestead Middle School shelter closed down & the teens had to say a teary good-bye to many of their dear friends. The last day, they did a rousing Family-type inspiration for the Red Cross volunteers & all their other sheep & led an interdenominational church service, together with an Episcopalian priest & Baptist preacher. Jason gave the sermon in English & Spanish & the girls sang!
       It was tough to leave, but they were comforted by the news that the Lord had opened a door for them to continue to minister at another shelter, & the team moved on to Dad's old junior high school, Robert E. Lee, on the corner of 5th St. & 133rd--the very place he talks about in the Book of Remembrance, where he went to school when he was the same age as some of them! (See ML#1353:20.)
       The teens didn't miss a beat as they transferred to their new "assignment". Their witnessing & ministering to the homeless, Red Cross volunteers, National Guard & reporters kept right on rolling as they caught their second big wave of witnessing! Again, they arrived at the shelter the day it opened.
       Robert E. Lee closed as a school three years ago, with no plans for reopening as a school, so in the wake of Hurricane Andrew it was set up as a more permanent shelter for the hurricane victims whose situations would not be able to get sorted out for weeks or months. There are about 500 homeless housed there.
       This shelter has more of an inner-city type crowd & a large Black population. Even a lot of the Red Cross volunteers didn't want to go there, because it is in such a bad part of town. But there certainly was a vacuum & need for the teens, & there they had even more freedom to follow the Lord whichever way He led.
       From the moment they arrived, they again completely took the place over in the Spirit!--And even in the physical, in some respects. They immediately began going room-to-room, praying with people to receive Jesus & praying for the sick. The first day they prayed with over a hundred people. They also sang room-to-room as they ministered to the people & passed out "Somebody Loves You!" tracts & Posters!
       The testimonies the teens shared after that first day were so touching! One told how a little Black boy was pulling on her arm, wanting to be picked up when his mother, looking on, told him almost fearfully, "Don't you bother the White girl!" Our teen smiled at the mom, put the youngster on her lap & talked & played with him as the mother looked on in amazement. These people are so love-starved & have never before experienced this kind of love, especially from White teenagers.
       Their second day there, they did a Holy Ghost sample in the middle of the school yard! One psychologist watched our teens dance & sing together with Blacks, Whites & Latins & commented, "This is truly a blending of cultures!" Only God's Love could do that!
       Just as at the other shelter, the teens found that all the volunteers & National Guardsmen needed as much encouragement as the people who had lost everything. They were all under a lot of stress. One Peruvian Red Cross worker poured out her heart that when she was managing another shelter she had a nervous breakdown, & her assistant also cracked up. These people so appreciated the love, consideration, inspiration, encouragement, spiritual input & even physical help they got from the teens.
       Their witness also continued to be blazed abroad, as several of the top TV reporters from national & international networks whom they met & ministered to at Homestead followed them over to the new shelter, & several local stations also wanted to do more programmes & interviews.
       Some of the National Guardsmen also got very close to the Family & one even took his "leave" at the Miami Home. He & others are now potential disciples. Again, a lot of them were juvenile delinquents who didn't know what to do with their lives, so they joined the army. It's a ripe witnessing field & one the teens are having tremendous success with! PTL!
       The young police officer who had sworn them in as deputies on their first day at Homestead turned out to be nationally respected for his work with youth gangs. His enthusiasm over the teens & their work is extraordinary, & he has expressed interest in them helping as "peer consultants" in his work with juvenile delinquents after the disaster relief job is finished, so the story is really just beginning!
       PRAYER REQUEST: For follow-up of the many potentials, friends & contacts won by the team at the Homestead relief shelter, & for their ongoing witnessing to those left homeless by Hurricane Andrew.

After the Storm, a Ray of Hope & a Message of Love!
--Testimonies from a Teen Road Trip to the Louisiana Disaster Area!
From James, Sam, Vicky, Phil & Team, U.S.A.
       The Lord showed us from the start that this wasn't going to be a typical faith trip. We weren't going to be able to go out & provision hotel rooms & meals, as the area we were going to had just been devastated by Hurricane Andrew. There probably weren't a lot of hotels in small towns like New Iberia & Morgan City to begin with, & those that survived the storm would probably be full of people who had lost their homes, or newspaper & TV reporters there for the story. So the Lord showed us we needed to plan to sleep in our vehicles. One Home loaned us their motor home & another Home their van. GBT! For ten days, those two vehicles became home for the nine of us.--Two adults & seven teens & EAs from three different Homes in our Area.
       When we provisioned dinner that first night on the road, we thought it might be our last real meal for awhile! We were going to a disaster area, so we were prepared for hard times.--Bread & water, if necessary. David, Sam & John all had their guitars, so we offered to sing for the manager. As we sang "Ain't It Good to Know?", the 18-year-old girl running the cash register started crying like a baby. Coming from different Homes, this was the first time that we had ever sung together. Their reaction showed us the power the Lord was giving us & that music was going to be the key. From that moment on, our whole trip was like a dramatic movie.
       The first place we went to was New Iberia, & that was our first taste of what it's like after a hurricane. Fallen trees were everywhere. Many houses were totally levelled. Lots of people in that area had lived in mobile homes because that was all they could afford. But those mobile homes weren't built for hurricanes & lots of them were completely wrecked. The first person we talked to said his mobile home had been picked up & scattered across three acres. Poor man! For us, it was "back to the basics"--no water, no bread, no produce, no electricity, no showers. No showers was about the toughest, because it was quite hot & humid living in vehicles in the swampy "bayou*" country of southern Louisiana. There was a 6:00 p.m. curfew & National Guardsmen patrolled the streets with rifles to prevent looting. We wondered if our whole trip was going to be like that. (*bayou: moist, marshy type of country.)
         From New Iberia we went to Franklin, one of the towns that got hit the worst. The place was totally wrecked. All of the power lines were down, trees had fallen, houses were wrecked. We didn't know where to start, so we all got together & prayed & the Lord showed us to go door-to-door--to the houses that were still standing--& pass out Posters to everyone. Another team went to find out where all the people who had lost their houses had gone, presumably to a shelter or relief centre of some sort. They brought back news that the town's courthouse was full of homeless people, mainly women & children. We all went there & met & witnessed & passed out Posters to everyone.
       Although it left quite a mess, Hurricane Andrew didn't hit highly populated areas of Louisiana as it did in Florida, where it left 150,000 homeless. According to the papers & news broadcasts, there were only about 15,000 people left homeless in Louisiana, & most of these soon found places to stay with relatives or friends. So unlike Florida, the shelters were beginning to empty out after a day or two. Still, we visited one shelter in Franklin, & later, two in Morgan City.
       People told us over & over again that while there were a lot of others helping with the physical things--firemen, police, National Guard, & other volunteers--nobody was really ministering to people's spirits. Lots of people  were super discouraged & under a lot of pressure, having lost everything, but nobody knew how to cope with it. We also found out that the volunteers needed encouragement almost as much as the people who were directly hit. Thank God, we had the Posters & His message of Love & comfort & music that spoke right to their hearts. We prayed with many people in the depths of despair with their lives turned upside down. It was a perfect opportunity to give them the Lord & His Love.
       At one shelter we were singing for the director when another man named Ed overheard us. Ed ran out & got his wife & children & the next thing we knew--we hadn't even been introduced to him yet--Ed was crying & wiping his eyes. Finally he turned away & looked out the window because he couldn't take any more. His young son sat there wondering, "What's wrong with Dad?" Ed was just crying & crying. After that we became close friends. He invited us to park our vehicles at his house, where we could take showers, & he put us in contact with other people. As it turned out, Ed is a new Christian & works with juvenile delinquents, so we were able to inspire him & his precious wife a lot. In return, they were determined to help us in any way they could.
        And that's the way it went our whole trip. Our own needs were no problem at all. As we ministered to these people & poured out, the Lord saw to it that we were taken care of. Wherever the Lord led, every time we took a step, God put the ground beneath our feet. We didn't have to ask for anything. We got nothing but offers. People would say, "Would you like a hot meal tonight?" or ask us if we needed food, water, ice, or gas money. The Lord really looked after us, & it was good He did, because we didn't even think about those things during the day. We wanted to just keep going. There was so much to do!
        We prayed desperately for the Lord to show us the greatest need, where we could do the most good, & He showed us to go see the mayor. So we went to the City Hall, but the mayor wasn't in his office. One lady offered to take us to him & led us out through the adjacent fire station. Some of the firemen saw us & yelled out, "Hey! Where are you going with those guitars?" "We're going to sing for the mayor," we said.  "The mayor? What do you mean? We do all the work! Come sing for us!" They were quite insistent. There were also soldiers from the National Guard there & it turned out that most of them were volunteers who had come from all over. There were firemen from as far away as Texas. So we stopped & sang for them & they loved it!
       At one church which was set up as a food distribution centre, the pastor's wife & another lady who was helping her run the operation called everyone together for us to sing. Both ladies had to leave the room in tears. They came back, but had to leave again after the next song. They were so exhausted & when we came in like a ray of sunshine, they just broke.
         The wife was so excited that she went & found her husband & when he came in, everyone was singing in his church. The first thing he said to us was, "How much money do you need?" "We're not here to get money," we told him, "we just came here to help out, but we do live by faith, & we very much appreciate any donations that we get." And God bless him, he promptly wrote us a cheque. They also invited us back to sing at their Sunday services.
         We also went to sing for the National Guard in their quarters. As we walked in, they were all lying around on their cots, bored stiff & homesick. A lot of them at first appeared very hard & tough, but they all turned out to be really sweet & lots of them got saved. We just walked right in & started singing to them. The colonel in charge invited us to come back for all of our meals & told one of his sergeants, "Take care of everything that they need." He really gave us the red carpet treatment.
       One captain named Andy stuck to us like glue. The National Guard is just called on in emergencies. Normally, these soldiers hold regular jobs or go to school. Andy is a lawyer. Anyway, every time we turned around, there was Andy. If there was a knock at our door, it was Andy, wanting to know if he could do anything for us. He was really attracted to us & our spirit & he loved our music. Before we left for home, they gave us a letter from the National Guard of the State of Louisiana, thanking us for ministering to the homesick soldiers. All of our friends signed it at the bottom like a card, the colonel, Andy & lots of others.
         We went back to sing at the fire department one more time that day. After that we went to Morgan City, which was a much bigger town with more of a big town spirit. Someone directed us to a shelter for the homeless which was run by the Salvation Army & the Red Cross. There we went from bed-to-bed, person-to-person singing & talking to people, getting them saved, comforting them & giving them Posters.
       One group was being rowdy & disturbing everyone else. They were quite shallow & foolish when we tried to witness & sing to them. When they got up to go, we got real serious with them. "Now look, you guys," we said, "that hurricane destroyed your homes & a lot of others, but the Lord kept you safe. Is this the way you thank Him? You need to receive Jesus." They all quieted down & we made a circle & they all closed their eyes, held hands, & prayed to receive Jesus. TYL! Everyone else in the shelter was thankful too!
       While most of us were witnessing in this shelter, a couple of others went to look for some place to take showers & get cleaned up. We met a sweet man who owns the biggest hotel in town, which also has a restaurant & bar. He invited us to take showers in his own quarters in the hotel complex. He also asked us to sing in his bar, where there were quite a few people. That was a rowdy bunch!  They were mainly contractors & construction workers who had come from all over the U.S. to land jobs rebuilding Morgan City. We got in there & we sang some nice fast songs & then some slow ones & they received us well. Then we went around with the Posters.
       The next morning we met the mayor of Morgan City who turned out to be a really sweet man, very open to our Message & the Posters. We sang "Ain't It Good to Know?" for him & his secretaries & helpers & they all cried. While we were still there, singing & witnessing to the different people, the mayor got the bright idea to call the local television station. They came right over with their television crew & filmed us singing "Ain't It Good to Know?" & taped an interview about us for the evening news.
       For the rest of the day we decided to do some blitzkrieg postering. We dropped off three teams in different parts of town & totally saturated those areas with Posters & won as many souls as we could. That was a very fruitful day. PTL! Everybody received us & the Lord & the Word with open arms. They were also able to see lots of lessons from the hurricane, why it had happened to them. They were so open to the Lord & so ready for the witness!
       The next morning we visited the shelter, the fire station & the Red Cross. At the shelter we found over 200 people lined up outside, waiting to fill in applications for relief or insurance claims, etc. We went up & down the line, singing & giving each person a Poster, & they really studied them.
       At the Red Cross headquarters, just about everybody was busy filling out forms, & the lady in charge was afraid we'd disturb them if we sang. So she directed us to the room they had set up to care for all the children while their parents were doing paperwork. We sang them different kids' songs & got all the kids dancing & singing with us, & had what was basically a little Family inspiration with all the kids that were in there.
       When the lady in charge heard how beautifully the teens sang, she realised that we weren't disturbing anybody & asked us to sing again for her & the rest of the people waiting. Afterwards she said, "Oh, you're such sweet people, so full of the Spirit & the Lord! I want to give you all a hug!" so she did. She also offered to send each of us a Red Cross certificate, showing that we  helped at the time of Hurricane Andrew.
       Somebody else suggested that we sing for a little community of Catholic ladies who had been working tirelessly since the hurricane struck. They were very sweet. They all got together & we sang for them. They were very touched & just loved our Posters. They gave us a blank tape, begging us to record our songs for them, & thanked us over & over again when we had to leave.
       One of these ladies said, "Could you go over & visit my husband, please? He's really discouraged!" Her house had been blown around & was quite messed up. "He has been cleaning it up for about a week, but he still has a big job on his hands & he's just about at his wits' end! Won't you please go over & sing for him?" So we went on over to their house, & sure enough, the whole place was a mess. We sang him a song & he was really moved. "Oh, thank you so much!" he said. "I really needed that! I was about to give up, but when you reminded me that the Lord still loves me, I knew right away that I could keep on going. That's a really big help!" He also said that he thought the hurricane was a warning from the Lord & that He had allowed it because the communities involved were drifting apart. People were too selfish & unloving with each other.
       After our Poster blitz in Morgan City, we were sorry that we hadn't done the same in Franklin. So we spent the next day hitting Franklin with the Posters. We also stopped in for lunch at the National Guard & saw them for the last time.
       Before we left for Home, we all got together once more for prayer, because we wanted to be positively sure that our job was done. The Lord encouraged us that "we had done what we could." In about a week & a half we had passed out 2,500 Posters & won 365 souls. We had also witnessed lots of miracles & had lots of fun & new experiences. We made one last round, saying good-bye to all of our other friends & headed home. Everyone was very inspired, but pretty spent from continually pouring out!
       PRAYER REQUEST: For follow-up of those met & ministered to by the team which visited the Louisiana disaster area.
"Thou Hast Been a Refuge from the Storm!"--Isa.25:4.

From the Hawaii Family, U.S.A.

       Just two weeks after Hurricane Andrew struck Florida & Louisiana, one of our close live-outs called early one morning to alert us that another big hurricane was heading directly towards us & we needed to prepare! Evacuation sirens soon echoed their warning! The adults immediately got together for desperate prayer & made plans to board up the house & pack to move from our property by the beach to a safer location inland. We only had four to six hours before Hurricane Iniki was due to strike our island. Two of our closest friends came over immediately to help. GB'm!
       It was an enormous job, but everyone worked calmly & unitedly. Before long, the van was loaded & the first team of moms & children were ready to go to a nearby high school which was being set up as a shelter. Most of the men stayed back & continued to prepare for flooding or, if we received a direct hit, even more severe damage or total devastation. We had to decide what we absolutely needed to take & what we could try to store safely. Whew!--A very big job!
       One hour before Iniki hit, we put the final touches on the house & took care of our pets. Great gusts of wind nearly swept us off our feet as we tried to make our way to the vehicle. We made it out just in time. In the end, we weren't able to take much more than our bedding, food & water. We even had to leave most of our survival supplies behind. For the next nine hours, we shared the high school gymnasium with between 1,000 & 1,500 other people. As the winds mounted, we all expected the roof of the gymnasium to blow off any minute.
       We had taken our guitars & some witnessing tools, hoping that this would turn into a major witnessing opportunity. Once at the shelter, however, we found that most of our immediate neighbours were also there. We live in a very small, conservative community & had up to this point stayed low-key. In light of this, we realised that our sample would need to be our main witness. We were 11 adults & 28 kids in all, & when others saw our unity & how well we worked together, they were astonished. Some witnessed & sang quietly to the sheep we attracted while others tended to the babies & younger children. People were also amazed at how obedient & well-mannered our kids were in comparison to their own, who were nearly all running wild.
       Then the miracle happened! Iniki touched down on one corner of our island & caused considerable damage, but then, only minutes later, it veered back out to sea, totally missing both our house & the school where we had taken shelter. Hallelujah! We certainly felt the Family's prayers then & praised the Lord for His wonderful protection!
       "For He commandeth, & raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to & fro, & stagger like a drunken man, & are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, & He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, & for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psa.107:25-31).
       Several hours later, it was announced that the hurricane had been downgraded to a tropical storm & we were free to leave the shelter even though it was still raining very hard & the winds seemed as strong as ever. A couple of the men went to see the state of the house before moving back from the shelter. TTL, they found it virtually unscathed. Everything was still intact & there hadn't been any flooding at all. Even our little grass shack in the yard was in perfect condition, despite a number of trees having blown down around it. We all returned home the same night & camped out in the house without electricity.
       When we woke up the next morning, we faced a very big clean-up job outside! But we also realised that we needed to get out & witness to those on our island who were left homeless by the storm. Though we were spared, the storm had caused considerable damage to one coastal area of the island, which is where some of our close friends live. Three adults & all our JETTs gathered guitars, tools, food & whatever else we felt might be most needed & set out for the disaster area.
       All of our friends were fine--shaken, but very thankful that the Lord had protected them & their loved ones. They were so happy to see us as we hugged each other & shared testimonies & the Word, prayed, & sang songs. We also went to visit the homeless who live on the beaches which were hardest hit, & they were so thankful to receive Jesus, Posters & food. PTL!--A good witnessing opportunity!
       PRAYER REQUEST: For follow-up of those met & ministered to in the wake of Hurricane Iniki.

Copyright 1996 The Family