Hurrican Irene

 Butch Almsted serves with me on the Board of International Missions.  Butch was the chairman of the Board of World Missions for many years and a great servant of Christ and the Church.  While we were preparing for the Board meeting coming this week Butch had decided to stay and ride out hurricane Irene at his home in North Carolina.  He sent his grand kids and their families home and he and his wife decided to stick it out as long as Irene was a 1 or 2.  If she got to three he said ‘then we are out of here too”.  I thought of him often as I watched the Weather Channel people in the surf and wind not far from where Butch lived. 

At any rate he made it and all is well but I found his description of the aftermath fascinating.  He decided to stay and help clean up.  Here is a part of his description of the disaster, spelling and all.  Remember he was without power and communication for a while and was in a hurry to get this out because we were to ahve a conference call about some things that we are working on for BIM.

Still have service this am. Will see if they still plan on during major work
late am and early pm. Problem is the labor day weekend is big business and
they want to have everything working to get the vacationers in. good part of
the island is still shut down. Once hurricane leaves so does the news. Major
impact is on the locals who work here. Many people we know were flooded out
with 3-6 feet of water on the sound side of the island  ocean side where we
have our home had no flooding but major wind and rain damage  Unbelievable
stories of people helping. You can see the Christian influence and mercy at

Could we now leave, yes but do not wan to  A friend of ours who does work
for us is just starting repairs on our home and I need to help in particular
to get the roof repaired before rain comes in this weekend

While the destruction on the sound side is significant to the locals nothing
like what Judy and I experienced in Banda Ashe after the sunnami when we
went over to help. As you know mercy efforts or a great entre to witness
when people ask why you are helping. Another reason to stay
I had numerous notes on the drafts but with no Internet cannot send out. Let
me know how the discussion went if I cannot get on. Is there a number I can
call later on Friday or over the weekend once the power is on and hopefully
everything is up and running. Amazing how the need for “filthy lucre” drives
the work. All about getting areas ready for vacationers and their money and
the locals who need the work get ignored. As a non-local but two people who
are considered by the locals as locals we stayed and helped.

“Once the hurricane leaves so does the news”.  Classic.  As Bill Sharpe wrote about Minot being the “Forgotten City” (September 1, 2011) we could say that once the water leaves so does the news. Add to all this is something I call “compassion burn out”.  After thirty of fourty disasters our brains shut down and we don’t hear the message.  If is hard to remember all the different disasters that have fallen on us just this summer.

We continue to try and get help for Minot and people like Butch will continue to “stay and help”.  Thank God for protecting him and his family and continue to pray for Minot and all the other areas struck by disaster.  Christ’s love compells us and the needs are immense.