Two massive hurricanes criss-crossed the State of Florida within three weeks at the cost of many lives and billions of dollars in business and personal property loses. Hurricane Charley made its devastating mark three weeks before Hurricane Frances riveted the country as it cut a long and tortuous path through the state.

 

Floridians began mopping up on Tuesday with thousands joining long lines for ice, water, fuel and groceries: Ice to help people cool down in Florida's subtropical summer heat; water to replace the contaminated tap water in many areas; fuel where few gas stations remain open after hundreds of thousands of customers drained the fuel supply to power their generators; and groceries since the stores have not been restocked since residents depleted them in anticipation of the impending storm.

 

Damages to the Citizenry of Florida

 

Power outages affected 2.5 million customers - close to a third of the state's total population. More than 4,900 National Guard troops were deployed and prepared to shift from providing security to distributing humanitarian aid. Both hurricanes killed people, tore roofs off the houses that remained standing, ripped away car ports, tiles and patios, uprooted trees and downed power lines across the state. Frances may have done more harm to the state's $9.1 billion citrus industry than Charley, which caused at least $150 million in damages.

 

American Red Cross volunteers are helping Floridians cope with the largest evacuation in state history—2.8 million people were ordered from their homes as Hurricane Frances approached. The Red Cross, along with the partnership of the Salvation Army and Operation Blessing, has served more than 4.5 million meals to date.

 

Damages to Global Pastors Network

 

Across the state, a number of churches and homes of GPN members were destroyed and others suffered severe damages. GPN Curriculum Chair and Board Member, Pastor Tom Mullins of Palm Beach Gardens, was seen on national CBS news reporting on the damage to his congregation in Palm Beach Gardens.

 

The offices of the Global Pastors Network and many affiliate support staff were closed for nearly two weeks due to the two hurricanes, and many staff members suffered electrical outages even longer.

Charley's damage was a surprise in its severity. Most GPN staff members suffered structure or water damage to their homes. For Hurricane Frances, GPN staffers evacuated the area or went home to wait out the storm, with their computers and work with them, in brave hopes of keeping the ministry going regardless of the storm. Electrical power was resumed on Wednesday, September 8, in the GPN offices at Campus Crusade for Christ.

The real damage to GPN has come from critical operations, such as the re-launch of the GPN web site, which has been delayed at tremendous costs. Additional delays have occurred in work on Digital Training Courses, work on GPN events and many promotional projects that had been underway.

 

What You Can Do To Help

 

We are rejoicing in the goodness of God to protect our staff members and equipment. At the same time, we realize He is aware of our need to replace the estimated $48,000 that we have lost in revenues as a direct result of these two storms. God's answer to our needs often comes through people around us, so today we ask our many friends and GPN members for financial help.

 

Please consider including GPN in your benevolence giving this month, to help us at this critical time. Regardless of how large or small, your generous response will make a tremendous difference for us, and we deeply appreciate you for thinking of us.

To make a financial donation, send a check to "GPN Hurricane Relief," 100 Lake Hart Dr., Dept 3800, Orlando, 32832, or call toll free 888-295-4518 to make a credit card gift.