FORT MYERS, Florida — On Sunday morning, several dozen seniors trickled into a shattered Fort Myers church not far from where Hurricane Ian made landfall a few days earlier.
Outside lay an overturned Jeep and dumpsters blown into a tree line. A nearby discount mall and a mobile home park lay in tatters. Power lines dangled over a road leading to Sanibel Island, cut off by a destroyed bridge.
Under Southwest Baptist’s toppled steeple were soaked floors and holes in the roof. Bible pages fanned out to dry. In the chapel, displaced members slept on makeshift beds made of chairs and boiled water with propane burners.
The church insisted on holding a service – even if it had to be held outside – for a vulnerable community thunderstruck by loss and trauma.
As they arrived, the mostly white-haired retirees exchanged hugs and tears, happy to find solace and make sense of the disaster around them.
“It’s terrible. We lost everything,” said Emery Lewis, 78, whose house was destroyed. “We’re just fortunate this pastor has let us stay here.”
Click here to read more.
Source: USA Today