Lynn Haven UMC (LHUMC), located in the heart of the Hurricane Michael devastation, knows the pain and heartache of losing everything. On October 10, 2018, Michael was relentless with its power. Many members of Lynn Haven UMC lost their homes, business, jobs and their church home. Since last fall, the church has met in the parking lot and now meets at Bay Haven Charter Academy to continue ministry in the best way they can. Just days after the storm made landfall, the church was distributing supplies and meals to their neighbors.
After seeing the complete devastation Hurricane Dorian left behind in the Bahamas, the LHUMC family immediately mobilized and identified Bahamas Methodist Habitat as the best way to help.
On Sunday, September 8, 2019, LHUMC collected a special offering during communion designated for the Bahamas Methodist Habitat. The church communicated to the members that they would use church mission funds to match their individual contributions up to $2,500. The initial offering was over $8,800; meaning at least $11,300 will be sent to the relief effort. To date, the congregation has collected over $10,000 and anticipates even more money to be collected through online and text efforts.
"I am amazed by God's providence and the faithfulness of His people called Methodists," stated Rev. Craig Carter, lead pastor at Lynn Haven UMC. "He has provided for us so generously over the past eleven months and He led us to dedicate the offering to Bahamas Methodist Habitat even before we heard that would be our conference's partner. Perhaps someday soon we can even send a team to help them so we can 'pay forward' the help we've received."
Despite not having a physical church home, Lynn Haven UMC continues to look beyond the "walls" of the church to serve others.
Carter continued, "We've already contacted the Bahamas Methodist Habitat to let them know assistance is on the way and to testify that the Lord will provide for them even as He has provided for us. Hurricane Michael took a lot away from us but it also gave us a compassionate and generous spirit that we believe mirrors our Father's heart. To God be the glory!"