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Hurricane Matthew


The eye of the hurricane was about 30 miles from Savanette. Since we had days of warning , we had Smiley prepare the best he could to keep people there safe. We had designed the Leatherman Conference center to be a hurricane proof building - of course hoping we would never have to test it. It proved to exceed our expectations. 700-1000 people sheltered there through the worst of the storm and thankfully we had no injuries-for that we are so grateful!! Smiley bought food in advance so was able to feed the people through the storm. For 24 hours we had no communication with him since phone lines are not dependable even in the best of times. hundreds of people fervently prayed for the community. When we finally talked to him, he shared incredible devastation in the community. He told us he could find only a house or two that was left intact. All had lost roofs or the houses had completely collapsed. People lost all of their meager belongings. Our school roof is gone. Our clinic roof is gone. The beautiful orchard the gardeners were so proud of is gone. One whole side of fence posts are down. Miraculously the half finished sewing center had only very minor damage. Through our tears at the losses, we are incredibly grateful people were unharmed in the conference center which was the only safe place in the area.

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