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Storm Wrecks Family’s Home and Livelihood

Nearly a year after Hurricane Michael pounded Florida’s gulf coast, victims are still trying to recover.  

Among them are retired Navy Master Chief Garth and his wife Sandy and children. Garth had retired after 22 years just a few months before the storm. The family looked forward to starting a new chapter in Panama City Florida, instead, their home was destroyed and is still unlivable today.  The Sinclairs are not alone.  

Sandy says, “It's heartbreaking. I mean, it's been so many months and there are so many places that haven't even been touched. And there are so many people hurting.

Garth replies, “I think the worst part was the uncertainty, the "what next?" all of the questions that start to pile up in your mind. It just overwhelms you. Every day, don’t know.  Every day, more questions. “don’t know”.  And the answers were still, “I don’t know”. It’s been tough. Really tough.”

To make things worse, the base, were garth worked as a government contractor, was forced to close after the storm.  Garth went without a paycheck for two months.  Plus, their home owner’s insurance didn’t cover nearly all their losses.  The couple leaned on each other and their faith in God.

Garth said, "I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning without the hope that my faith brings.  God's got us. He's going to take care of us. We don’t know what it’s going to look like but god's not going to let us fall."

Garth and Sandy’s prayers were answered when Baypoint Church in Panama City contacted cbn’s helping the home front for assistance.  Pastor Ben Lilies invited the couple over to give them good news.

Pastor Ben says, “The first thing I want to tell you is everything out-of-pocket expenses that the insurance didn't cover, we are going to be covering for you.

Sandy says, “Wow. That’s like a huge burden lifted.

Pastor Ben continues, “There's more. Due to the stress that your family has been under, we are also going to be covering approximately two months of your loss of wages and the income that you had as a result of the hurricane. We are going to help you recover. To kind of give a chance to breathe. We want to provide you guys some margin in life.”

Garth replies, “It's just overwhelming. We're just kind of struggle through this whole situation like everybody else.  And trying not to be a burden to anybody else either in our struggle. It’s going to change our outlook, it’s going to change our outlook.  It’s going to help our family a lot.”

A few weeks later work began on their home.  Garth and Sandy were able to pay the contractors without going into debt.

Garth concludes, “This seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. It will definitely help us to move forward.  A lot of the burden is behind us.  All of those questions that the answer seemed to be, "I don't know?" the answer is yes, we'll be okay thanks to CBN.”

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