As many of you may have heard by now, we are dealing with our very first hurricane here in the Bahamas. We are in the direct path of Matthew. Matthew is New Providence’s very first, direct-on hit, category 3-4 hurricane since 1929. A category 1 hurricane is dangerous enough, but this category 3-4 hurricane can be catastrophic for this tiny 7 mile x 21 mile island. There is no precedence and the fear is that people will not take this one seriously.
We should begin seeing affects of the storm around 2pm tomorrow which happens to be high tide. This does not bode well for New Providence, especially for us that live on the low lands on the south side of the island. The storm is arriving from the south and will cause a storm surge of 15-18 feet. Because we are only .5 mile from the ocean and are on flat ground (near sea level) we will not be staying here. We are going to higher ground on the north side of the island. We will be staying with our pastor and his family.
We have been working over these last 2 days to get the Camp secure (We have done the best we can, and though not what we would like, we have to leave the rest in God’s hands). Today I finished up packing our house and moving many things to loft areas around Camp. Tim and Aaron worked cutting wood and boarding up windows.
Please pray as we finish up our “getting ready” tomorrow and that we are able to finish well and get out of here by noon when things start deteriorating. We still have quite a bit to do. We are exhausted (I essentially packed our house alone today while Tim and Aaron boarded up windows).
Please pray for safety. We pray that life is preserved and that no one is hurt. (All staff here are evacuating to the north side of the island). If you could see how some people live here and know how stubborn people can be (they will not heed warning to leave), you can imagine that loss of life in the South Beach area is a real possibility.
Pray for the aftermath. For smaller hurricanes that have not hit this island directly, power outages can last weeks and months. Infrastructure is such that repairs take a lot of time and some times just don’t get done. We are concerned for the inconvenience of it but also for the affect it will have on this ministry.
Please pray for miraculous care of the facility both here and at the Centre and pray that the animals live. We have no way to secure them for this type of storm. We are afraid for them. It saddens us. But we are doing everything we can do safely.
I am not sure when we will be able to communicate again. We will keep you posted as much as and as soon as we can.
Thank you for your prayers!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley