Smile Again

Smile Again Ministries is a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry, serving families who have lost a child, offering a retreat experience and counseling services to surviving parents and siblings.  Our mission is to help hurting people find peace and hope.

Storm Hits Smile Again Ministries

An incredibly strong thunder storm roared through Smile Again Ministry's  land last Thursday morning. A lightning strike about 50 feet from the lodge just exploded one tree. As you can see in the pictures above, lots of trees were blown down by strong winds. I've counted at least 15 large trees down so far.

Added to the storm was the fact that our electricity went out with the lightning strike at about 2:00 am. And we had a family staying with us at the time. We are so thankful that the two small children apparently heard nothing and slept through the whole thing. But waking up to total darkness and not having even running water was pretty tough. The family was scheduled to go home that morning, so after a rather improvised breakfast we were able to send them safely on their way. So thankful no one was hurt from the storm.

Boy did we learn some great lessons from this storm. First, how much we take electricity and water for granted. (By the way, our power didn't get restored until late Friday night at the lodge). We also realized how we missed the air conditioning on what were the hottest two days of the summer so far. Thankfully we have the lake, and Judy and I spent a LOT of Thursday in the water trying to stay cool. Needless to say, there was a LOT of rejoicing last night when the power came on.

We also learned again of the wonderful concern of others for Judy and me and the ministry here. Once word got out that our power was taking so long to get restored my brother-in-law went out of his way to get a small generator to bring in so that we could hook up our chest freezer that was filled with meat that two families had given us. It didn't take me very long to look online to find a back-up generator that could be used in the future if/when we have another power failure. Other people connected with us with prayer support.

God was SO faithful as well! One of the trees literally fell right next to our truck - didn't even scratch it. Another giant tree fell right next to our maintenance shed and another one fell next to our propane tank. One tree managed to nick the roof on the lodge, but didn't do any damage.

Now it's just hours of chain-sawing and clean-up. Pretty sure a lot of the trees are just going to have to wait until we have our fall workday in October (date to be announced).

Gotta run, still lots of clean-up to do just to get things in order for our next family. Please continue to pray for Judy and me as we minister to hurting moms and dads and surviving siblings here at Whitetail Lodge. God bless, we love you, Pat & Judy

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Background photo: the forest surrounding Whitetail Lodge,
Smile Again Ministries' retreat center.

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