This past September we moved from Maryland to Georgia due to Army orders. We took a fun 2 week family vacation on the way here, and then settled (so we thought) in a little town called Townsend near the coast of Georgia. It was a cute little town, but evidently it was not meant to be our home.
Before the storm
Just a couple weeks after moving here, Hurricane Matthew headed this way. I know there are a lot of people that are quite familiar with hurricanes, but we’d never been this close to one before. In Texas, we had tornados. In Maryland, we went through a record-setting blizzard. In North Carolina, we lived far enough inland that all we ever had was lots of rain during a hurricane. But this time, we were only about 10 miles from the coast of Georgia. Right where the hurricane was headed.
As it got closer, I just kept feeling like we should move further inland. After all, we live in a camper. It’s portable. Why stick around if we can move out of the danger zone? I truly believe that the Holy Spirit was urging me with this. I love how God communicates with us when we are trying to listen to him. I had this feeling in my gut that was so strong I had no doubts about it. So, I started looking for campgrounds further west. We couldn’t go too far because I knew the Army would still want Rob to show up for work, but I found a place that was much further inland and looked like a good location. I called to make reservations for a couple days later, and it was God’s perfect timing that I did so when I did.
The next day, mandatory evacuations started for places on the coast, and campgrounds started to fill up as people either moved their RV homes, or left their “sticks & bricks” home in their RVs. We were 1 mile away from the mandatory evacuation line, but then a couple days later even our area became mandatory. By then, all the campgrounds were FULL. I was so thankful I listened to the urging when I did.
It turns out, it was a GREAT move for us. I can only give God the glory for using the storm to bring us here. We arrived at Beaver Run RV Park on Wednesday, October 5. We had a couple days to get settled before the storm was to arrive. The community at the park came together for a potluck dinner, and prayers about the upcoming storm. What I didn’t realize when we made the reservation was that the park is owned by a Christian family. I loved that we all came together to meet our neighbors and pray together before the storm hit.
During the storm
That Friday, October 7, Matthew was scheduled to arrive. We had done all we could do to prepare. Our fresh water tank was FULL. Our propane tanks were FULL. We had plenty of food on hand, and coffee of course! Rob was off work that day, so we sat around playing games and watching the weather channel all day.
Rob and I made a pot of coffee and planned to stay up all night watching it just in case we needed to make a run for it. Our area was forecasted to get tropical storm winds and some flooding. We prepared ourselves and our stuff in case we needed to make a quick run for the truck to get out of dodge. If that had happened, we’d have left the camper behind. Thankfully we never had to leave here. Saturday morning at 1:00 AM, we lost power, and we had to listen to pine cones and some smaller branches falling on our camper all night, but all in all, it wasn’t too bad. Once we lost power, we decided to lay down and sleep if we could. Emily had already been asleep for a long time and was peacefully unaware. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t too hot, so we opened some windows for some fresh air.
All night long, I prayed. Not as much for us to be protected, but that I wouldn’t be fearful. God controls the storms, and I knew that no matter what, he was with us. A verse that really stuck out to me during this time was:
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
After the storm
Saturday, we surveyed the damage, and we were all ok. Rob’s truck got a small dent from a branch falling on it, but it’s so old it doesn’t matter. Only 1 camper here got damaged, and NO ONE got hurt. I felt so much better once I saw that even a pop-up camper was still standing the next day. God is good, all the time!
We spent that next day helping to clean up around the campground – picking up branches, moving tree parts, etc. We had clean water, plenty of food and gas to cook with, so we were totally fine even though we had no power for 43 hours. Can’t complain – we weren’t hurt and didn’t have to suffer. The temps even cooled down at night so it got cold with the windows down. Glad it wasn’t crazy hot for all those without power. A great thing about the camper is that the stove & oven run on gas and the fridge can be electric or gas. So even without power, we could use our fridge, keep the food cold, and cook like normal.
Eating breakfast outside after the storm
Getting creative making coffee. No power, and no french press so we boiled water on the gas stove and poured it though the coffee maker.
After the storm passed, we decided not to return to our previous campground. We discussed it as a family and even gave Emily the final choice. We’ve moved her around so much that we wanted her to have a say in this. We’d already started looking for churches and activities in the first place, so it would mean starting all over. It would mean Rob had to commute an additional 10 minutes to work (we were now on the opposite side of post, and a little further away), but he was willing to do it.
She wanted to stay. We all agreed that it felt like we were HOME. The co-owners (who own the place with her parents) have a couple kids that are homeschooled. Emily was having a blast playing with them. The camp has a cool playground here and it’s just a super friendly environment. They do regular potlucks and other events and it feels like a community. Many of the people here are regulars, so they really are like a family. The grounds are absolutely beautiful with lots of trees and a very woodsy feel to the sites. The individual sites are huge so we have lots of room, and there is a pond for swimming.
Our new home at Beaver Run RV Park – I think we’re going to love it here!