Somewhere between when I left for Greensboro, NC on Saturday early afternoon on October 3rd and the morning of Sunday, October 4th, the storm hit. The 1,000 Year Flood, as our Governor Nikki Haley called it. Thankfully I was safely in a hotel room in NC, as I had a women's ministry event on Saturday night and aSundaymorning church concert. I texted my pet sitter as soon as my alarm went off to ask how things wereSundaymorning. No response. I texted again. Still no response. It was still early. So I did what any woman would do to find out what was going on in my world. I clicked on Facebook. And the first person to show up in my newsfeed was a college classmate whose status showed a picture of her home about halfway under water and her status saying, "It looks like we have lost everything." Later I would realize her home was right down the road in my own neighborhood. I then texted my pet sitter again, "Is my house under water?" Finally I received a text from him saying, "I'm sorry to tell you this, Ms. Dawn, but there is a tree on your house." Then came the pictures.A huge oak tree had literally been uprooted and had crashed onto my house. At that moment I was not sure what to do...get in my car immediately and drive the 3 hours home in the torrential rain, canceling on the church I had made a commitment to at the last minute, or carry on as planned, trusting the Lord to take care of both. My pet sitter's father then called me and told me to go ahead with my ministry, and they would take care of my home. How grateful I am for their gracious kindness to me. John, Elaine and their son Carter Taylor (who is one of 2 of my pet sitters) went above and beyond anythingI could have expected or hoped for. They came in and thankfully found both of my pets (dog Cookie, cat Zoey) safely in the basement, frightened, but fine. They went up into my attic as the rain poured mercilessly into my home, placing plastic trash bags, along with buckets, trash cans and plastic bins to catch the rain. Then they did the same in my office, guest bedroom, my bedroom and hall. Had they not done that, the damage would be so much worse. I see the hand of God all over our situation. Before Ileft, as I do every single time I drive out of my driveway to go minister overnight, I asked the Lord to protect my home and my pets. He did just that. Though I will need a new roof, structural damage repaired, ceilings, door frames, walls, and hardwood floors repaired, I am blessed that my homeowners' insurance will cover all of that, unlike so many families, even in my own neighborhood, who have lost everything and don't have flood insurance coverage. The front bedroom where the tree hit used to be Ross's bedroom, and I see the Lord's protection in keeping that tree off of the house until he was grown and out on his own. There was flooding all the waydown into Hannah's bedroom in the basement below his, and thankfully, she, too, is away and living on her own as a Clemson student. So grateful that I was not here, but sleeping safely in my hotel room in NC. Of all the times this could have happened, the Father was most gracious to me and my family.
What I began to see on the news for a solid week were brothers and sisters reaching out and helping their neighbors, whether they know them or not. I showed up on the doorstep of a couple in my neighborhood whom I had never met, but simply was made aware of their situation after a friend told me about them. She was volunteering with Operation Blessing, and asked if I could go there as no one had made it to them yet. I offered to wash any of their laundry for them, in hopes that though they had lost everything, their clothes, bedding, linens,etc. could be salvaged. My washer and dryer did not stop for 5 days straight. My aunt joined in and paid for all of their dry cleaning to be done. Seems I have become their personal "laundry lady" as each time I have called to deliver another load of clean clothes, I am given a few more loads to do. And of course Zoey was right in the middle of it all offering her usual "help."
I had to laugh when I showed up with another load of clean clothes, and the wife said to her friend who was there to help her, "I want you to meet my angel who showed up to do my laundry, whom I had never met, "Dawn Jorgen." To which her friend laughingly replied, "No, this is not Dawn Jorgen, but Dawn Smith Jordan, the singer. I know who this is." I actually loved that the woman had no idea who I was other than a fellow sister in Christ who had done what little she could do, which is what we all must do. Because truly, while their home was completely flooded, all of their belongings were on the street to be picked up as trash, they are currently in a hotel as their lives are torn apart not only by the flood, but as her husband is also battling leukemia. My being their "laundry lady" is just a drop in the bucket. A VERY big bucket.
Yet I see people being pointed to Jesus, and for me, a follower of His since I was 9 years old, once again, He, as only He can, is "causing all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." (Romans8:28)
My roof and home will be repaired, the couple down the street will rebuild their home, but it will take time. But more importantly, the lives that were spared are being touched will be potentially changed for all of eternity, and for that, I am grateful to be a part of His Kingdom purposes in the midst of this literal storm.
So many kind friends, facebook friends, the folks at the bank and post office have recently asked me, "So have you gotten your house all back together now and everything back to normal?" As I sit here writing this article under the rain-soaked ceiling in my office covered in water marks, I have given that some thought. The answer is no, my roof still has tarps on it covering the 3 holes the tree caused, the tree took the tree removal people 4 days to get down, but thankfully it is off of the house, still lying in my front yard awaiting my friends who said they would like to have it for fire wood, the stump grinder is working as I write, the insurance company, roofer, contractor, my mortgage company and I are all working to get all the necessary paperwork to its proper places so the process of repairs can begin. I'm hoping the roof will be the first thing to get fixed in about 2 weeks. It takes time. Time to mourn for many who literally lost just about everything but their lives. Time to work through the wreckage and mess of the storm. Time to rebuild, repair, and heal. But in time, it will happen.
We will never forget the week of the flood, or the weeks that have followed. Schools were out for an entire week, work places closed due to roads and bridges being literally washed away. Countless dams broke. I had to literally go around our entire city to make it home thatSundayfrom NC, barely making it before those very roads I traveled were closed. Our city and state were on national news for a week as the headlining story. The Weather Channel came, as did Al Roker, and Lester Holt, broadcasting live from my home town.
It will be a long process for many as they figure out what their new normal is. As we each have served, worked together, prayed, pitched in where we could, we have truly only scratched the surface. Me washing laundry for a precious couple in my neighborhood is nothing. It brings me to my knees and to tears as everywhere I look, I am reminded it truly is just a drop in the bucket. But I realize that if each of us keeps adding our drop in the bucket, together we are making a difference.
The Scripture on my daily flip calendarby my kitchen sink read this on October 4th, the day after the flood, "Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil." I am convinced that no storm comes into our lives but that the Father, through His loving sovereignty, has allowed. His promises remain. And He is working all these things together. For good. And for His glory. Do I understand? No.
But for today, we trust God in the waiting, in the working, and we will never forget the storm that hit our beloved city of Columbia and state of South Carolina. Nor will we forget the way our Faithful Father has been with us through this storm. His faithfulness in the past proves His faithfulness in this present, and in the future we are yet to see. Trust Him today in your own storm, my friend. He will be found faithful. Isaiah 43:2 says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you." Remember, we are only passing through, and He is with us.
On the Homefront:
A lot going on here this month on the home front, but mainly dealing with the flood and the aftermath. Hannah enjoyed a few days off from school on her fall break staying in Clemson. Ross got a new job working at Eddie Merlot's (a lot like our Miyabi's here where he worked, but on a higher scale) in Denver and is really enjoying being in the fine dining industry there. I took in the movie "War Room" with my aunt and we bothabsolutely loved it. The SC State Fair, a favorite and family tradition took place here in Columbia, so I stopped by for lunch and got a few of my favorite things.
I am looking forward to the month of November as I will have several opportunities to get to spend some time with Hannah. OnNovember 21sther bridesmaids are throwing her a bridal shower and my sweet friend Sharon will be hosting it at her home in town. The girls will be coming in the night before and staying here. Then on the 22nd, Hannah will be presenting her Clemson senior project as a part of her internship at the Clemson University Equine Center, also sponsored by the Watson Family Clemson Equine Assisted Therapy Program. The Fall Fun Horse Show will be a Celebration of Ability for special needs riders and riders with disabilities as they compete. I'm very proud of her hard work for this worthy cause, and am looking forward to attending. Then she and Clayton will be coming home for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I am very excited to have them, and of course Blue, my beloved grand dog. This will be the first Thanksgiving that Ross will not be with us, as he will be staying in Denver. How grateful I am for our former SC neighbors/friends who live just around the corner from him, Becky and Mike Shepherd, for taking in Ross and Brianna and being their family away from home. I'm looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to take some time off from teaching and traveling, start decorating for Christmas, and just enjoy time with family and friends.
"I thank my God every time I remember you." (Philippians 1:3) Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours,
Ministry at a Glance:
October has been a month of transition as Allison Hodge and I began working together, figuring out this new way of running the ministry between us. I am so grateful to say it has gone very well. She is officially my Administrative Assistant, handling all of the contracts, promotional materials, billing, the newsletter email list, and newsletter design and mailing. I am learning how to manage my own scheduling, and so far so good. This is a change I believe the Lord has led me to for this season of ministry, and am grateful for His guidance. I'm so thankful that Allison also feels this job is the Father's perfect provision for her and her family as well, as she is able to work flexible hours around being a wife and mother of 2 little girls.
October 3rd I was blessed to return to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Pleasant Garden, NC for their beautiful annual Ladies' Holiday Hospitality Dinner and reconnect with pastor's wife/women's ministry director Debe Tobin whom I love dearly. There were over 350 women there that night! October 4th I shared aSundaymorning concert at GospelBaptist Church in Archdale, NC, where I had been a few times over the years. It was a difficult decision to stay and share in the midst of the flood going on at home and the tree on my home, but God was so faithful to enable me to do what He had called me to do regardless of those circumstances.
On October 18th I was in concert at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Ridge Spring, SC where one of my precious voice students and her sweet mama surprised me and came. Sara Miller and her mom Belinda are such a joy, and I love seeing young people who love Jesus and use their gifts and talents for Him. The highlight of the evening was when I invited Sara to come up on stage and play and sing a song for the attendees.
October 23rd had me at Cross Roads Baptist Church in Easley, SC for their first Ladies' Holiday Hospitality Dinner where I was able to reconnect with Sharon Henry, pastor's wife/women's ministry director who had me years earlier for the same event in their previous church. How I love her and was so blessed to hear all about her daughter's wedding as we visited at the table together. They had 185 women at this their first event, and it was such a beautiful evening.
While in Easley I was also able to visit with my college roommate, Julie Caldwell. She and her family are moving from their home of 20 years to Greenville, SC. I am so glad I was able to see her while I was there.
To close out the month I shared a concerton Sundaymorning, October 25th at Community Bible Church in Gilbert, SC, and then at Greater Heights Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC that evening. It was a special celebration for that church as they had a mortgage burning. The pastor and his wife, Danny and Naomi Holley, are friends, as Hannah and I went on the Miss SC Cruise when Hannah was Miss Lexington Teen 2010, with Naomi and their daughter Morgan, who also competed that year. Now she and Hannah are both Clemson seniors, so it was fun to catch up with them.
November is going to have me crazy busy, and your prayers for health, strength, travel mercies, and the Lord's anointing on each ministry opportunity would be greatly appreciated. OnNovember 6thI am flying to Pittsburg, PA to get a rental car and drive to Knox, PA where I will be speaking/singing for the Knox Ladies' Seminar onNov. 7th, returning after being their guest soloist years ago. Sundaymorning,Nov. 8th, I will be in concert that morning at Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Corsica, PA before flying home. OnWednesday, Nov. 11th, I will fly to Dallas, TX to share a concert that evening at First United Methodist Church in Corsicana, TX, then fly to Midland, TX on the 12th to speak/sing for Grace Christian Fellowship's Ladies' Holiday Event in Odessa, TX. Saturday, Nov. 14th, I am delighted to be returning to Life Change Baptist Church's Ladies' Home for the Holidays in Odessa, TX, then staying over to speak for theirSundaymorning ladies'Sundayschool and sing in their worship serviceNov. 15thbefore flying home. I'm especially looking forward to reconnecting with Cathy Thomason, pastor's wife/women's ministry director who God really used in my life personally last year when I was there. The last event for the month will be on Nov. 20th, at Southside Baptist Church in Florence, SC for their Home for the Holidays Women's Ministry Event, where I was a few years ago, and looking forward to returning. May each place be exactly what the Father desires it to be for the specific people He will have there. May I be sensitive to His leading, obedient, and a vessel of honor for Him and His glory alone.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs17:22
-As I sat at the table at a recent women's ministry event, a mother of a bride-to-be asked me to remind her what year I had been Miss South Carolina. "1986," I replied. To which her daughter, the future bride responded, "That was the year I was born!" Yes, I am officially old.
-At a sound check before a concert recently, I asked the sound man about himself, and he said he was at Clemson in the Chemistry Dept. To which I said, "Oh, you must know my future son-in-law, Clayton Little, who is also in the Chemistry Dept. What year are you?" "I am a professor," he said. Come to find out he is not only a professor, a husband, father, and 35 years old. When a 35-year-old college professor looks like a college student to you, once again, you become keenly aware that you are officially old.
Concert Calendar Update:
Only three open Sundays for a Christmas Concert left this year:
11/29 a.m. & p.m.
12/6 p.m. (in Elgin, SC a.m.)
12/20 a.m. (in West Columbia, SC p.m.)
If your church would like to have me come and share a Christmas concert, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or call(803)772-7747. I'd love to come celebrate the most wonderful time of the year but most importantly the Greatest Gift given, the Lord Jesus with your church. Please take a moment to click on this link below as I share a brief testimony and the song, "Your Presence for Christmas." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BHn5yIYE8I
Purchase 1 "Your Presence for Christmas" my 2014 CD with guitarist Jerry Sims, and receive our 2009 CD "Christmas With You" for FREE! Offer good only through November.
11. Frosty the Snowman-Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (guitar solo)
12. Silent Night
13. Bethlehem Morning
Dawn's Blog Amazing Grace Notes
My new blog is entitled "Amazing Grace Notes," and I would love to invite you to join me athttp://dawnsmithjordan.blogspot.com/ for regular updates. Tax-Deductible Gifts
As you are prayerfully consider giving a special year-end gift, remember all gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, Jordan Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Make your donation to Jordan Ministries, and mail them to P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063. Thank you for partnering with us through your financial gifts and prayers.
The Mailing Address is:
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, PO Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Knox Ladies Seminar
Keystone High School
Pisgah Presbyterian Church
First United Methodist Church
Ladies Holiday Event
Grace Christian Fellowship
November 14 & 15
Ladies' Home for the Holidays
Life Change Baptist Church
12:00-2:00pm (Nov. 14)
9:00am worship (Nov. 15)
10:15am Ladies S.S. (Nov. 15)
Ladies' Home for the Holidays
Southside Baptist Church
Follow Dawn onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
A Note from Allison
I was recently reading in 2 Chronicles 19 where King Jehoshaphat was being attacked by the very people God had not allowed the children of Israel to drive out as they took the promised land. In verse 12 he says "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." God then speaks to His children through Jahaziel saying "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." The story continues and the armies end up attacking themselves and God's children never had to enter battle. Instead, they watched as God protected them, defeated the army and in the end King Jehoshaphat and his men carried off all the plunder of the armies that were set on attacking them. Here were God's children, facing ultimate defeat by the very people God didn't allow them to drive out; but instead, he spared them. Rather than dying that day, they took 3 days carrying off all the plunder of their enemies.
As I read this God began showing me how we as Christians often feel like we need to "drive out" situations, people, faults, etc before us. But God says no, wait, don't do it, leave it alone. Then, it seems to come back to bite us. A co-worker we could report, a sin to point out to our spouse, a child that needs "tough love" and later these situations cause us trouble or hurt. But if we stop and let God fight the battle for us, the rewards are so much greater. Just think, if the children of Israel had defeated these enemies when they first entered the promise land maybe they would have defeated them, maybe not. But...how much greater was the plunder, the "take away" years later. Sometimes God's reward will be sweeter, greater, more if we wait for Him to fight our battle. So pray, ask God if you should wait and let Him handle it before you decide take care of your enemy yourself.