by the prayers of St. John S&SF
One GOC parish family with 2 small children, living in a flood zone surrounded by the waters of Tampa Bay and had to evacuate their home because the area was due for a direct hit by Hurricane Irma.. Their priest, Fr. George Liadis, called at the last minute offering the family to stay in his home some 26 miles away, instead of going to a public storm shelter. The hurricane was due to pass over the county late Sunday night so it was decided to have Divine Liturgy for the parishioners on Saturday, as the weather was expected to be very bad the next day, and it would be dangerous to travel. The members of the St. John of Kronstadt parish in Bunnel, Fl., who lived on Florida's west coast, had been given permission by Metropolitan Demetrius to have services at Fr. George's home every other Sunday, as a economy, since they had been making the 200 mile one way trip every Sunday and high holy days for the past year. So on Saturday a Divine service was performed and also a Supplicatory Canon to our Wonderworker St. John Maximovich (who saved thousands of faithful in an island in the Philippiness by his prayers when lethal typhoons were heading their way) was performed praying for protection. Again on Sunday morning Fr. George, his wife, and the family had church again and prayed. That night the wind and rain picked up drastically and the electrical power went out.
However the hurricane was downgraded from a category 5 to a 2, but still very rough weather outside all night. Monday morning was the Beheading of St. John the Baptist and they held services again in Fr. George's home church, then all went out to see the damages that the storm had wrought. A couple of trees had to be cut down, lots of tree limbs all over, 5 sections of fence blew down, and a bit of roof damage. The next day Tuesday the police department was called asking about the condition of the family's neighborhood. They said it was safe to go back, that the expected storm surge never happen as the winds blew it in the opposite direction! The family returned home still thinking there may be at least some wind damage to their home,but there was no damage at all, nothing save some tree branches in the yard, even the electrical power worked!
Fr. George said everyone was protected through the prayers of Sts. John The Baptist and St. John of San Francisco and Shanghai. The East coast parishioners and the main church also suffered no major damages.
Fr. George related the story from the Old Testament about when Abraham was visited by the three Angels, who told him they would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asked if they would spare the cities if they found just a few righteous souls, even just one, and they told him, yes, for the sake of only one it would be spared, (but they could not find even one).
God spared us through the prayers of the Saints and our own and even those around us. Even if only one person would believe and pray for God's help, even those who didn't believe would reap the benefits.