We Never Saw This Coming: What Happened After the Storm

Words and photos by Steve Timmons, Facilities Manager 

Maybe it was His way of saying, “Watch me bless you.”

On Sunday, June 30, we lost air conditioning in both the sanctuary and one hall of the 3rd floor. Not terribly surprising given the age of those systems, but not terribly pleasant, either, because it was the middle of the summer in Virginia! Two days later a third air conditioning system overheated, prompting a call to the fire department (what a large, loud, and bright response!). They determined that the church building was suffering from some sort of internal electrical failure and ordered power to the building shut off until any and all electrical problems could be repaired. We were down three AC systems, facing a potentially overwhelming building power system repair bill, with no idea of how we were going to pay for it all.
As we investigated these failures, God’s blessings started to manifest themselves. First, we discovered that a transformer across the street had failed, most likely due to a series of thunderstorms that passed through our area the previous Saturday evening. This information meant that we did not have electrical problems within the building that needed to be repaired. Still, the transformer failure caused a cascading series of damage to a total of six AC systems. And, keep in mind that the existing sanctuary AC units were installed when I was in middle school! (yes, we had AC “back then”) The age of these units meant that they could only be replaced, not repaired. Adding to the challenge was the prospect that we would have to knock a large hole in a sanctuary brick wall in order to install replacement parts. The power company refused to accept any responsibility for the damage, so we searched for, and continued to pray for, a tolerable financial solution to an almost six-figure problem.
God’s blessings manifested themselves again through the ingenuity of our AC contractor who determined that by custom-manufacturing some of the interior sanctuary parts, we would not have to make a hole in the brick wall. Then, God’s blessings fully blossomed when, while discussing our situation with our insurance company, we learned that they would cover all expenses associated with the lightning strike. God turned what first appeared to be a near-disaster into an overwhelming blessing! In reality, we are doubly blessed, since without this event, we would have had to replace these systems in the next two or three years on our own. But God took that burden from us in a most wonderful way, in a way only He can!

About the Author 
Steve is the Facilities Manager for GCC, joining the staff in 2018 after retiring back to Lynchburg following 20 years in the United States Air Force and 10 years at the National Security Agency. He also volunteers with the worship and local outreach teams.  He and his wife Leisa are strategically located between their three grown children and three grandchildren (with another on the way – yay!) in Maryland and North Carolina.  When he’s not working on these old buildings, he’s working on his old house, visiting kids/grandkids, traveling the world with his parents, practicing guitar, or wishing he could be fishing.  His favorite haunts include The Cavalier and Small Batch Barbeque.

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