INTRODUCTION TO THIS PAGE
In August of 1998, the Lord began speaking to the pastor and members of New Dawn Community Church about Hurricane Irene. He told us that this hurricane was a major threat to our area in 1999, and that it would hit by surprise, thus greatly increasing the potential devastation.
We are maintaining this page for historical purposes since people are still interested in seeing how God spoke and changed a natural disaster into a triumph for his Kingdom.
The prayer alert that follows is as it was before Irene hit our area. The earlier prayer alerts had virtually the same content, except that they contained less information because we had not received it yet. We have included the October 1999 prayer alert because it contains all the information we released to the area congregations.
The prayer alerts began going out to churches (by fax and mail) in the Broward County area in March of 1999. Before we sent out the prayer alert, we had submitted the prophetic insights about Hurricane Irene to our spiritual covering, MorningStar Ministries, and to a coalition of local clergy. We wanted the prophetic nature of the insights vetted by those with understanding.
One major benefit of this process was that Steve Thompson, then Vice-President of MorningStar, reminded us that the reason that the Lord was giving us insight about Irene was not so that we could prophesy the Hurricane as fait accompli, but rather to call the community to prayer to diminish this major threat. As a result of Steve’s input, we planned a countywide communication plan for Christian congregations calling them to prayer.
We had three specific prayer meetings that included other congregations (and many other prayer meetings for our congregation). The first was held in March at Good News Church in Fort Lauderdale. Pastor Bob Sutton became one in heart and soul with us in this endeavor. Members from several other congregations joined us. We invited Steve Thompson to share a message of encouragement that would build the necessary theological foundations for our faith to pray against this hurricane.
As the Lord continued to speak to us, we continued to send letters and faxes to area congregations. While only a half-dozen or so came to the prayer meetings, many more told us that they had joined us in praying against this threat.
Our second prayer meeting was at New Dawn’s facility in September. The third was again at our facility after Irene had formed.
On October 1, 1999, we appeared on a Palm Beach county NBC affiliate's 6:00 pm newscast warning people of this hurricane and highlighting the need for prayer. Jim Wicks, one of the evening news anchors at WPTV at the time, had heard about what was going on over the summer in Broward, and had contacted us in August to arrange an interview. The interview took place in September, and the station chose to broadcast the interview on October 1, 1999, before the storm system that would become Hurricane Irene had even formed.
Just under two weeks later, on Friday, October 13, Tropical Storm Irene formed. Even though it was forecast to become a hurricane, forecasters did not believe it would come to southeast Florida, and did not issue any Hurricane Warnings.
On October 15, 1999, Hurricane Irene hit our area by surprise exactly as the Lord had shared with us. The postscript to the prayer alert, also printed below, shares a few of the details of what happened.
Hurricane Irene's Track, October 1999.
New Dawn Community Church Hurricane Prayer Alert
Hurricane Irene Update
We believe that the Lord has been showing us that a potentially destructive hurricane is coming to the Fort Lauderdale area during 1999. If we are interpreting correctly, either the eye of the hurricane, or the most destructive edge would hit Deerfield Beach. Here are the dreams and events which have led us to this conclusion:
DREAM ONE (Randal Cutter, Pastor of New Dawn Community Church)
During the early morning hours of August 11, 1998, I had a vivid dream that Dawn and I were standing in front of our home. The sky was filled with gray storm clouds from an approaching hurricane. I had a very strong conviction in the dream that this hurricane wasn't really going to hit, even though forecaster's were saying it would. The dream ended as I decided to shut the hurricane shutters out of prudence, rather than from any conviction that there was danger. Even as I was doing this I had a strong impression that there truly was a hurricane coming to the Fort Lauderdale area which would hit.
--End of Dream
I believe the Lord was telling me that I should be aware of two hurricanes. One of those hurricanes would be a hurricane which the forecasters said was going to hit. But it would not. The second hurricane would be one that truly would hit.
DREAM TWO (Dawn Cutter)
On August 20, 1998 as Tropical Storm Bonnie was heading toward hurricane status and just beginning to be a concern to South Florida, Dawn dreamed about her sisters, Bonnie and Irene. This is the dream as she wrote it:
I had a dream that Irene came to visit unexpectedly. I was surprised that Irene came and that Bonnie didn't. She brought a deer steak, but it was not enough for everyone. I went to the freezer to add to that which Irene had brought. --End of Dream
The hurricane for 1999 which starts with the letter "I", should we get that far in the alphabet, is Irene. One other bit of information we figured out months after these dreams: August 11, the date of the first dream which I had, is the birthday of Dawn's sister Irene. This seems to tie the two dreams tightly together and highlights Irene.
PROPHETIC IMPRESSIONS (Randal Cutter)
Because of these two dreams, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit that Hurricane Georges was not coming to Fort Lauderdale when it appeared on the horizon in September of 1998. I told the elders on the Sunday before Georges threatened South Florida that Georges was not going to hit us. Georges wasn't even a minor threat at that time. When it became a threat I was still convinced that it was not going to hit. Even when the hurricane warnings went up I could not shake the conviction. I was away on a trip at that time, but I did tell my wife to close the shutters as an act of prudence, though I also told her it was a waste of time.
Of course, Georges missed, at the last second, in a way that made Southeast Florida forecasters say, "Mea Culpa." I became even more convinced that God was speaking about hurricanes in our dreams since this seemed to be a partial fulfillment of dream #1. I began to ask God for more confirmations on Irene.
DREAM THREE (Friend of Congregation)
We received this dream from a colleague who lives in Wisconsin. His wife, had a dream about a hurricane.
He wrote, "J. had a dream last night (eve. of 10/19/98) that a storm (hurricane) was coming. Somehow she was told (It was just told to her); 'There's a hurricane coming that is going to do what the last one didn't do, (the one that passed).' After J. heard this, I was talking to you on the phone, suggesting that you come to our place to visit for a while. J. was impressed by the fact that this one would level wherever it hit . . .
--End of Dream
DREAM FOUR (Teenaged Congregation Member)
A twelve-year old member of our congregation had this dream on October 2 (We received it after Dream Three).
In the dream this young lady and her friend were walking along the road in Deerfield Beach. As they walked they were surveying the damage which had been done by a hurricane. They saw houses which were torn apart. As they passed by a hotel they saw floors, beds other things from the hotel in the street and on the beach. They saw a great deal of damage. Then they returned to her friend's home. Her friend's father was watching reports of the damage on a portable television set. The newscaster was mentioning that the hurricane had been a surprise. It had hit Broward County and south Palm Beach county. It was a category four hurricane with wind speeds of 180 to 200 miles per hour. --End of Dream
Other Important Information:
In the dream which Dawn had (Dream #2), Irene brought along some deer steaks. In this dream, the young lady is walking along Deer-field Beach. You slaughter a deer to get deer steaks. Also, at the time she had the dream, she told her mother that something didn't make sense. Her friends house was yellow in the dream, though it was not in real life. That discrepancy disappeared this past summer when the house was painted yellow by the owners.
DREAM FIVE (Congregation Member)
In July of 1999 a new member of our congregation had these two interconnected dreams:
"I was with [a NASCAR driver] and his wife in their suburban. We were in Deerfield . . . A major storm had hit and the rain was blowing horizontal. We were safe in their vehicle but we could see cars being tossed around."
He immediately had another dream, "I was standing in a field clearing next to a wooded area. An arrow flew by so near me, I could hear the sound of it. Suddenly a deer came running out of the wooded area with an arrow in it. It ran right by me and across a road and stopped. A woman came running out of the wooded area extremely fast after the deer. The woman looked like Dawn. She had drawn another arrow and was about to shoot to finish the deer off when she and I saw a group of people gathered around the deer helping it. She put down the bow and walked away. I recognized one person in the group - Adam."
Keys to Dreams:
The man who had the dream doesn't know this, but Dawn's sister, Irene, and Dawn bear a STRONG resemblance to one another. Adam is a member of our congregation. Adam's last name means "priest". Obviously, priests intercede. In this case, intercession stops the deer (Deerfield) from being destroyed.
I believe this dream means that the hurricane is still coming, though it is not as destructive as originally would have been since area churches have prayed.
CONFIRMATION IN THE CULTURE ONE
About a week after that dream, a number of the members of our congregation saw a scene from the 1992 movie, Addams Family. They told us that, while flipping the channels they saw a scene from the movie in which Uncle Fester grabs a book entitled "Hurricane Irene: Nightmare from Above." Fester opens it and a hurricane is released. This type of thing is one of those things which God does to keep us focused on the task which is at hand. The play on Adam (from Paul's dream) and Addam ties the dream to the movie. Of course, the name of the hurricane in the movie, a movie produced years ago, certainly gets our attention. To us this indicates that we are to continue to pray and warn against Irene.
PROPHETIC IMPRESSION (Randal Cutter)
Based upon all of the above information which God has given, I told the members of New Dawn on September 12 that Hurricane Floyd was not going to hit South Florida. The Lord gave me the word "Feint," which spoke to me of an attempt to take the people of Florida in the wrong direction and waste their time. I told a joint meeting of New Dawn and Good News Church on that Sunday evening that Floyd would not hit South Florida. Its purpose was to wear us down.
CONFIRMATION IN THE CULTURE TWO
The front page of the Tuesday morning, September 21 edition of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel said this about the weather as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey passed through: "We are looking at a couple more days of Addams Family-like weather," said Bill Locke, a meteorologist with the national weather service in Miami. "It would be delightful for them." The phrase about the Addam's family ties us to the movie and to Hurricane Irene. The topic was tropical storm/hurricane Harvey, a storm that formed quickly and hit South Florida by surprise. It was of little strength or consequence, but we believe that this is one more way that God is speaking so that we do not miss the very real message he is sending about Hurricane Irene.
On October 6, a member of our congregation had been praying about Irene. He told me on that same morning that he had heard "thirteen, thirteen." He thought it meant that Irene would be tropical depression 13. We did not know what the second 13 meant. Now we think we understand more. Tropical storm Irene was named on October 13. It is the thirteenth tropical depression of this season.
We believe God has clearly spoken to us about a destructive hurricane hitting Deerfield Beach and the surrounding areas. We believe he has shown us that prayer has the ability to diminish its destructive potential. More prayer is needed if damage is to be averted. This is not a cause for fear, but for prayer. God protects his people.
Why would God speak to us about a hurricane? The answer is found in the book of Jonah. God spoke through a reluctant prophet in order to get a city to repent and turn to God - and thus the city avoided destruction. I do not claim to be a prophet. I am a pastor who has been allowed to have a dream or two, and coordinate several more. I believe God's purposes for Nineveh are the same for us. He wants us to examine our ways, humble ourselves, and take responsibility for our land. I believe he wants us to pray that this hurricane never materializes. The best possible end to all of this is that we humble ourselves and pray, and that a hurricane named Irene never materializes on our horizon. It would then be nice if we could praise God for answered prayer. If a hurricane named Irene never comes, some might say, "Oh, those dreams really amounted to nothing." I can live with that . . . . I certainly don't like the alternative. Let's pray together.
POSTSCRIPT AND THANKS
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Front Page (October 17 edition): "Storm caught us, forecasters well off guard." Irene did the inexplicable as it slammed into southeast Florida. Hurricane warnings were never officially issued for our area. As predicted, it truly was a surprise.
The same issue of the Sun-Sentinel carries a track of the hurricane. It shows the east eye wall passing by Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach at 11 pm on Friday evening. The east eye wall is the most intense and destructive part of a hurricane. If Hurricane Irene had been a stronger storm, those areas would have been severely damaged. I believe this demonstrates that the dreams, and the call to prayer, were from our gracious God who loves us and did not want the destruction which the enemy of our souls intended.
I wanted to add a message of thanks for your part in the Hurricane Irene drama. We first publicized the dreams outside of our congregation back in early March of this year. I asked people to read the dreams, and to take up the call to prayer if they believed God was speaking. I thank you for not only receiving the dreams, but for praying along with us.
Our first official prayer meeting was March 21. The next was September 12. The last was October 14. Irene hit on October 15. Each of the meetings was powerful and accomplished a part of the purpose which we had set. That purpose was to intercede so that there would be no hurricane, and if there was, that it would not be devastating. I believe that the Lord answered our prayers. God gave us an opportunity to "stand in the gap" for our communities. God is sovereign, but he has chosen to give us authority in prayer. As we prayed we took the opportunity he lovingly
I am personally saddened by the seven lives (so far reported) that were lost because of this hurricane. We knew that unity and prayer could defeat the plan of the enemy to release a lot of death. We achieved a level of unity and prayer that severely diminished the tragedy. The toll could have been much higher with even a slightly more powerful storm. But, of course every life is precious, so I am still saddened. If there is a next time for something like this, I will pray even more persistently that lives be spared. I know many of you will do the same. We can celebrate this victory while at the same time mourning with those who mourn. God is love. He has demonstrated it yet again. Thanks for picking up the call to prayer.
God bless you all.
To God be the Glory.
Randal Cutter, Pastor
Also see this Letter to the Editor, sent to the Sun-Sentinel by three area churches, which testifies to what God had done.
Letter to the Editor