Fire closes ministry in Texas

By July 3, 2012

fire swept through the office building where Sammy Tippit Ministries is housed on
June 29.

Evangelist Sammy
Tippit says although he was allowed access briefly over the weekend to do
damage assessment, "The police have everything cordoned off and they've got police patrols there day and night,
24 hours. No one can get in there–not even the tenants. There is an ongoing
investigation taking place."

Although the
damage was extensive, it could have been far worse. First, nobody was injured. Then, "The
south section is where the fire took place. Our office suites are in the north
section of the building. Nothing was destroyed by fire, our problem is the
smoke damage that has taken place inside our office." Computers and electronic equipment may be damaged,
and some of the office files and furniture might not be salvageable.

It has already been a rough year for the ministry. The difficult
economy forced a lot of changes in staffing due to steep funding drops. Tippit says more cutbacks were on the table. "Right
before I got the call about the fire, my wife and I were talking about the cuts
that we're going to have to make and saying, 'What do we do?'  Then, all of a sudden we get this call about
a fire."  

Tippie says there was
good news, too. "Just a few hours before the fire
took place, we were able to get our visa applications off, our passports out of
the office and sent away for our visas for our trip to Uganda." A
disruption in the paperwork would have thrown the mid-August trip in jeopardy. "We're going to be training 20 evangelists
in Uganda. We've already seen where we've trained evangelists that thousands
come to Christ."

The ministry has
insurance and has a claim number, but the insurance company has not inspected the
offices. Tippit is confident that the
insurance will cover most of the cleaning/restoration/repair of files,
furniture and equipment. Property
management estimates it may be weeks or months before the ministry can get back
into the office.

Tippit says while
there is some stress, "God is our Provider, and I know He's going to provide. But it's just a time where your faith is tested. We've got to just remain faithful. We're going to keep doing what God has
called us to do. We're going to keep bringing the Gospel and training

Their immediate
need starts with prayer. "Pray that
we would have unity, that we would have creativity as to how to operate. We're
meeting at Starbucks for our staff meeting. We don't have a place to meet, we
don't have anything, so we need God's wisdom in even knowing how to get

Without access to
their equipment, the first thing they'll need to do is to get a couple of laptop
computers to keep up with communication. Tippit won't let something like a fire slow the team down, but they do
need help. "We need wisdom, we need guidance, and we
need financial provision. Pray for the insurance people that all of our claims
would go through expeditiously. We just have so things going, we need that
equipment. Pray that we could get the
equipment as soon as possible."  

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