hurricane, cyclone, typhoon-58025.jpg

She weathered a hurricane. Here’s how she did it.

Esther Weston is no stranger to rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. She does it for a job—from the comfort of her own home.

She’s a trauma therapist.

“The work that we do is clean up the debris from sin, from trauma, from the brokenness of this world,” she said. “And a lot of times we don’t want to do that clean up. We want to minimize it. We want to pretend like it’s not there. We want to give simple Christian platitudes.”

Sometimes she also gets to travel the world as a Paraclete associate, working with a team of trainers for the Deep Community Experience for missionary teams. But recently, travels haven’t been easy and her home hasn’t been so comfortable. And the trauma she cleans up? It’s her own.

Hurricane Ian ravaged the small Floridan island where she and her husband, Matt, moved to two years ago.

“It’s always interesting finding myself traumatized and going, ‘oh, yeah, this is what this feels like,’” she said.

The Westons did their best to prepare. They secured several neighbors’ properties. Then at the last minute, a neighbor offered them enough plywood to cover their own windows.

Then they had to decide where to evacuate. To Tampa where her sister lives? But this would be toward where the hurricane was suddenly changing course. To Orlando where someone had offered a place to stay? What about their septuagenarian neighbors who didn’t want to leave?

On Monday night of the week of the hurricane, Esther decided to drive to Orlando, while her husband stayed behind with the neighbors. By Tuesday, the neighbors decided to go to the mainland—and then, when the storm picked up, to head to Orlando with Matt the following day.

From Orlando, the Westons watched news reports of how bad it was getting on their island.

“We just had a few moments of breaking down together,” she said. “We could lose everything. We could go home and not have a house or anything left.”

The storm also hit Orlando—at category 1—on Thursday. Her husband left first to return home on Friday, knowing that basic communication infrastructure would not be online yet, and not knowing if the ferry to the island would be running. Matt was prepared to kayak over if he needed to.

“He didn’t have a paddle,” Esther said. “He had a shovel.”

Esther stayed in Orlando another day to coordinate supplies. But where to even start?

“OK,” she told herself. “I need to purchase things here in Orlando because shelves are going to be cleared.”

But, “I could not think—to save my life—of a single thing.”

Then she remembered her training in trauma: Care for the body. She knew she wouldn’t have any running water once she got home. So, she took a hot shower.

“My brain started to work,” she said.

Next she leaned into the other thing she knows works in moments of crisis—community. She started a group text with neighbors who were scattered all over so they could put the word out to voice needs, collect resources and check on each other.

“It’s by far the most closely knit community we’ve ever lived in,” she said. “When you live on an island together, you feel like you’re in this thing together.”

She finally left for home really early Saturday morning, hoping to beat the crowds and find her way around flooded roads. It took her twice as long as usual to get home.

“Every street was like a war zone,” she said.

She made it home. The house was still standing but needed a lot of work to clean up the water damage—but without electricity, running water and Internet.

Three days in, a boat sent by a company in Tampa showed up at the dock with a generator, fuel, food, water and gas to share. The crew asked, “Do you need anything?”

“It was a game changer to have a generator,” Esther said.

Now it’s been over a month and with many friends’ help, they’re still putting the pieces of their lives back together. But Esther is making the time to listen and pray with neighbors and enter into the wrestling that happens in the midst of suffering. Most days, the Westons invite someone they’ve just met over for a meal.

“This one woman came up to me—who I’ve only met a couple of times—and said, ‘you do know we’re going to need you right now. We’re all angry with God. We don’t know what to do.’”

Esther doesn’t have all the answers. And she knows clean-up in the hearts of her community takes time and effort. But she has a new list.

“I started keeping a list on my phone of things to be thankful for,” she said. “There’s no way to even keep up with it.”

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Mission

To come alongside Christian leaders around the world.


  • We operate in alignment with our vision and values.
  • We serve as catalysts, without personal or institutional agendas.
  • We stay only as long as needed and welcome.
  • We view all our work as spiritual activity with eternal significance.
  • We promote effective and Godly stewardship of resources as a model for business and ministry.
  • We practice the accountability of planning and evaluating our work, and teach others to do the same.

Financial Information

Our Financial Statements have been audited annually since 2013 by an independent national accounting firm. Paraclete is registered or exempt from charitable solicitation registrations in all states that require it.

2022 Financial Summary

Other Revenue
Total Revenue
Total Expenses

Donor Privacy Policy

Paraclete Mission Group is committed to respecting the privacy of our donors. We provide this Donor Privacy Policy to inform you of the way we protect and use your information.

Information We Collect

  • Here are the types of donor information that we collect and maintain:
    Your contact information: name, organization/church, address, phone number, email address;
  • Your preference for which ministry your donation will be applied;
  • Your payment information: credit card and/or bank account information;
  • Information you choose to share with us: questions, comments, suggestions, how you learned of Paraclete, and;
  • Your communication preferences; e.g., to individuals who request it, we will send periodic mailings related to specific fund-raising appeals, prayer concerns, and newsletters.

How We Use Your Information

Paraclete Mission Group uses your information to help you complete a donation, communicate back to you, and update you on ministry activity and results. We use credit card numbers only for donation or payment processing.

How We Protect Your Information

We use industry standard safeguards to protect your information. We protect the security of credit card transactions using a number of measures such as encryption, access controls, network firewalls and physical security. Card numbers are never stored on our premises in any physical or electronic form. These measures make it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept the credit card information you send to us. When we work with other companies to process credit card transactions, those companies also use encryption and other security measures.

We Do Not Share Your Personal Information

Paraclete Mission Group will not sell, rent, trade or lease your personal information to other organizations. We hold the identity of donors confidentially. We will use your information only to further the ministry purposes of Paraclete Mission Group. We will not send you mailings on behalf of another organization.


Personal Information

Where you have provided your consent to us processing your personal data, you may withdraw this consent at any time. In addition, the Global Data Protection Regulations gives you the right, under certain circumstances:

  • to request in writing and securely obtain copies of the personal information we hold about you;
  • to correct or update your personal information held by us;
  • to request us to stop using your personal information for marketing purposes or for any other purpose where there is no legal requirement for continued processing;
  •  to object to profiling activities based on our legitimate interest;
  •  to request to have all personal data deleted (in the EEA only). To exercise any of these rights please contact .

Please tell Paraclete Mission Group as soon as any of your contact details change so that records can be kept up to date.

We will take reasonable steps to correct any of your information, which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

Removing Your Name From Our Mailing List

We will honor your desire not to receive mail from us if that is your preference. Please contact us if you wish to be removed from our mailing list. Donors with an online account with Paraclete Mission Group can establish and change their communication preferences, print receipts, make one-time donations and set up recurring automatic donations. If you choose not to have an online account you have the same degree of control when you call or write to tell us of your preferences.

Contacting Us

If you have comments or questions about our donor privacy policy, please send us an email at or call us at (719) 302-2500.


Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

equal opportunity employment

It is the policy of Paraclete Mission Group not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission and access to, or treatment or employment in its program or activities. As a religious institution, Paraclete is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees or prospective employees on the basis of religion.