Coming Together Through Disaster

On August 10th 2020, a portion of the midwest (including Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was hit with 140 mph straight-line winds with little notice. The destruction that resulted from this derecho was significant. On today’s podcast, guest host Jon Weih interviews Don Evens and Sarah Banowetz about their individual experiences during this storm. Listen in as we discuss how relationships were key in the initial recovery period and how Iowans pulled together to take care of each other.


Jon Weih: There are people, that give and, that help, you know, sometimes it’s just a matter of, you know, you don’t think you’re going to have any help. And then all of a sudden it materializes, right. or God’s timing is great. And somebody shows up to, to service your trees in the whole area. when you didn’t think you were going to get ahold of anybody and that that happened because of a relationship

journey starts now. Well, good day and welcome in my name is John Y welcome to journey and I am, really new to this podcast today. And I am joined by Don Evans and I’m doing by Sarah bandwidths. and you might be wondering why have we never heard John before? And, it’s because I haven’t been asked until now.

but that’s not a bad thing. It’s, it’s good to be here. a little bit about myself as we head into our topic today. I’ve been in the education field for over 30 years and have held down a job in that field for a long time. I’ve worked with students for many, many years, love that. and introduce to people that have started this podcast many years ago, through it.

A car transaction. And so, that’s how I made a friendship with this family and a relationship with, the Carlson family has been, it’s been wonderful. And so, my background, to be able to sit in front of a microphone is a little different. I did last in radio for just about a year and then decided that, I wanted a different career pathway.

but my hobbies are still lie in the communications field. And so I still do a lot of camera work. I do a lot of microphone work, mostly, in track and field, which is a very obscure hobby to have. And so not many people, do that kind of thing around the country, but, I am a deeply involved in that, until this last six months, when they canceled everything.

And so I was desperate for a microphone and this podcast came up and I said, Hey, There’s a microphone there let’s, let’s make it happen. And so I’m excited to be here. And so as a, as the people that are listening to this podcast, realize, if you live around this area, if you’re outside of the area, hopefully you’ve heard about it.

But, we had a very nasty storm, roll through Iowa back on August 10th, just a few weeks ago. And I’m a lifelong Island. I grew up here. I’ve seen a lot of bad yeah. Storms over the years, but, nothing really compared to this. I mean, if we had to put it in terms of what it was like a, it was basically a ground category, two hurricane, that didn’t just blow through for a few minutes.

It lasted for quite a while. I was in my building when it hit and, that watched the wind blow, for at least 45 minutes to an hour. And it was nothing like I’d ever seen before. In fact, they had a term for it, a duration show and, in my almost 57 years on this earth, I’ve never heard that term before.

but it’s Spanish for straight. And so we’ve always called things straight line winds here. In this part of the country. And, it was a very nasty straight line when, so, both, all three of us, as a matter of fact were affected by this storm, in one way or another. but, Sarah and Don both have some unique stories about what they went through, when the duration moved through, causing.

A lot of damage, 90 to 125 plus mile an hour winds on a very wide path, probably at least. 60 miles wide, it at some point where the bad damage was and then, moving all the way from Nebraska, almost all the way to Indiana and Ohio before it, it burned itself out. And so a lot of damage, not only to a property.

but, if you’re a farmer in this area, in that path, you don’t have corn, that looks like corn should look like this time of the year. Now at this time of the year, we’re in the fall, it starts raping and getting ready to harvest. Now we’re looking at flat corn fields with no product at all. so I’m gonna, yeah.

I want to start with you tonight, Sarah, and, and, and talk a little bit about what you went through, when the storm hit, that, August 10th. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:04:00] It seems a little weird that we’re sitting here talking about this August 10th storm when, when it hit and the sirens went off, it was just another Iowa storm.

In fact, my husband, cause he’s working from home, we’re both working from home because of COVID. He walks upstairs to tell me that we need to go downstairs and I was just like, ah, dragging my feet. And here we are three and a half weeks later, four weeks, five weeks by the time this airs and. It, wasn’t just a regular iOS store, 

Jon Weih: [00:04:29] I think forecast that morning called for showers and the possibility of storms.

And, and I think like a lot of us, I looked at the rate, our weather radio, our weather alarms went off in Coralville where I worked just down the road here. it, about 11 o’clock and I looked out my window and I pulled up the radar on my phone and I thought, well, this thunderstorm is way out by Des Moines yet.

And so we went to lunch and by 1230 it was blowing through and it was moving at about 75 miles an hour across the landscape. And so it came on as quickly. And I think as Iowans, a lot of times, I don’t know about you as an old farm boy, Don and I probably do the same thing. We. If we know there’s a storm coming, we don’t go to the basement.

We go outside, 

Don Evens: [00:05:13] sit on the board, 

Jon Weih: [00:05:14] just sit on the porch and watch it come, which is probably not the smartest thing. Please fans at home don’t do that 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:05:19] well, and there were a lot of stories of people who have, did they do not go to basements and they went to the basement for this. Yeah. 

Jon Weih: [00:05:25] Yup. And they went to the basement because it was brutally, intense.

Yeah. A is how I would put it and not like a tornado intense just along, sustained wind. exactly. Like you’d see in the, in a hurricane. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:05:37] Well, and that’s the crazy thing is our daughter. We had just, I don’t know if it was a whole week earlier or that weekend. I think it might’ve been a whole week before we had sent our daughter had gone up.

Yeah. Cause I think it was like August 3rd that we sent our daughter off to aims to Iowa state. And, she actually got on the phone with us and she. We had already been in the basement, but she said it was like a hurricane. And I called my son, one of my sons who was, out on cottage Grove road and going to stamina to go to lunch at Chick-fil-A.

I called him and said, you need to turn around and get back to the building because he was at a sports meter meeting for Cedar Valley Christian school. And, He didn’t listen. He didn’t want to listen to me cause he’s a teenage boy, but he did, we didn’t argue about it, but he did turn around and I said, your sister says it’s like a, it was like a hurricane and he left and she was on speaker or he was on speakerphone with us.

the other kids and my husband, I were in the basement and Nazi goes, what does Kochi know about a hurricane? And we all laughed. And literally 30 minutes later, None of us are laughing because we were protected in the basement. Not, I was still thankful cocaine, not too. So cocaine not DVR. We have legal guardianship of knotty and Cookie’s adopted and, They’ve been through some trauma in their lives.

And I was so glad they were not at the house when this happened, because we were protected. I don’t really know how the storm went because we were in the basement with our four younger children. And, we could hear the wind blowing, but it wasn’t that bad because the house, we have a fairly large house because of the size of our family.

There’s eight people in our family. so we were like, There was covers on over the conforming windows and they gotten frosted plastic covers because I didn’t want people peeking in all my kids down there. And we were looking up through the like ethic frosted covers and we’re like, Oh, we wish we could see what was going on up there.

and, I said it was funny, cause I said to my sons, how did I get the frosted covered glass frosted cover? covers and I’m like, Oh yeah, it was so no one would peek at you. And then Joey and John looked at me and they just started laughing and they’re like, mom, if anyone wanted to peek at us, they could have just picked up the covers.

I was like, Oh yeah, why didn’t I get the clear plastic covers? Cause we wanted to see what was going on up there because we were hearing stumps, 

Jon Weih: [00:07:57] not knowing those are branches. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:07:59] They were giant Oak trees. So our property, which is in Marion, It had, I’d say probably 10 old, large Oak trees on it. And August 11th, we had already scheduled for a tree service to come out and take care of, to take down one of the Oak trees in the front yard.

And we had joked. Now it’s going to fall down. Something’s going to come up and it’s going to fall down because of the storm that we had prior, like a month prior. It was like a month out, booking them and they were to take it down on August 11th. so the first thump, we actually did think it was that one.

It was the dying Oak tree. So we did think it was that the second thump, we thought that an Oak tree fell on our sun room, or a big branch. We had no idea I had it there. These trees inspected by an arborist, before we bought the house four years ago. These were healthy trees and they came down and they came down on our house and, it was really traumatic.

So the, but Don, you have you watched the star. So our family did not really watch the storm Nati did. He was still in his car. It hits so fast that by the time he got went, like three or four bucks blocks down the road had turned around, there was trees. Coming down and he finally made a run for it, for the building.

So he has that experience, but what was your experience? Because we, other than that, I didn’t see the storm 

Jon Weih: [00:09:25] and Don you have a totally different, a different experience of housing that you were in and went through in this. 

Don Evens: [00:09:31] Amen. I’m live in a mobile home and to make that story even funnier, I’d only been living in the mobile home about two weeks.

And it’s an old mobile home. And one of the things I picked up on that Sarah said is you didn’t have any idea which way it was coming. You mentioned earlier, John, and thank you for being here today. We appreciate your time. No, 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:09:49] it’s my pleasure. 

Don Evens: [00:09:50] My pleasure far, you’re a mid reference to you and me being farm.

He’s very true. So farmboy Don knows directions real well. The majority, I watched this out, my living room windows stood there the whole time, watched the whole entire thing from start to finish thinking this is not a pretty picture in a mobile home. I was watching large tree limbs hurling through the air, past my three Bay windows in my mobile home.

For the most part, it was coming out of the Southwest blowing at us. I swear, ham. To God at a particular moment, about 30 minutes, 25, 30 minutes into it, it switched and I watched stuff hurled straight from the North straight South, John. It did that flip during that most people probably didn’t read 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:10:38] it.

Don Evens: [00:10:38] Yeah. I didn’t know that I stood there. And watch the whole entire thing. That’s the point where even hillbilly dime, like we joked earlier and I just sit outside and, you know, smoke a cigarette and watch it. It’ll be fine. I went, you know what? This is getting a little bit ugly. I’m not. Feeling very comfortable at this moment.

You know, I don’t want to be like, you know, the show door, Dorothy’s not in Kansas anymore. I didn’t want to be not in Iowa anymore, but there was the last 15 minutes of that. I’m thinking this is pretty, pretty rough in reference to your porn out order John. And you’re 57 years. I’m fixing them turn 62.

I’ve been through a lot of storms and a lot of. Horrible storms, drought, the whole us as a truck driver. I have never in my life seen anything. This vicious. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:11:26] Yeah. The sky was clear that morning. Like people who knew that the storm that yeah. They’re seeing rains coming or whatever, 

Don Evens: [00:11:35] they didn’t get to see the black stuff.

Sarah Banowetz: [00:11:37] No, no, but like at 10:00 AM, the sky was clear. 

Don Evens: [00:11:41] Yeah. I know. 

Jon Weih: [00:11:43] Fast across the state. I mean, I did a little, you know, digging just to see, you know, how many people were affected and, you know, in Iowa there were over 500,000 people without power. most of Cedar Rapids and Marian were both of you are from power for, well over a week.

where I am in coral Belle, we were just out without power for 24 hours. But, you know, we are, we are not used to that. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:12:06] And there’s some people that are still without power for three and a half weeks later. 

Jon Weih: [00:12:09] Some, some people sleeping in tents yet that are not back in their house. And, and, we, you know, Cedar Rapids is a beautiful city, a lot of trees, Mary in the same way.

And I think, You know, I think the reports are they’ve lost well over 50% of their, their tree canopy. Absolutely. And so, you know, you think about longterm effects of that. I mean, we’re going to lose, energy, over the years with, this time of the year, your house is not shaded anymore. The streets are not shaded anymore.

Things like that are just, and we’re going to have trees die over the next few years that were affected by this. And it’s just a, it’s just devastating. So, you know, I wanted to talk about that. Tonight and get both of your perspectives on that, because I think to some extent, you know, there, we complained here a little bit and were Hardy.

I think as Iowans out here in the Midwest and in people tend to just take care of their own things when it happened, but it didn’t seem like we had much news coverage. You know, we just had hurricane Laura, down in Texas and Louisiana and, and that had news it’s coverage from the time it became a tropical storm all the way to when it hit landfall, this came through with really out a lot of warning.

And a lot of people didn’t know about it. even a few days afterwards, there was not much news coverage on this devastation at caused, especially in Cedar Rapids. I think people are going to figure it out later on when the price of their, their food, goes way up because of the loss of corn and soybeans.

but why I say that is, You know, we have, in life, a few events like this that we’ll remember forever. Don was you and I were talking about this a little bit. Okay. I’ll go about, you know, I can remember certain events, like when challenger. blew up in some of those I wasn’t alive when Kennedy was shot, but my parents talked about that.

I actually was alive. It was a month old. So I don’t remember 

Don Evens: [00:13:55] I was home with the mumps the day of his funeral, 

Jon Weih: [00:13:57] but, but you’ll remember this, you’ll remember this day, remember everything you were doing with the family and the basement and, how you called your son. And you’ll remember watching trees, flag five past and remembering how, how brutal this was.

And I think that’s one of these defining moments in our lives. And I think, you know, we’ve had a, a year of defining moments in our lives that we’ll remember. And, and, you know, it’s thinking back to something that my, my pastor, in our church has been going through, a series in Exodus. And they’re talking about.

the Israelites and, you know, everything from leaving Egypt to, going into the promised land. And one of the interesting parts of that is all of the things that they go through. Right. And we, we tend to think that, you know, we have life very well here in the United States and in that we are safe and that, nothing bad.

Terribly happens in our lives. And we read those old stories and we think, man, these guys, life just suck for them. I got glad we don’t have to go through that. And then all of a sudden we go through, a worldwide pandemic. we go through unrest on the streets in our country and then a bad, bad storm hits us.

And so we’re at the point where we’re looking at that saying how much more can we take of this? and yet, you look back on, on, on some of those stories and what they endured and, and they made it. Yeah. some of them did, some of them didn’t make it to the promised land. They had to wander in the, you know, out in the wilderness for 40 years just to get all the nastiness out of them.

But, you know, I, I wonder sometimes too for us, and I’d like to get your perspective on this. Just kind of the followup. To that now, you know, it’s been a few weeks since the storm hit. Sarah, you know, you’ve, you’re doing everything right now from how much is this going to cost? our family, in repair of our house, Don was lucky in that the trailer didn’t really sustain much damage.

No. And, you know, what does, what does that doing now? How, how are you dealing with this? How are you coping with this? and, and to some extent, you know, what, what do you see as maybe some of the serendipities that may be coming out of this, if you have them? 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:16:08] Ah, yeah, so. I guess that to answer the question about how I’m enduring this, I would say I’m going to ball it in with COVID too.

And just saying, how am I enduring 2020 and it’s with relationships. we go to Antioch church and we started a life group, a new well new woman’s a new, I started a new ladies life group in January. And I’m leaning on those ladies, all of us like, together, we, a lot of life groups pause for summer and we just knew we couldn’t.

and I actually have a, you know, I have a photo on my Facebook wall of my life group, ladies coming over and they brought us dinner, shortly after the storm. The true, I think that. I see, I think the tree is finally, yeah, it was like right after it was like a week and a half. Yeah. After the storm and the trees off, but the house is still damaged.

It’s not livable. And, we were at the house and they brought over a really nice meal with dessert and salad and. Sun ice tea that they made. And, even, and then we’ve had our kids over since then. And, our kids and their friends. We’ve had pizza in the kitchen, admit there’s no kitchen cabinets. just the Island in the middle and the whole house.

Almost the whole house is down to two by fours. And I have this picture. we have a lofted living room next to a kitchen. And so you can see above the kitchen, the bedrooms, but. It’s just two by fours. So you can stand in the living room. And I took a picture where you can see the upper level and the kitchen where all the kids and their friends are standing around because we were showing him the house and having pizza and stuff.

And I, and I post that on Facebook and just said, even broken this house is still providing hospitality to them family and their friends. And, relationships is how we’re getting to the there’s no way. The damage was so extensive to all of this area that it was really, like they say about putting the mask on, like in an airplane, you have to put the mask on yourself.

Very few people can help each other because everyone. Yeah. I don’t know. I honestly, I don’t think a single Eastern Island was not impacted and. For the first few days, it was just putting our own masks on. It’s a miracle that we actually even had someone come out to take the trees off my father-in-law.

Are you a tree service owner and called him right away? And he was out within hours and then did our whole like neighborhood. And that’s really what it’s come down to in those first few weeks. It was who you knew and that’s how you were able to get 

Don Evens: [00:18:44] what you needed. Isn’t it kind of like what John was saying earlier, you know, not a lot of people knew about it.

Yeah. I know. We’ve talked about it at church and my groups and stuff that I run with, you know, about Sarah and one of the older fellows, dimensioned. Yeah. And the reason they didn’t is. Did you notice how well everybody came together and helped one another? We weren’t, we were fortunate. We were more than blessed.

There was that loss of life. There was a few, I don’t know, the 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:19:11] total amazing that we did not have a lot more loss of life. And yeah, 

Don Evens: [00:19:15] I think that’s why we didn’t get any news coverage that you were referring to. And I’m not complaining that we didn’t, I’m simply stating that. We’re here at journey and all about relationships.

You just reiterated to how your ladies can around you and your life group and things of that nature. So I, I feel like we didn’t get coverage and stuff because is it that people just assume we’re Iowa or the Midwest and we kind of just all kind of mingled together really well. I think we kind of got overlooked in that area, but again, not complaining, but we did fine.

Sarah Banowetz: [00:19:49] No, I, I think so. And I think also it was just a blackout, I mean, a communication blackout. I could not, I could not, if you were not face, this is how bad the storm was. If you were not face to face with someone, you could not guarantee that you would be able to communicate with them, that the TV state, I mean, we’re talking no TV, no radio.

I think I got out of town and took my kids to my parents’ house. but. Those first few days, I don’t even know if like the major radio stations were even running. If they, 

Jon Weih: [00:20:20] where WMT was off the tower of damage, 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:20:23] the Christian radio station. I did notice that one on 1.9 was on the air because they’re in Waterloo.

So I was like, praise the Lord. People are going to be trying to, you know, so there was that, but we’re talking. No one could watch. If the TV stations were running, no one could watch them. How, radio stations down, that phone service wasn’t going through. my husband could only talk to me if he went to Walmart and Marianne, Marianne and stood in the parking lot.

Don Evens: [00:20:47] had no food, so 

Jon Weih: [00:20:49] we had barely any, 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:20:50] no internet. Yeah, no internet. So I don’t know how I felt that that first like three or four days, I thought people outside of Iowa are going to know more about what’s going on with what’s happening to us than I know. I don’t know what’s happening to me. I didn’t know the word deracho yet if I said it, right.

Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on with us right now. I don’t know who’s out of power. I don’t know what is happening. I don’t know where we didn’t know how to get gas. Yes. 

Jon Weih: [00:21:18] Yeah. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:21:19] We, we didn’t know what was going on. It was like, we, it was like, we were putting in a big blender and shaken up with no warning and no one, if there’s a hurricane coming, I think people prepare for that.

You have a couple of days to prepare for that. Outside of that hurricane area, people are there to prepare and to get word out or whatever we had. I was really wishing I had a satellite phone. I bought walkie-talkies at Walmart so that if my sons, we didn’t know how are we going to get water? I mean, cause my parents are on, well, they didn’t have power, so you couldn’t get water.

We were talking about going to McBride to pull out. Buckets of water to be able to flush the toilet or whatever. And I’m like, if they’re going to go to McBride, I want to be able to contact them. So I bought walkie talkies. So I think that’s part of the community problem is if we couldn’t even understand what was going on, how was that?

I mean, Beth Malicky did an amazing job getting word out. To outside of Iowa. But I think that was part of the problem too, is just that there was a blackout in communication. So 

Jon Weih: [00:22:17] many people affected, as you said at one time, usually islands, you know, you think back to the floods and those kinds of, they were, there were people to come help, sandbag.

There were people to come help in this case, everybody was affected in one way or another. You know, our neighbors came out and were helping to Saul down trees and clear debris and do those kinds of things. And I think we need to talk about relationships, you know, that’s. That’s that’s one way you built him, you know?

now we’re all outside. Instead of being on our phones, which we couldn’t use, our TVs don’t work. there’s no computers. And so someone said 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:22:46] it was like a big camp out. Like we went, like we went to summer camp together, when people started getting a little bit of communication and could get like slow internet through and they started the deracho Facebook group and there’s, I dunno, 30,000 people in it now, or whatever.

Yeah. I, it was like a big summer it to some extent to, okay, so you asked the, like the serendipity parts. We started working together again, and this, the, like this, the protest and stuff, over racism was going really bad. Well, number one of the stars in this whole thing has been. Billy Ray, Willie  Billy queues.

I’m saying it wrong, but their barbecue shack or whatever, he’s been giving free food to people. And he’s now considered like one of the heroes of the draw show and he’s still giving away free food and people have been donating to that and everything too. And he’s an African American guy. so you’re seeing one of, one of the very few people who have been like held up in this whole storm is someone who’s black and.

And all of a sudden there’s no Democrat and Republican. It’s just, we’re Eastern Island and we’re helping each other. And, Oh, I loved how we were treating each other, friends we’re acting like family and strangers were acting like friends. That’s how I described it. I love that part of it 

Jon Weih: [00:24:07] had Donna, do you have some similar experiences?

I would imagine in your park, there was some damage. 

Don Evens: [00:24:11] Yeah. Everybody was working together. There was pretty phenomenal. Just everybody chipping in and Hey, let me get that for you and pull that loom and you know, not in my place. I was blessed. I had no damage. I had two twigs in my yard. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:24:24] Antenna thing come down.

Don Evens: [00:24:25] Yeah, that’s just this little TV at Tennessee. It was a rusty old pipe. You know, it, that could have happened in a normal windy day 

Jon Weih: [00:24:32] and he’s on an Island, 

Don Evens: [00:24:34] a lot of wind man. But no, you S you saw it right away. I mean, within 15 minutes of the storm, over honest to gosh, in the trailer park, there were chainsaws running within 15 minutes.

Everybody just jumped to 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:24:49] attention. Work ethic of Iowans is amazing. I had to go, I told Nazi to stay put at Cedar Valley, and then I made my way down there. Now we’re talking Marianne to Cedar Valley. So the Lindmar area to Cedar Valley cottage Grove road, it’s a 15 minute drive on a normal day. I think I was driving for three hours and I got close to Cedar, to cottage Grove road and could not pass.

So finally we decided to be on Mount Vernon road, but I’m telling you, I was amazed. I took first Avenue was completely backed up. So I took all these back roads because I’ve been teaching my son how to drive on them. And so I knew there was all these houses. With right away, the streets were being cleared by neighbors and they were helping each other out.

It was really, really amazing 

Don Evens: [00:25:31] Iowans in Cedar Rapids responded very quickly. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:25:34] Yeah. But we needed a lot of help and I, we do have to give a shout out to all the linemen and all the other construction workers who like came out here. I. When we drove, when I drove to Solon, I thought there is no way. This is an entire city that was built over many, many, many, many years.

And our entire power infrastructure power infrastructure has been knocked down. I mean, we’re talking power lines, just miles and miles. 

Don Evens: [00:25:59] Governor rentals, citizens, radio, Sarah. Yeah. If you don’t see service trucks working in the residential area, people, we lost five power grids. We can’t come to the residential areas till we get the grids backup.

We don’t comprehend losing power grids. 

Jon Weih: [00:26:17] Devastated. Yeah. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:26:18] I mean, if we only had to do, if it was only us rebuilding alone, only as islands. Even with our work ethic, it would have taken a year or two I could imagine. And what ended up happening was all of these line men came from outside from around the country.

And here’s the word on the street via that deracho Facebook group is an other people. Iowa has been their favorite place that they’ve come, they’ve gone to all these disasters. They’ve been around the country and they were just blown away because there’s multiple person after person of blind men and constructions where construction workers are saying we’re used to getting yelled and screamed at because they’re so upset that they don’t have power and Iowa baking cookies.


Jon Weih: [00:27:01] out of there. Out of the things they don’t have, they’re finding and they’re giving. Yeah. I heard those stories too. And in fact, alignment from Kansas, I heard on the radio, interviewed and he said the same thing. He was in Mount Vernon, just down the road, which is also a devastated little community.

And, he was talking about how, he was out working on this line and this person came out and fed him. Yeah. And not only FA didn’t feed them cookies and things that would, you know, you don’t want those things when you’re working hard because they, they blow out and then you’re you feel stuffed and like going on taking a nap, right?

And these guys are already working 18 hour days and fed them a real meal and got them some food that they could sustain their energy and in work and thanked him very much for it. 

Don Evens: [00:27:44] No, I’m really good at farming in Iowa. We’re good at cooking too. Her daughter farm being a baby. 

Jon Weih: [00:27:48] I make nasty peach crisp. I should have brought one in today.

But, I, you know, as we kinda wrap, wrap this, this section up today, you know, one of the things I think about is, is moving forward, where do we go next? What happens? And, you know, and I’ve heard a couple of themes, you know, relationships, working together and then also, you know, accepting that help from the outside.

we can’t rebuild it alone. We needed some help. And, and, and we got that and it, you know, it brings my hope and. the United States and in the Midwest and, you know, back up again, because there are people that give and, that help, you know, sometimes it’s just a matter of, you know, you don’t think you’re going to have any help.

And then all of a sudden it materializes, right. or God’s timing is great. And somebody shows up to, to serve as your trees in the whole area. when you didn’t think you were going to get a hold of anybody and that that happened because of a relationship. And we know there’s, there might be some folks listening tonight that, you know, you haven’t.

Yeah, I haven’t cultivated those relationships. You don’t, it didn’t nobody came to help you. you might’ve been alone in those kinds of things. And I think, you know, one of the things that I think about is, you know, what does somebody do without faith? what does somebody do without that hope and how are we going to.

How are you going to sustain yourself when that happens? And you know, we’re all believers here and we know where our hope and faith is placed, which, I hope if you’re listening to this, you might say, well, maybe I miss something through all this. If I did find myself alone, if I did find myself with nowhere to turn, You know, there is Christ in, you know, maybe, you want to check that out and take an opportunity to go and look and say, who is this man?

Jesus, that I’ve heard so much about. 

Don Evens: [00:29:30] What do you got to lose? 

Jon Weih: [00:29:31] Well, absolutely nothing. Just your eternity. 

Sarah Banowetz: [00:29:35] Well, what do you have to, 

Jon Weih: [00:29:37] sometimes it’s hard to be a Christian, 

Don Evens: [00:29:40] you know, for sure, sir. You’ve heard me to say it in podcast before being a Christian. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.


Sarah Banowetz: [00:29:48] I think, I mean, even the apostle Paul was talking about how yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t rather, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Cause I have peace and I know where I’m going, but sometimes the expectations. 

Don Evens: [00:30:01] Yeah. See what I didn’t have until two years ago. And you know, the backstory to this, I didn’t have trust in Jesus.

I believed in him, but I didn’t trust him to control my life. And. Thank God. I’d conquered that mountain before the storm standing in the mobile home on the 10th of August, because this is going to sound condescending and smart algae. But I had no fear. I had no fear because I’m like, if you mean for this to blow away, God, and we grabbed up an extra pack of smokes and I’m out of here, you know, seriously, I had to trust.

Sarah Banowetz: [00:30:34] Yeah. But what if so, so what would have happened? What would it, what would the situation have been like if you didn’t have that? 

Don Evens: [00:30:41] I think I would have for the first time in 61 years, been scared to death. Cause that was horrible. I had said earlier, as we were talking today, this evening, it was pretty scary, but still I wasn’t laughing at it, but I’m just looking up and talking out loud to him and going, like I said to you almost two years ago, coming October, I’m just trusting you to take care of the things that get tough that I can’t handle.

Well, isn’t it quite obvious I can’t handle Duracio or whatever you want to call us, do better hurricanes. All it was, it was, but there was nothing I could do about it nor you. Yeah. You and your family took cover. I don’t have a place to recover. Nobody. All the other people in my park don’t have police recover.

So there’s one, the test of trust, really kind of, then I really liked what you said. You know, if you’ve not visited. That part of your life. I think this might’ve woke some people up to the point where, you know, my one check one of these churches out someday and see what these three tonight are talking about.

Jon Weih: [00:31:39] If you want to start, I looked up, you know, just was curious as to what the Bible says about storms, you know, and if you look in Luke eight, 23 through 25, you know, the, The disciples are out with, with Jesus in a boat and the storm whips up and it’s sinking the boat when he’s taking a nap.

I mean, he’s exhausted. And, and he sleeps and quite amazingly doesn’t wake up at until they wake him up. 

Don Evens: [00:32:04] I think he did that on purpose, 

Jon Weih: [00:32:06] you know, I’m sure he did, but, you know, there’s, there’s a point where. He, he tells the water and the wind, to stop and they’re amazed, you know, and it’s basically their faith, that is at a, at, at work here.


Don Evens: [00:32:21] what did he say to them when, when they find out your mom, John, 

Jon Weih: [00:32:25] what did he rebuke to mrs. Where’s your face? 

Don Evens: [00:32:27] Yeah, he said ye of little faith. Yeah. You’re not trust me. Yup. I just said, I mean, I don’t, I didn’t trust Jesus until October of 2018. And I was put, it was put to the test real hard, August 10th, and Jesus won.

Sarah Banowetz: [00:32:42] I think that one of the takeaways and I, and I haven’t been this from on a journey podcast yet. I think one of the takeaways I took from this is just the fact that Jesus is coming back again and it’s going to come without warning. and we, this came and hit us without warning and it. Knocked us off our feet.

Don Evens: [00:33:03] He tells us in the Bible. When I come back, I will come like a thief in the night. Yes. You might even know I came. 

Jon Weih: [00:33:08] Yes. So be ready. Yup. Yeah. 

Don Evens: [00:33:12] That’s fair. We’re more prepared. Thanks to Draco. 

Jon Weih: [00:33:15] And that, I think that’s a great, yeah. Word to end on tonight is to be ready out there for the next, a great show in our lives.

So, thank you both for taking the time. 

Don Evens: [00:33:26] Thank you. That we were approaching this. I know it’s your first time and he’s done really well. Very happy that you’re here. Look forward to doing more with you. When you carve out some time with your 

Jon Weih: [00:33:34] mellow, it’d be fun to be back. I’m not a rookie anymore now. 

Don Evens: [00:33:37] So we broke in and good today.

Jon Weih: [00:33:38] Well, thank you very much for being gentle with me. So, Hey, we’ll see you next time here. Journey. Thank you for listening tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own

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