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Family Grateful to Survive Florida Condo Collapse

Sometimes the things that seem inconsequential can end up making a huge difference. When Eyal and Sara Nir moved into the Champlain Towers South with two of their six children, they had a choice between a penthouse unit and one on the first floor. Sara liked the first-floor unit better, so that’s the one they picked. Because of that one choice, along with several other routine choices, the family narrowly avoided death.

That’s because during the early morning hours of June 24 the Champlain Towers South suffered a devastating building collapse, killing at least 97 people. Eyal was out of town, but Sara and her children Gabe and Chani were home, and happened to be awake. Regular night owl Gabe had just returned from the gym, and noted that the whole family was out of their regular routine. Gabe said, "For some reason, we all were doing things later than usual. And my mom decided to stay later at her event, my sister decided to come back home late [from babysitting].”

It was nearly 1am when all three of them made it home and Gabe heard what sounded like construction noises, unusual for the middle of the night. This prompted their mom to talk to a security guard. Gabe said, "As soon as she goes down to the front, I hear this loud rumble. Like, you feel like an earthquake is happening right in front of you,”

As he and his mother and sister ran from the scene, Gabe dialed 911 and began describing the scene as the ground opened up and started swallowing everything whole. Gabe feels a sense of gratitude for their survival. “There's got to be a reason we came back later. And I feel like fate really — God really came and saved us.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Even in times of calamity and disaster God is still present and can still protect us. It doesn't mean we're automatically insulated from any negative experience, but it does mean that we never walk alone, and God's power is present in us to endure whatever we face.

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