Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

A few days ago I thought we were surely about to have another story to tell.  We got the first phone call about the approaching hurricane on Friday evening, and began watching the storm travel through the Caribbean.  On Monday we made preparations.  It was a fitful night of sleep when the wind started to pick up around 2am. Though it was a pleasantly cool breeze blowing through that would have made excellent sleeping conditions under normal circumstances, we couldn't help but wonder what was coming. By the time daylight came it was raining, but the wind wasn't getting any stronger at our house. We were in contact with people in southern Haiti who were detailing the ferocity of the storm as it ripped through the area.  At the rate the hurricane was moving northward, we expected it to really hit us around 11am. We waited as we watched the rain pick up intermittently. Several times we thought it was about to get ugly for us.  We knew many people at home were praying for us as we braced for impact.

But the impact never came. Hours went by and all we saw was steady rain with an occasional gust of wind. It was as though we had a strong hedge around us while the rest of the country was hit terribly hard. Howling winds and rains pounded the towns and villages across Haiti. We heard about thousands of homes being completely flattened. Yet here in our little neighborhood, you wouldn't know it was happening without the watchful eye of technology.

Although the storm has passed, it's all far from over for many, many Haitians who will suffer the impacts for months or years to come. While we hear the nearby river raging as it nearly bursts its banks, we are thankful that we don't have an "exciting" story to tell. Lord willing, we will have something more to share as we try to help anyone in need in the coming days and weeks.

Consider this post a thank-you to all who lifted us up in prayer.  We have once again seen the evidence of God's watchful hand over us!

The End of the Road

This morning the rain still drizzled as we ate a late breakfast.  When we were nearly finished, we heard the uncomfortable sound of loud crying coming from nearby. It was a sound that we've learned can only be associated with death. We looked at each other and agreed that it must be Alice. Barry quickly got up and went next door, where a large crowd had gathered outside the home of our dear old widow friends. There was a whirl of commotion, and before long Alice's frail, thin body was wrapped in a sheet and placed in the back of our truck.  Several of her grandsons and great-grandsons jumped in and filled the truck while Barry drove her to the nearby morgue, where she'll be for fourteen days until burial.

Barry will likely have the opportunity to preach at the funeral, and is looking forward to many of our distant neighbors who never go to church hearing a solid message. Pray that it will be a time for God to really speak to their hearts. Pray also for the many people who have lost homes this week, that perhaps they may turn their hearts toward God.