"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah" - Psalm 46: 1-3
4am on October 4th, I woke up to Melissa quietly moving about the house as if she was looking for something. I followed her back into her room, where I got a sudden shock of reality - the storm had arrived. Wind and rain were whipping around her room due to a missing slat in her window; we tried to repair it with a tarp, but the wind was too strong, so she grabbed her important belongings and we left the room. Moments later, we heard a shatter from her room, the entire window, frame and all, blew into her room. Rain poured in and the wind blew her bedroom door open as if nothing could stop the strength of this storm. After we blockaded the door closed with the couches and mattresses, all we had left to do was wait.
Most phones went out between midnight and 4am, but at 6:18pm, I received a text from a friend that assured me of God’s protection. At 6:20pm, I went to respond and my service had been cut off. That text is what encouraged me through the storm and through the entire lack of communication to come. I prayed that those words were true and that my family would know that truth and feel God’s peace through the storm.
As we sat in the midst of the storm, we worshipped and sang to our Father and prayed for those around us, who were not as fortunate to have a safe place to ride out the hurricane. Then a calming of the storm came — the eye; we were smack in the center of the hurricane. We saw neighbors come out of the house believing that the storm was over, so Melissa and Lindsay were yelling to all who could hear to get back into safety.
It happened all so fast, yet it seemed never ending.
After about 10-12 hours, all that was left was showering rain and mass destruction. Sheet metal, tree trucks, electrical wire covered what was left of the roads. We went out to check on neighbors and friends. Every sheet metal roof was pulled off, most homes were gone or flooded, but thank God, no lives were taken - everyone we checked on was alive and thankful for being so.
It has been 10 days since the hurricane. We are blessed for the help that has been coming in daily since just 2 days after the storm. They have been bringing loads of food daily to feed 150,000 a day, tarps to cover houses, and an abundance of water to keep people safe from Cholera. As it has been so helpful to receive and such a blessing for our team to be a part of the distribution; aggression is growing among the community. Trucks are being hijacked, money is being stolen out of the hands of others, people are being threatened for what they have. I am not sharing this out of fear because I know the Lord is in the midst of this all, but we need your prayers — this country needs your prayers, the people in the countryside that we have limited access to need your prayers, the people that are acting out aggressively due to fear or entitlement need your prayers.
Artwork by: Grace Gerber and Ben Dulay -- Thank you both so much for your beautiful artwork. It has truly brought encouragement and joy to me.