Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nobody escapes a ‘storm’

Death, devastation and destruction, at some time or other, have been part of everyone’s life. When we have lost a family member or been through a terrifying storm, something has affected all our lives in some shape, form or fashion. Just this morning in church Bro. Benny preached his sermon on “The miracle of the storm.”

It made me think of a pair of Heavenerites who have experienced storms, so to speak. Mickey Wynn has been through no less than three hurricanes – Rita in 2005, Katrina in 2007 and Ike in 2008 -- while living in New Orleans and, most recently, David Hinds and his wife Linda, serving in Chile as missionaries, lived to tell about surviving the 8.8 earthquake (seventh most devastating quake in the world) in Chile just this past Saturday.

Although Kathy Bain Dunn beat me to it in another blog, here is David’s shortened account, as written in a blog, or his newsletter, “As I was sleeping Friday night in our fifth floor apartment, I heard the noise of things falling. I opened my eyes and felt the room shaking vigorously. The light on our bedroom ceiling shinning from our alarm clock read 3:34. I instantly realized what was happening and shouted to Linda, ‘It’s an earthquake, let’s get out of here!’ I headed immediately for the front door, all the time the shaking was becoming stronger. About the same time as we entered the hallway, the electricity went out leaving us in total darkness and the sound of falling debris was getting louder. Then the building began violently lurching back and forth. By feeling our way along the wall, we made it to the stairwell and found that the emergency lights in the stairwell had come on and we were able to see. We made our way down the five flights as fast as possible and soon were out in the street in front of the apartment building. The shaking started to lessen and after about a minute it had completely stopped. It was then that I noticed that I didn’t have any clothes on; just my shorts, no tee shirt, socks or shoes. Linda had had the presence of mind to grab a bathrobe, but she also did not have any socks or shoes on.”

To make a long blog short, David went on to say, “Our first thought was of a young missionary couple on our team who live in another high rise apartment only a few blocks away. They have two small children ages 4 and 2. After calming the children the six of us adults gathered around the (team leader, Trent) Tomlinson’s dinner table and prayed thanking God for His love and asking for His wisdom and inspiration for the days to come.”

Hardly comparable, that is nothing like the tornados we had while I was growing up in Heavener, when we had to go to Babcock’s storm cellar for safety. Nor not even close to the “small” earthquake I felt when we were vacationing at Disneyland one morning. The quake was off the coast of San Diego, but we still felt the trembling and ran out in the parking lot where it was a wide-open area.

Wynn, likewise, has survived three hurricanes, and in an email, discussing Rita, said, “We evacuated, going North thinking that we would find a place to stay. We had to go to Memphis to find a hotel room. After Katrina, we evacuated to Baton Rouge where my middle son was in college at LSU. No power for 13 more days. When we did get to go back home, we ran a portion of our house and refrigerator and freezer on a gas generator, primarily at night. The gasoline would last from dark until about 4:00 am, when I would refill it and run it until daylight. I felt like a primitive hunter, getting up every day trying to find water, ice and gasoline, and food in that order. I was so proud of myself, when I was able to bring home the supplies. It was almost like a great hunting day for a caveman.” I, of course, felt the aftermath of Ike as it blew over East Texas, causing heavy rains and plenty of damage. Again, nothing like Mickey has experienced.

The Lord does work in mysterious ways, saving our lives. He can’t stop the damage, but as Bro. Benny put it, don’t base your safety on fear, rather let your faith guide you.

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