We didn’t see it coming. We couldn’t believe it was coming right our way. We had only been back to Haiti for a month and we were just settling in. Then it came to the point there was no longer any question we were in the line of fire and we all started really moving to prepare! In all that time the Haitians were in even more denial…such a thing had never happened in any of their lifetimes…and God wouldn’t do that to them. So they never prepared. Then it was too late!
Experiencing the hurricane is indescribable. The increasing roar, the plywood banging on the windows, the sound of tin roofs being destroyed all around us; only the arrival of dawn seemed to help since we could finally peer out. We could already see a new world out there as everything appeared flattened. We had no idea.
We were blessed to keep three single missionary ladies, Janae, Courtney, and Judith (as well as Jersey the dog), for a few days as they had tin roofs on their homes. During the storm we all spent the long night camped in our living room trying to sleep between mopping water and the tin banging. We shared many meals and many encouraging words that week.
Cleanup started immediately after the storm as several missionary families lost their roofs and we had to quickly move their belongings to other homes. We hardly had time to look around, but it was amazing to realize that every leaf was gone, every tree was either down or shredded. We noticed a very odd thing: many white buildings had turned shades of green or yellow! Someone figured out that the leaves had smashed against the buildings so hard that they had splashed their chlorophyll all over them!
Many Haitian homes, churches and school lost their flimsy tin roofs. Some had walls collapse as well. Many streets and buildings were flooded and were left with lots of mud. Everything was
wet and stinking. The aftermath was overwhelming. Everyone had their normal life suddenly turned upside down.
You really appreciate running water, showers, electricity and gas when you are suddenly without all of them at once! These conveniences can easily be taken for granted. A real adjustment has been poor internet and phone service, and in the weeks since the storm there have been days on end without anything working!
Since the hurricane we have had even more of a platform to share the gospel, warning Haitians that God has given them another chance to repent, turn from sin and find the Savior! God is rich in mercy towards any that fear him!
We experienced the might and power of God through a storm, and it was enough to put the fear of God back in our lives. How about you? Do you fear the one that the heaven of heavens cannot contain or do you need a storm in your life to wake you up?
October 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm
Hi Mike, I thought of you and your family often during the hurricane and prayed that you would be safe. So happy to here that you and your family are ok. God Bless! I really enjoy reading your emails. Take care.
October 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Thanks for your prayers and for sending that message! Miss all of you and hope you are doing well! Mike
October 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm
Praising God for your safety, trees and roofs can be cleaned up and replaced!!
October 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm
What a powerful update. Praying along with you for the brothers and sisters in Haiti and for those yet to join the Family of God.
Thank you for your example and for your cheerful steadfastness. I cannot imagine what it must have been like, hearing that roaring. We thank God with you that lives were spared in your area.
Hope to see you when I next make a visit.
Love in Jesus,
“Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have. ” John Piper
October 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm
Thanks for your update on the hurricane. I was anxious to read it! So thankful for everyone’s safety! We’re praying as you face the daunting task of clean-up and caring for the Haitians. Praying that God will redeem this for His glory!