Storms Rage But Our Community Stands Tall
Power is off, cell phone circuits are starting to overload. Our
community of 125 people has been hit by
a ďwind-quakeĒ. Dozens of 100 year old, 100 foot tall trees are
down on top of the many houses. Eloika
Pines MHP was named for them.
Is anyone hurt?
Can we get the water system up?
Which houses are damaged?
Who is available to help?
These are the questions running through my mind as I began to
scramble my schedule and make flight
arrangements. Worried and unable to offer immediate help, I try to
find a crew and a crane to head up
to the community and help them dig out immediately. I did not know
that God was already on the job
God is Good. All the Time! This is my mantra and I donít even know
how good He is being to us yet.
No one was hurt. The park manager made sure we followed our
emergency protocol and got water
pumping when electricity was down. He did this even when his own
house was severely damaged by a
tree while his wife was inside. He kept his focus on what the
people in the community needed because
God is his real boss.
No one was hurt. Even in the lodge where the Peaceful Valley
Church leaders had been holding a
leader meeting after their first day of VBS. This church had been
planning a new direction of ministry
within their own community. Our community had agreed to host their
VBS and ladies bible study that
week. They had prayed for open doors, but did not imagine God
would fling them open!
At the wrap up meeting for the first day, the leaders knew the
winds were picking up. They were
nudged by God to go outside of the house to secure awnings. Within
30 seconds of leaving the house,
the wind picked up and threw down a very large tree onto the roof,
into the very room where they had
been sitting. The people dived under cars to hide from the tree.
One of the church leaderís RV and all
four cars were demolished.
The people under them were saved. They could have picked
themselves up, dusted themselves off, and
said, ďLetís get out of here.Ē They didnít. They had prayed for
open doors in our mobile home park.
God answered their prayers to serve. They called their families
and friends to help clean up our park,
home to many elderly and low-income people.
Three days of clean-up started that night. Heavy equipment arrived
from the nearby farms with chain
saws and more help. In the midst of the chaos, Peaceful Valley
Church was a clear beacon of Godís
love. Not only did they bring machines and muscle. Even more
important, they brought joy. By
Saturday morning, when they sponsored a brunch for the park,
almost all trees were removed from
houses. By the end of the weekend, it almost looked as if there
had been no storm chaos. Not because
of willpower and might, but because people were willing to be
Godís best sermon by acting with love.
The Sunday service at this church the Sunday after, was evidence
of how God works when bad things
happen to Godís people. These people lost cars, they were afraid,
they worked non-stop for 3 days to
help strangers. They showed the evidence of Godís presence in
their faces because they knew without a
doubt that God had called them to that place at that time to be
Jesus for those who need Him.
Will things go back to normal? Yes, eventually. Will those of us
who saw Godís hand at work forget
how awesome He is, maybe. For me, I want to hold it near, to help
me remember always, God is in
charge. Even better, God is good, all the time!
Written by Loren R. Acuna