Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tropical Storm

I pick out a bracelet from the pile and then carefully fold a paper tag around it. I then dip a thin stick into the modge podge and glue the ends of the paper together. I hold it up and examine it critically. It looks good. I add it to the ever growing pile of Denise’s jewelry that is taking over the dining room table and then look outside at the darkening sky. Looks like rain is on its way. I walk up the few steps into the playroom and check on the sleeping Jayden. He’s stretched out in his comfortable chair, oblivious to his surroundings. I don’t normally allow him to nap in the afternoon but since we have a MAF staff meeting planned for tonight, I decide to let him continue sleeping. I look outside again and notice how windy it’s become. Several minutes later the sky opens and the rain pours down. I hope Jason has landed, I think to myself, and reach for my phone. Thankfully he answers after the second ring. “Is it okay to land?" he yells into the phone. Not hearing any background airplane noises I’m pretty sure he’s teasing, but just in case I tell him it’s definitely not safe to land. “I’m safe on the ground,” he then tells me and I sigh in relief. Just then the winds increase in intensity and I can hear the tin begin to bounce on the roof. "It sounds like it’s going to rip right off", I tell Jason. “That’s not good”, he replies,“But there’s not much we can do about it right now. Just stay safe.”

After talking for a few more minutes, we say goodbye and hang up. Clatter, Clatter, bang. The storm is getting louder and the winds are so strong now, that they are blowing my secured screens right out of the windows. My heart starts to pound and I force myself to take a few deep breaths. Stay calm. Once I’ve calmed down a little, I get to work putting all the screens back and closing all the windows. Meanwhile water has flooded the living room through the large screen door, soaking the curtains, so I quickly slide the glass door shut. Leaves have blown in, and not till all the windows are shut do they stop swirling through the air. Once I’ve gone through the house securing everything the best I can, I grab my laptop to check the National Hurricane Center. Since we are in hurricane season we check the website almost daily, but nothing had been forecasted. Now looking at the world map, I don’t see any storms or storm warnings for Haiti. “That’s strange,” I mutter, as the intensity of the storm increases. Feeling unsettled and frightened I search my music library until I find the song I’m looking for. I click a few buttons and few minutes later the calming melody plays over the speakers. The song is about that God is God of all the earth and nothing is outside of His control. Just focusing on that helps calm me. I softly hum along, and then once again check on Jayden. He’s starting to wake up now, and a few minutes later he’s sitting up. The storm doesn’t seem to bother him at all and after asking for juice he asks if I can make Thomas puzzles with him. I take the puzzles down and find a spot beside him on the floor. A few second later there’s a knock on my kitchen door and then Denise pushes it open. She’s carrying what looks like a bundle of towels, and it’s not until she lifts them up that I see Jocemine hiding underneath. “Eske Mr. Jason ap vole?” ("Is Mr. Jason flying?”) she asks worriedly. “Non, mwen te pale avek li e li pa ap vole” ("No, I talked to him and he’s not flying.") She lets out a sigh of relief and her face visibly brightens. I talk to her a few more minutes and then she opens the kitchen door again. The winds are so strong now it looks like she might blow away. You can all come inside here if you want, I tell her. She hesitates for a moment and then passes me Jocemine. I can make it back to our house she says, but she can stay with you for a little bit. I carry Jocemine to the playroom and find some toys for her. She is quite content and doesn’t seem to mind at all that her mom left. I continue to play on the floor with Jayden and Jocemine, thankful for the distraction. Beside me, my laptop continues to play the same song over and over. Jocemine seems to like the quiet, calming melody, and I watch delightedly as the little one year old begins to sing and sway back and forth. Jayden continues working on his puzzles and reminds Jocemine every few minutes, that “that’s my Mom.” As I play with the kids, my mind begins to wander to all the people living in tents. With winds so strong it’s ripping the bark right off the trees, I am certain many tents are being destroyed. Please be with them, Lord, I beg silently, feeling helpless. After what seems like hours I finally hear the welcoming sound of Jason honking at the gate. “The wind was so strong it pushed unsecured airplanes right across the tarmac. I can’t even begin to describe all the downed power lines and trees and flooded roads we saw on our way back from the airport either. And did you know that a tree landed right in the middle of one of our MAF staff’s vehicles destroying it?” Out of breath, words flow out of Jason’s mouth. Just happy to see him I put my arms around him and hold him tight.

Align Center


  1. Thanks for the update! I was wondering how your storm experience was. I saw pictures on the internet. So sad; people loosing their homes and shelters again! Thankfully you were kept safe through the storm..!
    Take care! Love, Mary

  2. Wow, thankfully you are all safe. How awesome that we can trust in God!

    Take care, enjoy your company, praying for strength for all of you!