Friday, December 22, 2006

Update From The Big Blow

We survived last Thursday's big windstorm just fine, and our trees weathered the blow with ease, but we just got word a couple days ago that some good friends of our in Seattle didn't make it through as well as we did. We keep up on the doings of this family quite regularly. Not only are they good friends, but they have a ministry in the Seattle area that we have watched grow over the years. When we got the latest news from them, we were expecting an update on their church, and maybe some personal tidbits. We were shocked to discover that the storm we had weathered with ease had hit them a good deal harder.

Their whole family was gathered, in what they thought was the safest room in the house, braving the 80 mph winds that were ravaging their neighborhood, when a large tree from their backyard uprooted and came crashing into their roof, right over the room where they all were gathered together sleeping. Praise God, no one was hurt, but there is now a giant hole in the back of their house. (It took till Monday for the insurance adjuster to give them permission to even remove the tree.) The past week has been rather more of an "adventure" for them than any of us would choose for the cold holiday season. Their whole neighborhood was without power, and they spent the next three evenings huddled around the living room fireplace--with temperatures in the twenties, no power and a gaping hole in their house!! When the electricity finally came back on in the neighborhood, the fire department had to shut off the feed to just their house again, because sparks were flying everywhere over what was left of their roof.

The amazing thing is that they are meeting this situation the way they always do, with hope and fortitude. Their whole church joined together to help one another in the aftermath of the storm, and a work crew from their congregation helped them remove the tree, without further damage to the house. We get a newsletter from them every week, sharing the latest happenings and prayer concerns with the church they planted in Seattle several years ago. We have watched it grow from the time it was a dream, and a vision of a place where interracial families could find love and acceptance, and worship together, to now, when such a vision is a reality, and the church is pulling together to help one another weather the storms of life. That is so encouraging, and while we would wish that our friends were not facing such trials, it is still a blessing to see the family of Christ supporting one another, and our friends drawing strength from their faith.

I'll end this post with the words our friend used to start his newsletter. I pray that this is the perspective I can have when facing life's trials:

We are not the same people that you heard from last week in our last installment of the "Hotline." There are those occasions where God does His best work and stretches us far beyond what we ever thought we were able and adds depth, richness, and a broader sense of His grace and purpose for our lives. Last week has been such a week for us.