Hi Friends, thanks for visiting again. I am in the middle of my posts I wrote while on vacation in Puerto Rico last week when Hurricane Maria hit. If you have not read the first two, here are the links:
Written September 21st, 2017
Well, the storm is over, but it is still raining. We were finally able to open the doors this morning to see the damage. I will say that comparatively speaking the house did good. The windows upstairs didn’t break as we had thought. We have no clue what we were actually hearing crash and shatter, and that is okay! There are bushes in the pool, trees down, and we now have a view of the ocean that we didn’t have on Tuesday. The only damage to the house was some of the roofing tiles flew off and are scattered throughout the yard, and also outside light fixtures shattered all over the patio. Oh, and the electric gate came off the hinges and now has a new home in the driveway.
Thankfully the apartment has a garage, because if we had left the rental car out, it definitely would have had a shattered windshield.
We went to the top patio for a better view and what was a nice view of this side of the island on Tuesday, now shows incredible damage.
It is like I was transported from my nice vacation and placed on the set of Hollywood’s newest disaster movie.
My aunt and uncle have had this house for a while, and this is probably my 7th time here (My 3rd time with Mike). This place in a way feels like home. We have been here with family, and with friends. This has been a place to celebrate, and relax. We have our favorite restaurants and our favorite beaches. Just like home.
I feel like I am living in a movie though. It is like I was transported from my nice vacation and placed on the set of Hollywood’s newest disaster movie. As I was walking the street this morning and taking it all in I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. This place I love, I have never witnessed anything like. The lady’s house next door has a lot of damage. Luckily, she wasn’t there because the windows and doors (even with the hurricane shutters) blew open as the storm was raging, and there is water damage downstairs. The guy who lives downstairs, Andreas, has a wife on the other side of the island who he can’t contact to let know that he is okay. Part of the woman’s roof, who lives on the corner, is in our yard and scattered on the street. This woman, Catherine, has stage 4 lung cancer.
We continued around the bend that leads to the hill to see how our way out looked, and the way out is blocked. There are good sized trees down. It looks like it is that way all the way to the beach.
We do know the God who is in control
Even with all of this, you all still know more than we do. There is no tv, no internet, and no cell service. Like Andreas, we have no way to communicate to our family and friends that we are okay! We are more than okay. God gave us incredible peace during the storm, and continues to do so. There is a lot that we don’t know. We don’t know what Category the storm hit us at. We don’t know the significance of the damage, but we do know that if this small portion of the island reflects the rest of the island, it is catastrophic. We don’t know if we will be able to fly out on Sunday as planned. We don’t know when we will get cell service back. We don’t know when people will come to “dig” us out. We don’t know if we will have enough food to make through.
However, we do know the God who is in control. And this journey is only increasing our faith. We have clung to faith over fear. We chose Peace over chaos, and His presence over devastation. We chose Jesus. And that is enough.
“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
I was thinking about how Jesus stilled the storm last night. He was in the boat with His disciples and a windstorm came on them. The boat was being swamped by the waves, but Jesus fell asleep. His disciples woke Him up, and cried to Him Lord save us, we are perishing. Again, He is with them in the storm, and says to them Why are you so afraid? (Well Jesus actually since you asked, I could think of a lot of things that I could be afraid of!) Then He immediately rebuked the winds and there was a dead calm. The One who controls the wind and the waves, is in the wind and the waves right beside you.
And He is in the devastation here. He is in control, and in the chaos, He still holds it all together and says to you You of little faith, why are you so afraid?.
As I was writing, Mike left the house to go help Andreas, and another guy named Dave clear some of the hill from the downed trees. A few minutes later I hear that Mike had flagged down a guy who had a digger and he was going to come and clear the hill for us. This also came with word that the road out to the main route was cleared as well.
You of little faith, why are you so afraid?
We didn’t need any more assurance that God was with us, and ahead of us fighting our battles, but we are thankful that He continually shows us that He has gone before us, and protected us every step of the way.