We live in a double-wide manufactured home in the country. We have oak trees all around the house, several within just a few feet of the house. This gives you a slight picture of what our place is like.
This last weekend we had a large storm that rolled through the area. On Sunday evening, at about 7:30pm, we heard a large crashing sound and the house rumbled some. A couple of my boys suddenly noticed that there was a tree laying down on our porch outside.
I went out in the rain and looked at it. Along with that tree on the porch, there was another tree leaning up against the corner of the house. I immediately went back inside to see if there was any internal damage.
At the corner of the house where the tree hit, is a bathroom. Above the bathtub in the corner, the ceiling was partially caved in. Water was coming through in a solid stream. The amazing part in the water coming through, was that it was running straight into the tub and down the drain. This was the first protection of God in this terrible situation, along with that fact that no one was hurt at all.
With it raining hard, I knew that we could do nothing about it that evening. I just praised God that it was draining into the tub.
About one hour later, the power shut down on us. We had no lights and our water supply is from a well with a pump, causing no water available.
As this was happening in the great storm, we lost cellphone reception and all internet connection. We could not look up what was happening or if the power company even knew about the power outage. There was no way of knowing how widespread the outage was or when to expect power back on.
Since it was extremely dark in the house and there was nothing we could do, everyone went to bed around 9-10 pm. I have a family of eight children. All were home at the time this was happening.
Around 1:30 am, I was awoken with a very loud bang that rumbled the entire house. I jumped out of bed and began to head through the house to find out what had happened.
As I was going through by flashlight, the power was still off, I met one of my boys coming towards me with a flashlight, also trying to find out what had happened. I looked outside and could not see anything other than a large tree covering our porch.
I went back in to the bathroom and saw a large surprise…part of the ceiling was completely missing and one wall had a huge hole in it. I could see the sky with no problem through the bathroom.
Going back outside, I went around the porch and the fallen tree to see what had happened. The second tree that had been leaning on the house had fallen the rest of the way. It took out the wall behind the bathtub from floor to ceiling, along with a section of the roof.
The next blessing at this point, that God had blessed us with, was that it had stopped raining.
Four of my children helped me then to start putting a tarp over the hole and roof of the house.
While we were doing that my wife stayed with my youngest children and worked to calm them down. Two of my boys were sleeping in a room right next to the bathroom and so they heard and felt the shake really bad.
It took about 3 hours to get the tarp on the roof and over the missing wall. I knew the plastic that I used was not great, but knew it would be better than nothing. It would at least keep some of the rain out of the house.
At about 4:30am I was able to go back to bed. Since I normally get up around 5am, I was wide awake by about 6:30 and unable to sleep.
I got up and started doing my devotions and normal morning things. At about 7am someone drove up to our house. I did not recognize the vehicle so I went out to find out who it was. It was a friend from our church that had heard of our situation and showed up with a chainsaw ready to work at removing the trees.
Immediately we set to work at cutting the tree branches down and moving them off the porch. At about 8am two more friends showed up to help. Several more called and said that they would be there at some point in the day. One of the friends that came, had come with two of his friends, who we did not know, to help out. Several people had a chainsaw. Our neighbor allowed us to borrow his tractor to move the parts of the tree to a burn pile area on our property.
One lady showed up with food and water for everyone to eat. It was enough food and water to feed an army. This provided more than enough food for everyone working. This was the next blessing from God.
By around 2pm, we had both trees completely cut up and moved over to burn piles, the house had two tarps covering the hole in the roof and the wall completely, and the hole inside the house was patched over.
The amazing thing in all of this was that the weather forecast the entire week was to be rain every day. God gave us the entire day with absolutely no rain at all. It was very beautiful weather to work in, not too hot, not too cold. God was pouring out His blessings on us in the midst of an extremely hard and dangerous situation.
God also blessed us with the fact that during the time of the cleanup, no one was injured in any way.
Right now we are waiting on the insurance company to get an inspector come out to see what the damage was and how much they will pay. We don’t know how God will get all of this fixed, but we know that He is in control.
Not all of the people who helped us were members of the church that we go to, but they were believers in their own churches. This was a great example of how the family of God takes care of its members, regardless of denominational differences.
Along with this, throughout the entire situation, God helped me to remain calm and not get angry, as I normally would have. I had a peace that was supernatural and a strength that was only from God. God provided help and strength above what I had expected. Without His help and the help of all the friends, it would have taken us several days to get the trees cleared.
I want to encourage you, that no matter what you are going through God is right there by your side. He can give you the strength that you need to make it through your situation. God loves you and I and promised that He will take care of all of your needs. Trust Him today and give Him praise, even in the storms of life.