In just over 3 weeks from seeking shelter in a storm in South Dakota, we had to stop a program again and seek shelter in the basement at Camp Witness in Long Pine, Nebraska. Actually, the powerful storm stopped the program.
Without warning, the power went out in the chapel where we were teaching 15 high school campers and 8 counselors. This was followed by a terrific crash of a tree against the side of the chapel, only feet from me and several campers sitting in the front row seats.
We quickly headed to the basement stairs at the back of the chapel using our only source of light … cell phones! Outside, the rain was pounding, the wind howling, lightning flashing, and thunder booming. Also, there were peculiar sounds we later identified as trees cracking, snapping, and splintering in the wind.
This storm blasted in around 8:30 in the evening and continued for several hours. There was a lull in the storm, but there were warnings of another violent storm that was possibly on the way. Consequently, all of the campers stayed in the basement that night, without power (which was not restored until 2:00 pm the following afternoon) or water, and sleeping uncomfortably on the floor with a few mattresses that were carried in.
At light the next morning we were able to survey the damage outside. Right away we were able to see how God had protected us. It looked like a war zone. Not only were broken tree branches littering the ground, but there were fallen trees everywhere. Through Gods protection, only minor damage was done.
One huge tree was uprooted and fell between our travel trailer and another nearby small travel trailer. The branches barely touched the other trailer and were only feet from landing on ours … God’s protection!
The tree that had crashed into the side of the chapel had done no real damage other than the hand rail on the stairs of an exit. It had snapped off about half way up the tree. If it had uprooted instead, it would have crashed through the top of the chapel where we were all assembled … God’s protection!
Another tree blew over, just brushing the cook’s cabin, yet no damage … God’s protection! Over 15 large trees fell or splintered during the storm, and yet there was no real damage other than the loss of trees.
Now some might call our close calls luck, but I would disagree. I saw not only the power of God in the storm, but also the power of His protection. “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Ps 59:16
Billboard From God:
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