As most of you know our family spent three weeks at the beginning of this summer doing deputation. We always set out ready to make memories and have exciting adventures. This year we got more than we ever expected. The second weekend of travelling we were ready for a little down time, the plan was to get caught up on sleep and laundry. The church we were scheduled to be at that Sun. morning had an empty parsonage that they offered to us for the weekend. We arrived Fri. evening, had a nice dinner and then kicked back for a relaxing evening. It began to storm outside, which was fine with me cause the sound of rain on the roof just puts me right to sleep. We were sitting in the living room just about ready to head off to dreamland when we heard, felt, and saw a huge explosion. Everything went black, I could hear kids in the midst of nervous breakdowns, but couldn't find them. My first thought was that it was an earthquake, until my dear husband said, "I think we just got struck by lightning". Since the storm seemed to be almost over Harold went out and turned on the lights in van to give us some light. When he shone the lights on the side of the house this is what we saw.
The lightning had dug up the ground,
blown up the phone box,
knocked the door open and the light off the wall,
and turned part of concrete steps into rubble. When we went back into the bedroom, which was on the other side of the screen door and steps, we found this hole in the wall and my suitcase which had been leaning against it knocked over with the contents spilled on the floor.
I almost immediately smelled smoke, but we thought it was just left over from the lightning strike. Harold found a breaker box, flipped a few breakers and the lights came back on. We figured the worst was over so we tried to get our petrified children calmed down so we could get a good night of rest. When we woke up the next morning we immediately began to smell smoke, as we went to the front of the house it got worse. Harold called the pastor who assumed that it was left over from the lightning strike. We left for a few hours to get some laundry done. When we came back the smoke was so thick in the living room that we didn't let the kids go in. Around the side of the house Harold found this hole with smoke billowing out of it.
Harold found access to the attic, but couldn't go up without a wet rag over his face. He found a pole outside to shimmy up on the roof to open the attic access. He quickly realized that it was more than he could handle and called the pastor who called the fire department. Basically what happened is that the lightning came in the phone box, travelled up to the attic, went into the electric lines, set the insulation on fire, and then went back down the wall in the bedroom and exited out the wall and into the steps. All night while we slept the insulation directly over our heads smoldered. The firemen asked for copies of our pictures since they had never seen anything quite like it before. We can now say that we slept all night in a burning house. Looking back we can so clearly see God's hand of protection on us. It doesn't make sense that none of the wood caught fire, there were boards that were charred and too hot to touch, but no flames.
Awhile back a heard someone talk about making a photo album for your kids with pictures of times God had intervened on their behalf. You can pull it out when they are discouraged or start to doubt as a reminder of God's faithfulness. These pictures definitely make the book.