Our Family Mission Statement

We are a real family seeking to serve a real and living God. Our desire and mission is to magnify and glorify God in our everyday life at home, church and abroad. Our goal is to help families understand what their purpose and design is in regards to the family; recognize the enemy for who he is and what he is doing; and to point families, both saved and unsaved, to Christ as to become living pictures of Christ and His bride and of God and His children. As families are strengthened the church will be strengthened, therefore, being a brighter light to a dark and hurting world.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Just missed by a Tornado!

This past Friday started out normal with our usual routine of housecleaning. Everyone has a room to clean and we try our best to get the whole house cleaned before lunch. That plan worked very well as it usually does and next on the planned agenda was afternoon errands. Papa got home early due to some forecasts of bad weather coming our way in the evening, so Elisabeth and I took everyone out shopping for dinner and the next few days, having no clue what we would be facing within the soon approaching hours.

Soon after we arrived back home, we girls started on dinner while the younger ones took to playing outside. Shortly after supper was in the making and in the oven, I looked up my favorite weather channel: KFor live streaming. I connected it to the computer so we could go in the room and take a peak any time, and soon found out that the OKC metro was in serious danger of being severely damaged by three tornadoes. Most of us, being very weather interested and curious, went outside to survey the clouds and the atmosphere, as weather experts do, and came to the conclusion that the church basement would be the place to be when these winds and circulations pass over us. Before long, as we were expecting, our tornado sirens went off and signaled us to the church.

When we got there, we found it to be full of neighbors, friends, church members, as well as people who had come from out of state to be of assistance in the previously hit Moore area where the May 20th tornado had just swept through. The census was about 1,000 people crowded into the basement. Sure enough, as we listened to the weather advisors, we learned that we were surrounded by tornatic activity: one tornado on the ground directly northwest of our location on I 40 heading towards downtown OKC, one southwest of us heading toward Moore again and into Norman, then a third one formed just north of Will Roger's World Airport which made it's way directly over our location,  touching down at one location just about 3 blocks away from our house, ripping off the garage roof and severely damaging the living quarters. We got hurricane winds snapping power lines and laying road signs flat while twisting and splitting trees and presenting flash floods. We stayed in the church basement until the storm passed over us and experienced the power outage down there which meant no light and no air conditioning, but we were thankful to be in a place underground just in case the tornado did decide to grind through.

When we arrived back home after taking a short drive around town to see some of the damage, we found out that, along with power outage, the only other problem we had was that our air conditioner unit had been opened by the winds which made a direct water pathway to under our house. We accumulated about 4" of water all under the house which overflowed into boys about 1". We thought it was due to the high winds pushing the water under their door from the outside, so we started attempting to manually drain the water out by soaking large towels and wringing them out by hand, and we were willing to do that for however long it took, not knowing that we wouldn't get to the end that way. When Papa came home he did some further investigation and found the problem stated above, so he ran to a store and purchased the last water pump he could find to fix our problem.

As I am posting this, we are in our third day without electricity, but Praise the Lord, we have water and a couple of camping cookstoves that we can cook our meals on. It was very interesting watching people the first day after power went out just drive around not knowing what else to do because they didn't have TV to keep them inside, and we can't use a plugin radio because we don't have electricity so we didn't really know what exactly happened except from what friends and family told us through phone calls or text messaging, but signal was sparse and hard to come by especially during the storm. It has really provided for a community mindset to come back to our neighborhood and surrounding area because it takes people to survive when we don't have all the modern conveniences to live our lives for us. We are very thankful for dear friends and neighbors who are checking up on us, helping out with our laundry, calling and seeing how we're doing, offering their homes for us to reside in until we get power back on… We want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who have helped us and looked out for us one way or the other and prayed for us! Even though we have not lost everything as some have within the past two weeks, it is so encouraging to know and feel the love and support we have from those we love!

I have conglomerated some pictures of the last couple days, that may give you a little aid in picturing what we've been up to :) So here they are…

Friday Morning, Christina working on cleaning the Girl's room

Charity and a young friend of ours cleaning the dining room

Daniel enjoying getting attention from a busy passer-byer, oblivious as to what all is going on :)     

A good game of Shark Tag after house cleaning and before errands
Watch out, y'all, Charity's it!

A change in weather… even the cat is a little concerned...

A shot of the clouds right above our house shortly before the tornado sirens go off and we head to the church 

Down in the basement before the power goes out along with about 1,000 other concerned people wondering what's going to happen  

Camping stoves are a blessing! Especially when there's no other way to cook!  

Just glad to have a hot breakfast the next morning! Look at that cheesy smile :)

This is what the four boys woke up surrounded by the next morning… Caleb and Joseph LOVED it! Josiah and Joshua, well, they knew a little better...

Our day was cut out for us. All the bedding from the boys room was moved out to dry and we started in on the big project of trying to get all the water out - without electricity :) 

A better shot of the front corner of the flooded room

Laura trying to sweep the water out, and evidently hoping the towel catches it instead of her skirt :)

We found out that it takes teamwork to wring a sopping wet towel out!

One of our neighbors came over to talk a little while we were outside doing this and alerted us that there was over 140,000 residents out of power in the metro area, including pretty much everyone in our neighborhood as well. Then, feeling sorry for all the hard work we girls were having to do with our extra watery situation, he offered his water vacuum to help the process go faster :) We then alerted him that… we didn't have electricity. :) We all had a good laugh after he realized what he had said!

Sarah, a little weary of the laundry situation… "Are we done yet?"

Sarah tried to help sweep the water out with her dress while announcing to any onlookers that her dress was water-proof. :) If your ever in a crises, just listen to a child's perspective… they will usually lighten your heart somehow :)

The waterpump that we gladly let have the job of emptying the water from under the house that was causing the problem!

But in order to let it have the job, we had to move the stairs from the house down to the boy's room away from the wall which caused a problem for one of our team members which will explain itself in the next picture...

Watch your step.
You may fall.
Be carful as you enter.
~ Experienced Laura."

The reason why I am able to post anything right now is because one of our very good friends and neighbors down the street has loaned us a small generator which has been such a blessing in helping with the fridge and freezer as well as a few other miscellaneous needs like this one :) It has been a blessing! When we go without what we take for granted, we all of the sudden become very thankful for anything that resembles it! Praise the Lord that He is taking care of us! We are consistently being reminded of His ever constant presence and bran new mercy each morning and grace for one day at a time! 

~ Anna*   

P.S. Papa got a good picture of the tornado that passed right over us from the church parking lot with his phone. I'll see if he'll be willing to send it to me so I can attach it to this post within a few days :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness you were all safe, and that the tornado barely hit your home! It’s wonderful how you guys keep the good vibes going, despite your house being flooded, and there are obviously a lot of repairs and cleaning that awaits you. Well, I guess being positive is the best way to deal with such situations. Keep it going!

    Gail Wallace @ Emergency Flood Masters