“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that windy wet day.” (Dr Seuss)
Elder Hall was up at 5 AM to look at the storm predictions. The Zone Leaders texted at 6:30 AM.
Any news updates?
Elder Hall replied:
Still about the same track, north tip of island, winds 75 to 120 and rain 2 to 3 inches possible in Toledo.
The electricity, internet and water went off about 8 AM. I had started cooking some rice in the rice cooker for our breakfast. When we lost power, I transferred it to a pan and finished cooking it on the gas cook stove.
Brother Marven texted about 8:30. He needed to get fuel for the generator at the church house, but hesitated to ask us for help because he was afraid we would be breaking mission rules. We told him that getting gas for the church was not breaking mission rules, and Elder Hall left to help him.
Brother Marven is the Facilities Manager and had spent the night at the church. He said the wind and rain was severe until 3 AM. Branches were down all over town. Many members who did not feel safe in their own homes were staying in the church building. The cultural hall, stage, and all the classrooms were full. The church in the Philippines is a strong hold of safety in many ways.
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness therof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? (Psalms 24:1-3)
Sister Schmutz texted all senior couples at 9 AM.
Good morning. The rain and the wind have kicked up here in Cebu. The models we are following show that the worst of the storm should hit within the next 6 hours. The eye is expected to pass over northern Cebu Island near Bogo with winds upwards of 190 miles an hour. This looks like it is going to get rough pretty quickly. It is pushing northward and should not directly hit Negros, but expect high winds, high sea surge, and rain. We are expecting loss of power, but will keep in touch as possible. If emergencies arise and communication is not possible, we trust you to do what needs to be done to keep yourselves and the missionaries safe. Love to all.
At 9:30 sister Schmutz texted that they had lost power. The rain was light, and winds light with heavier gusts. Elder Hall parked the pickup by the back door next to the house to give it protection if any trees should go down. He brought the propane tank in and attached it to the stove inside, and tied the gate with a rope to a tree so that it would not flop in the wind and tear loose.
Then we waited. Sometimes the wind and rain would pick up and then settle down. As the wind blew harder, some trees must have gone down across the road. Men started bringing out branches and pieces of wood that they had chopped up with machete a (bolo). They went back and forth during the worst of the rain.
About 2 PM we saw some sparrows out foraging, and decided that the worst had passed. We probably got 3 inches of rain and the wind gusted up to 45 mph. There seemed to be more damage in CebuCity. The mountains broke up the storm and sheltered us here. The banana trees were hardest hit. Their fibrous trunks bend and break like giant flower stems.
We read. I did some journaling. We studied some Bisaya. We ate some dinner. By 6:30 it had been dark for a while and we were so tired that we started getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we will take the elders back to Lamac. Maybe we will help finish a service project we started last Monday. When the sun comes up, the people will clear away the branches and sweep up the leaves and return to the rhythm of their lives.
Before we went to sleep, we thanked the Lord for His protection to the people in this part of the islands, and asked His blessings on those who were in need because of the storm.
As we went to sleep, we thought we heard a collective sigh of relief from all the missionaries.
This has been such a long, long day
We can go out all day.