So, in my last post, i sort of gave a general overview of my trip in Cachi. Today, i want to share the most dramatic moment of the week. One of the projects we had been working on each day was the construction of a small for a struggling couple, in which the wife was 24 years old – with 6 kids!
The government was giving away plots of land to build homes on the far outside part of town. Their plot was located on a wide, unprotected plain in which the wind would come up, whipping across the entire valley, driving up so much dust and sand you could do nothing else in those moments then turn out back with your eyes squeezed shut to wait it out.
Saturday was our last day in Cachi and we were determined to finish building the walls of house, so that way the family (who was working alongside us) would have left to complete was the roof. That day, i caught the second car load up to the work site. The wind was worse than ever. For the safety of looking through the car windows while driving up from the more protected central part of town, the immense dust blowing around looked so thick, like a heavy fog coming off the ocean. But shockingly strong, like a wave that hits you with such force that your knocked off your feel and come up from the surf sputtering and gasping for air.
That was the same sort of feeling of shock I felt when we arrived at the house and the entire front wall, which the day before was above my head, was lying strewn all over the ground in a crazy disaster of rubble. So complete was the destruction, i was certain that it had been pushed over by someone intentionally. Even when the the part of the team who was there explained to me how this mini tornado like twister had come up and paused right over where they were working, and so then slowly, section by section the blocks began to fall. But there was so much wind and sand that no one really knew what was happening until all over.
That is except for Alexis. Who, in that crazy moment, had been standing on top of that exact wall and only thanks to God and the dynamics of physics, was only her little corner still standing. Because the scary reality is, even though those blocks were made of mud, they’re heavy; probably a good 20 or 30 pounds each.
So even though the wind was still gusting with incredible strength, we started to pick through the mess. See what blocks could be salvaged, because more than just the loss of the wall, each block represented a significant amount of labor to make by the father of the family. And by
chance I happened to touch one of the metal support rods-ouch. suddenly my hand wasstinging. i assumed that the wind had slammed a small pebble into my fingers. So i kept untying the string on the rob. and i felt it again. then i realized it wasnt anything hitting me, it was an electric shock – the whole column was electrified! I looked up,completely expecting to see huge storm clouds like there was about to be a tremendous lightening storm, but the skies were beautifully blue, like the most perfect of summer days. The shocks were from the amount of static electricity in the air from the wind blowing so much sand against itself. There was so much static electricity in the air that one of the guys was happened to be wearing a wool sweater, and he said it was giving him all sorts of shocks as well.
The whole experience left me truly amazed by the rare power of nature. Made me think of this passage:
“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13)”
In that gentle whisper, was the voice of God.
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