Friday, October 31, 2008


When we woke up Tuesday morning, it was snowing. We were surprised. Everyone else was, too. And caught off guard. But the adventure was only beginning! The snow turned into a once-every-decade blizzard! You see, we live at the top of a mountain, which is higher in elevation than the surrounding areas. When there is bad weather, we generally experience the worst of it. And this was to be one of those times. We stared in awe as it snowed and snowed and snowed.

As we were walking back to our little apartment from our regular noon-time prayer with the Global Mission staff here, we could hear trees and large branches snap, pop, and crack under the weight of the newly formed snow.

Because the trees had not yet lost their leaves, they acted as gloves, and caught the snow as it fell. For many trees, the weight of the snow became too heavy, and they fell to the ground, each sounding like a rifle shot as they broke. It sounded like a battle outside, as shot after shot echoed through the woods. And the snow piled higher and higher. All over the mountain, hundreds and thousands of trees and branches crashed, some on power lines.

A typical scene around the Liebenzell Headquarters property the next morning.

Notice the large branches on the power lines and on the ground. This scene is behind our little apartment. Two and a half days later, nothing's changed. At noon, our power went off. At 2:00 in the afternoon, Anne and I ventured outside to measure what turned out to be 11 1/2 inches of snow - and it was still coming down hard.

Here is Anne with a 12 inch ruler.

Anne after placing the 12 inch ruler into the snow next to her. See the top? Only 1/2 inch is sticking up. Eventually, we lost our water. Then as evening fell, 45 to 50 MPH winds started whipping through - just like in Guam when a typhoon blows through! Only this time, IT WAS COLD!!! FREEZING!!!

Staying warm has been on our minds the most since last Tuesday. So we slept that night under all the blankets we could find, and in as many clothes as we felt comfortable. In the morning, when it's cold outside the blankets, and there's no heat in the house, most people will get up and build a fire in the fireplace. We don't have one! The only way we can stay warm is to throw on a few more clothes. Eventually, we even throw on the winter coat, the stocking cap (called by some a toboggan), gloves, and a scarf. And at some times since then, we've passed the time reading while sitting on a coach under a blanket.
So, it's been a little bit of a challenge to stay warm enough to keep on packing, find a way to eat, while trying to stay warm. And did we mention trying to stay warm?

So, there's been a small number of us here on the mountain who have spent time searching for a way down the mountain and a place with the Internet. A way down was found the next day. But it's taken a little while longer to find the Internet. Bill Schuit, our Global Missions Director, just called a few minutes ago with the word, "There's a warm fire in the fireplace and the Internet at Panera Bread at..." then he names the place. It's not too far away. So we jump in the car. wind our way down the mountain, and here we are! We still don't have power, water, or heat, but we have plenty of God's grace to keep us going!

We're planning to move down off the mountain this weekend to Virginia to begin our slow crawl back to Micronesia. Who knows, maybe we'll even have a chance to get a warm shower before we leave!

1 comment:

The Mayer House said...

ok ok i will try to remember!! :)