Friday, September 26, 2008

Hurricane Ike Didn't Blow Us Away. . .

But he sure did take us off the grid for a while! It's been two weeks today since Ike came to visit. Now we are trying to catch up after the crisis and cleanup.

Here's a picture of my backyard 24 hours after Ike washed ashore. As you can see, we were extremely blessed. We only had damage to our fence on all sides, and the shed lost shingles. Our home was fortunately untouched.

Kristen evacuated with her 5 children and had a difficult drive with sickness and changes in trip plans as her husband held down their fort. They sustained little damage to their property but lost several large trees. She got home yesterday, rested and glad to be home. We are both very thankful to the Lord for his goodness to us.

I was so thankful for the boarded up windows while listening to Ike's winds. When the eye passed overhead, we went outside with flashlights. The eerieness seemed to crawl on your skin. Then the second half of the storm hit with even more force. Afterwards we learned to be resourceful and content without electricity for over 8 days.

The community really came together during the aftermath and helped one another. Everybody, including newly-met neighbors, was so giving in time and hard work and supplies. We received from others and jumped in to help others. Passing out food, water, ice, charcoal, and other supplies to those hit harder than us was gratifying.

All of our Hurricane Ike experiences gave us a new perspective. I was thankful for all the opportunities to learn, build and teach real character like generosity, contentment and hard work mentioned above and as well: faith, security, benevolence, patience, alertness, creativity and gratefulness. Homeschooling never stops, does it?! :)

Our homeschool group has been like a community, too. Everyone has been calling and checking on one another, offering to help, giving support, prayer and encouragement. As the electricity has flowed back into homes we've seen more updates from families on our email network. It is comforting to connect again and hear all the news and needs.

A homeschool group needs that sense of community! It is important in the good times and critical in the difficult ones. I'll leave you with three quick ways to help build those connections:

  1. Give time to build relationships and friendships in group activities
  2. Have a website or yahoo group for email networking
  3. Pass out a printed phone directory of and for the members

Survivor by grace,

1 comment:

Kristen and Denise said...

I feel as if I fell off the face of the earth for a few weeks--between weeks of morning sickness and a stomach virus that went through my family and the storm and our "hurrication" (an evacuation that turned into a unexpected, extended, much-enjoyed vacation)--life is just now getting back to some semblance of normal.
A huge "Thank You" to you, Denise, for covering in my "absence" these last few weeks. You are such a blessing to work with!
BTW, our house fared well. Our pasture on the other hand, looks like a bomb got dropped on it. With half of the beautiful trees down, we are starting a family firewood business--I'm not kidding. It's my husband's idea, and I think it's great! It's like turning lemons into lemonade.