Okay, so by now you all now that we've been having some wicked storms out here (and all over Southern Manitoba!). Last night was another "iffy" night full of concern, pacing and anxiousness. I was home alone for night with the girls as Les was out on a fishing trip this weekend. So I kept in touch with Erin by phone from 10:30pm - 12:30am off and on for support, advice, encouragement, radar updates and company.
When Erin said that they were going to bring their girls to the basement again to be safe (the wind had suddenly picked up again, bringing with it a rightful fear) I followed suit. Thankfully Joelle didn't ask too many questions -- it would be hard to know how to answer her questions without freaking her out -- and was sound asleep within minutes. Malia on the other hand was bouncing off the walls!!
By about 11:30pm the neighbors said they were bringing their girls back up to their rooms since the radar showed that the worst part of the storm was already a good 20 minutes passed us. So I got my girls settled back into their beds but I still continued to be anxious as the thunder and lightning was not taking a break! There was another system moving over us which hadn't shown severe on the radar but I still felt more comfortable being on the phone with Erin.
It was during this particular time of the night -- around midnight -- where I was getting especially concerned for Les out in the middle of nowhere. I had prayed for him already while we were in the basement, but it was at this specific time where my mind just started freaking out for him. When I called Erin a little bit later on (for the last time, I think) I just mentioned to her that I really hoped Les was okay. She simply replied "We'll just pray" but I later found out that her and Jer had already seen on the radar that it was REALLY bad right over where Les was camping. I'm thankful for their decision to keep that bit of information to themselves as it wouldn't have done me any good. In fact, I wouldn't have been able to relax all night had I known that. Instead, they just prayed and prayed for him. I am so thankful for my wonderful neighbors -- I don't know how I could've gotten through last night without them.
I didn't find out just how bad things had been for Les and his friends until he got home in the middle of the afternoon. Several trees had snapped and crashed to the ground a mere 6 feet away from their tent. Not only that, but some of the trees that fell down were the ones that their tent was tied to!!! They would hear a tree crack and then hear a loud THUD! right close to them (Les took pictures of the destruction this morning before they left. But since he hadn't taken the digital camera I have to actually go and get the film developed - gasp! -- and put them onto a disc. Then -- if I can get myself to look at them -- I will post them). They spent a good hour or more holding the tent down and praying. I asked Les if he thought he was going to die and his response was that the thought had definitley crossed his mind. I asked him how trees could be crashing down right around them but yet their tent didn't get sucked away. It seems impossible when you think about it. But then again, not. Prayer is a powerful thing and I know that prayer is what kept them all safe last night. My prayers (even though I was thankfully unaware of how serious it was), Jeremy & Erin's fervent prayers and of course the guys' prayers themselves while they were struggling to keep themsleves safe.
There is yet another severe thunderstorm watch out for tonight and I am desperately praying that we will remain unscathed and unaffected by this one. I am purely exhausted and emotionally worn down from all of this and I need to relax and get some sleep. My prayer for tonight is that I will feel the strength of my Heavenly Father's arms around me and my household; protecting us from anything else.