And So Life Goes On…

Its hard to believe that only one short week ago we were still reeling from the biggest storm to hit this region. A storm which, at its centre, took out 1 in 3 homes. A storm that did some major landscaping work in our yard and left us without power for days.

These massive trees were down all over our neighbourhood. (Photo by Carol Watson)

In some ways the threat of a big storm is exciting. Blue skies and a slight breeze would have been deceiving if not for bom.gov.au – the website we used to track the storm as it made its approach.

And so it was the big circle on our computer screen that motivated us to pack up our important documents, clear our yard, fill our bathtub with water, and pull out the gas cooking stove… just in case.

In case came.

As we tucked into bed at a neighbour’s house by the beam of a flashlight (yes, we evacuated. have you seen the dodgy windows at our place?!), we heard the crash of a massive tree.

The tree that fell on Ken & Robyn's house

Hello, Yasi.

The next morning was a mixture of shock and relief. There were power lines and trees down on our street, our neighbourhood and across town. And yet, almost no damage to homes or lives.

Just around the corner (photo by Carol Watson)

A miracle, truly.

Thanks for your prayers.

Jared went out to assess the damage and check up on everyone. So it was a little… uh, funny??… when he checked on the girls who live in the unit below us and they had wondered if our roof had been torn off in the night. Water was pouring down from upstairs and flooding their living room.

No, the roof it still on, he assured them as he went upstairs to find out what had happened.

Our windows had been blown open by the storm. In the kitchen, the mini blinds were down to catch any glass that might blow out. (Stupid, Rebekah, stupid. If a cyclone blows glass its going to blow it past those stupid blinds anyway and get it all over your kitchen floor, back stairs, sink, and more. Yes, I know this now.)

So the mini blinds were caught up in the strong winds and managed to get entangled in the kitchen faucet, pulling it on and flooding our kitchen, all the way down to the girls downstairs.

We felt like cyclone idiots.

Building across the street from our YWAM centre (photo by Carol Watson)

But we recovered quickly, washing the mold which started growing almost immediately, drinking our rationed water when the city’s supply grew contaminated, cooking on a gas stove, picking up trees (two of which we were quite happy to lose – they were making a mess in the pool anyway), and helping to launch a city-wide cleanup effort.

The grocery stores are still stocked sporadically. But we have power. We’re drinking water from the tap. And we celebrated a birthday.

Yes, life goes on

Too Tired To Write

Oh, we have so much we’d like to say but we are oh. so. tired!!

Cyclone Cleanup is in full swing and we are loving it but putting a lot of energy into things and needing some rest.

We look forward to updating you on all the things that have happened… the funny things, the scary things, and the downright strange things. After all, we have just been through one of the worst storms in recorded history in this region.

It will come. We promise. For now, we’re off to bed for some much needed rest.

We have a big weekend ahead… including our boy’s first birthday party. We thought about cancelling it. After all, even though the grocery store opened this afternoon, the chip aisle is completely empty and its pretty hard to have a party with YWAMers and not have chips!

However, our prayer has always been that our little man would be one to bring life to others and the truth is, in the midst of great disaster, we are looking forward to celebrating life with our friends… even without chips.

Thanks for your prayers. They are so appreciated. Oh, and please enjoy this video of some of the cleanup around the neighbourhood today!!

A Picture the Past 24 Hours

Here is a short video clip on how we are after Cyclone Yasi. We are still without power but are having fun “camping” in our house with plenty of water, canned goods, flashlights, candles, and our trusty camping stove! (That sure was $20 well spent!!) Still no word on when we’ll have power and making the most of the continued mobile phone and internet service.

Cyclone Update 8am

Cyclone Yasi has now passed through Townsville. We are grateful to report that all of our staff and students are safe.

Due to continued winds we will remain bunkered this morning. Power is out in our area and it appears that it may be some time until it is restored.

The storm is still continuing through other North Queensland communities inland and we would appreciate your continued prayers for those who have been and continue to be affected by this storm.

Good night! Sleep tight! Don’t let the Cyclone Bite!

As I tucked Max into bed a couple of hours we prayed for so many communities in the heat of Cyclone Yasi.

We have been bunkered down since 3 this afternoon when we decided amidst increasing winds to sneak across the street to a friends house with a few less windows and a lot more brick than we have! Not only is it a lot more fun to ride out the storm stuck inside with friends but Jared has been helping organise the preparations for our centre and it leaves him better positioned to assist.

So we reinforced our windows with a few extra screws and flashig and duct tape and headed into shelter where we’ve been relishing the power… Which ironically went out as I typed that sentence!

Wind is grand… Rain is pouring… And we are safe, sound and enjoying your prayers!

This Cyclone Yasi Update Brought to You by The Hoovers

Well, we don’t want this to turn into a weather blog but we really wanted to write and ask for your prayers with this weather! As you know, the storm on the weekend (Cyclone Anthony) downgraded and did not cross the shore with much damage at all. (Yeah!)

We are now tracking another cyclone – Yasi. Its a good thing that Jared & Max prepared on the weekend as we were already ready for this storm!

my hunk-a-spunks

This storm is significantly larger, and in fact, possibly the largest storm to ever hit the Queensland coast. While it does not look like the eye of the storm will hit us, we will have a lot of rain and wind. Many people have been asking us whether we will be evacuating. Our house and ministry centre are actually located along a big hill so we do not need to evacuate at this time! (Yeah!)

We live in that white circle surrounded by blue!!

In fact, we have prepared fully, flashlights, matches, portable stoves, candles, board games, water, food… and even some comfort food! 😉 (Which was on the list of things to have available!!)

The rain and wind have started and there is anticipation and caution in our heart – we must be wise and prepared. But we are not afraid! We are bunkering down in our home within the next hour where we will stay until the storm passes. This is the safest way to ride it all out and we’ll look forward to some cozy family time!

We appreciate your prayer for our family, for our ministry centre, and for the communities of North Queensland.

We anticipate losing power sometime today or tomorrow but will endeavour to keep you updated as we can. Don’t get worried if you don’t hear from us! We will most likely be just fine enjoying dunkaroos and card games!

Love,

The Hoovers