Michael* listened to his mom and grandmother talk about the hurricane heading to their home in Florida. At six years old, Michael wondered what all that meant. Would they be safe from all the wind and rain that people say come with a hurricane? Where would they go?
Soon the wind started to blow so hard that the trees bent over and the rain started to pound against the windows. Michael’s grandmother lives with him and his mom, so they all decided to leave and find a place to stay safe. A friend who worked at a gas station told Michael’s mom they could stay there during the storm, so they quickly drove there.
Hurricanes form over warm ocean water near the equator. They create fierce winds and heavy rain. Sometimes they also cause tornadoes and high waves that create floods.
But as they waited out the storm in the gas station, someone exclaimed, “The roof is coming off!” The wind was so strong it was taking off roofs, snapping trees, and turning over cars. They were no longer safe at the gas station so they ran to a building next door. They hoped this building would be stronger. There were other people in the building who hoped the same.
Children hid under a mattress in hopes it would protect them if the roof blew off. Michael sat on his grandmother’s lap. She held him so tightly he started to complain. Michael’s grandmother told him, “I have to hold you tight so if this roof blows off I can keep you here.”
Michael replied, “Grandma, are you scared?”
His grandmother said, “Yes, I’m scared!”
“I’m not scared,” Michael said. “I prayed and Jesus will take care of us.” Time seemed to pass slowly as they waited for the wind to calm down. Michael kept praying, “Jesus, please keep us safe. Jesus, please save our house.”
The night was long. Some people tried to sleep on cardboard that was on the hard floor, since there were not enough mattresses for everyone. When morning finally came, Michael, his mom, and his grandmother started to drive home to see if their house was still standing. But there were so many trees that blew over the road they couldn’t get home! So they stayed at a relative’s house for a few days.
After all the trees were cleared off the road, they started for home again. What would they find? Would their house be standing? When they arrived at their house, they saw it survived the storm! Michael’s grandmother reminded everyone that God answered Michael’s prayers. The roof was the only thing that needed major repair. Only a few things inside the house needed to be fixed.
Even though their house was still standing, things didn’t work like usual. Some trees that blew over had damaged the electric lines. This meant they couldn’t cook or get water from their faucet. They brought home ice cubes from an ice machine down the road, and melted the ice cubes for their water. Then they used a generator to heat water in a coffee maker so they could do dishes and have warm water to bathe. When they were finally able to eat a hot meal, Michael’s family thought it was worth a million dollars!
One day some volunteers from Christian Aid Ministries came to start fixing their roof and other things that needed to be fixed. Michael enjoyed spending time with the volunteers and quickly made friends with them. They gave him a Bible and a Bible story book. He was so happy to call the book and Bible his own. Michael, his mom, and his grandmother are thankful for the way God took care of them and their house through the storm!
*Name changed to protect identity.