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Message from Todd and Patsy

February 23, 2013

 

Dear Friends and Family
 
First of all, thank you for your prayers during Cyclone Haruna. We are fine and recovering from the storm. 
 
Rains began through the night on Thursday and Friday morning at 10:30 the cyclone began to hit. 12:00 noon the winds were high and continued to 11:00 pm, calculated to be gusting at 230 km/hr. The house survived, although we thought a few times the roof was going to blow off and Patsy abandoned ship and went downstairs while Todd mopped the incoming rain which was leaking through the roofs, windows and underneath the doors.  We were so thankful that the roof remained intact and the loud creaking was coming from the gutters, of which some did blow off. The largest part of the damage was from the south side as the storm circled around. At 4:00 pm the kitchen window blew out and went flying through the kitchen, frame and all, miraculously not shattering nor hurting either Todd nor Pierre as they were only a few feet from the window, nor breaking any dishes. We called in two other men and Patsy to help place a large board in front of the window, which took over an hour to configure how to secure into place with the large winds and rain howling.
 
11:00 pm the winds began to subside, but since the electricity had already been out for a day and we did not hear any news since the night before, we were not sure if it was the eye of the storm, or if the storm was leaving. Fortunately for us, the storm was moving across Madagascar heading, we heard, to Ft. Dauphin.
 
Other than that, the Gathering Place faired well except one large window downstairs which shattered. In Andranomena, the fence was completely destroyed, the shed roof and wood ripped apart, Victor's roof and two doors ripped off the hinges, the guard's door ripped off and the overhang to the guesthouses torn off. Thankfully the dormitory, educational building and newly constructed dean's house are fine but we heard that many parishioners' houses have been destroyed.
 
Regarding Toliara, we took a morning drive to Aubin (translator) and Tahiry's civil wedding (which still took place at the Village Hall!) and saw many trees down, roofs blown off, electrical and phone lines down and buildings shattered. We have been informed that the dike of the river that runs north has broken and the north side of the city (where one of our churches is located in Ambohitsabo) has major flooding. Rev. Noely, in Ankilifaly, is taking caution and moving his things upstairs to where we used to live and other parishioners are already suffering heavily.
 
There is no electricity in Toliara, no water to the Gathering Place and limited petrol supply. We thank the Lord that no one we know of at this point has been injured and we continue to pray for God's healing, strength and courage as we reconstruct the surrounding environment. We have not heard from any of our clergy in other parishes nor our evangelists. We are most concerned about Morombe, where the cyclone first came on shore.
 
If you get this email is it only because we have just a little bit of battery power on our back up system. We have extremely limited contact because everything is shut down, so please pass this email on to others because we are unsure when you might hear from us again.
 
Patsy was due to go to Mauritius on the day the cyclone hit Toliara (Friday 22nd)and her flight has been postponed until Monday or Tuesday. We will see when flights are leaving Toliara and will keep you informed.
 
Again, thank you for your prayers for protection for us. Truly our safety is a witness of the love and mercy of God. Please continue to pray for the community as we rebuild what has been lost.
 
Serving Him Together,
+Todd and Patsy+