What sounds like thunder and rain is not what it appears. A volcano nearby is erupting. On the news there are people escaping and kids crying. Reporters say there is chaos in the city. Luis and I just came from outside where it is literally raining earth. From inside it is a normal, comforting sound. But knowing what is happening gives me a sobering feeling. Hundreds of people are reported missing and hurt, and thousands are being directly affected. Huge rocks have destroyed shelters. One man being interviewed live at this very moment described a huge river of lava before he broke down crying. As he tells his story of how he escaped, he praises God for rescuing him. The reporter is having a hard time holding it together.
At SETECA the freshly swept halls are now covered with dirt. I have had to reflect a lot lately on death. Yesterday when we were in class, there was a small plane flying overhead. Everyone heard when it clearly crashed nearby. After class Luis went with a group of people to see what happened. About a block away, the plane had crashed and exploded right in the middle of the city. The three people inside died instantly and there was also a worker who was killed when the plane crashed. Supposedly the pilot had been looking for SETECA’s soccer field to avoid killing anyone else. He missed it by a about a mile.
Even though there are tragedies happening all around, God is clearly in control and has His hand on His people. Just this week He protected a student from Peru. SETECA has two apartment units for married couples and families. Luis and I live in the one on campus, but many of our friends live off campus about a mile away. There are constantly robberies and assaults on the road to this other building and those who have cars are thought of as very blessed to not have to walk that small stretch of road. This Peruvian man is a father and husband and has been blessed to have a van to come back and forth to school and also drop his kids off at school. Well, this week our brother in Christ was pulling up to his apartment building and honked at the gate for the guard to let him in. I don’t know all the details, but my understanding is that a group of armed guys came up right then and jumped in the van. They made him drive several blocks away to the dump where they left him there and took off with his van. I imagine he was very shaken up, but we praise God that his life was spared.
Life is very uncertain and I am asking myself if I am ready to die. Just this afternoon there was another earthquake here in Guatemala. Outside it continues to rain ash.