The storm of the last few days may very well become known as “the Storm of 2011”.
A winter storm blew in and stranded many people on the road and in the ditch. Strathmore, just 15 minutes north of us even declared a State of Emergency for about 36-48 hours as they tried to cope with all the stranded people. A family ended up at the local Fire Hall looking for shelter. The white-out conditions made going any further impossible.
At 12: 35 at night we were called to see if we could assist them. When I met the family at the Fire Hall, the Firemen were out on another rescue call. The family consisted of one husband and wife and two children, the husband’s brother, and the grandma. I couldn’t just take them to the church and leave them there. They ended up on the floor at our house. This was late Saturday night.
The storm continued to blow through Saturday night, all day Sunday, and into the second night. The husband was trying to dig his Suburban out the Sunday morning, to make it possible to get home, but there were still road warnings in effect. The storm was so bad, we didn’t even have church, in fact, I as the pastor didn’t even make it to the church.
How do you entertain a family whom you don’t know? They were even from a different culture, Muslims of East Indian background who had grown up in Tanzania, Africa. My wife did an awesome job of providing food for them, but was told the wife wouldn’t eat beef because she was from India. As Lynnette was cooking some pizzas she was also informed they wouldn’t eat it because it had pork – ham- on it. So she came up with something else!! She even prepared a separate vegetarian sauce alongside the beef sauce she had prepared.
My poor teenage daughters had a tough time. The son was about their age but not interested in doing anything beside playing his gameboy or whatever his handheld toy was.
They even spoke in their own language most of the time, keeping us out of the conversation.
But what do you do? You help them out just they way that you would want to be. Would this be expected of a city pastor? Probably not.
Yet it gave us an opportunity to meet someone from another culture. I even had opportunity to talk with them a little about their Muslim religion.
Interesting experience in the “Storm of 2011”!