Kate Williamson is a faithful supporter of the Bible cause. As a member of the board of directors of the Bible Society of the West Indies and chair of the Society’s committee in Nassau, Bahamas, she serves the mission of bringing the Bible’s message of hope and comfort to people experiencing difficult times. This message recently became especially relevant in her own life, however, when Hurricane Joaquin hit her home on the remote island of Acklins. Her story of this terrifying experience is a powerful testimony of God’s Word sustaining hope when everything else has been lost:
“Hurricane Joaquin made its landfall in the southeastern islands of the Bahamas with very little warning. My husband Eugene and I thought it was only a tropical storm. But then when we looked, it was just a sudden rushing of the waves from the back as well as the front of the homes of Lovely Bay, where we live.
“The water filled our house in no time after the rain started to fall and the strong winds began to blow, and we knew that we had to take refuge in our attic. We grabbed our life jackets, blankets and important documents and went up to the attic, where we perched on the rafters. Looking back down into the house, we could see that water was already entering. I could feel the whole house shaking.
“Before long the gable end of the house started to creak, as if it was about to fall, and Eugene had to tie a rope to the rafters to keep it in place. The wind was beating the house furiously and there was no escape.”
Comforting words from the Scriptures
Clutching to the rafters, Kate and Eugene listened to the radio for comfort and sang worship songs to keep their spirits up.
“At that point we realised that nobody could help us, only God alone. We held hands and began to pray. I found great consolation in remembering comforting words from the Scriptures.
“Eventually the rain and wind abated and we were able to come down from the attic, but our house and our belongings were severely damaged. Our furniture was floating and our car was submerged. We looked around our community in despair . Everything was destroyed (photo shows a sink hole where the grocery store stood), but people were sharing what little resources they had left. Our neighbours had managed to cook something and shared it with us.
“We were desperate to leave Lovely Bay and get to Mason’s Bay, from where we could contact our children in Nassau to tell them we were safe. But we had to trek through mudslides and huge pools of water, carrying our bags on our heads. At some points we were wading through waist-high water. Finally, after a whole day, we made it to Mason’s Bay and were able to use the satellite phone there. Eventually we were able to get to the airport and fly to Nassau.”
No return home
For the time being, Kate and Eugene see little prospect of being able to return home.
“Acklins is no place for human beings now. There is extensive damage and swarms of mosquitoes. Our beautiful Lovely Bay is especially badly affected, with the roads impassable and the houses destroyed. Please pray for us as we face the challenge of rebuilding our island spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally.”
Photo used by permission of Deandra Williamson: http://deandreblog.weebly.com/blog/disaster-strikes-residents-tell-horror-stories