Our Sunday afternoon nap was pierced by the screams of our Ethiopian colleague, Meseret. I had never heard urgency in her voice like this before, so in just a few seconds I was out the door. I heard several loud pops, and as I rounded the corner I was horrified to see our meeting place in full blaze. Our guards and several other people were desperately throwing water on the 15 foot flames. Our local construction lends itself exceptionally well to fires: grass roofs, bamboo trusses, and wood walls. One of our guards was already throwing water on the other nearby buildings to prevent the fire from spreading.
The building which was on fire was where we received guests and sheltered ourselves from the afternoon heat. It was also home to our quad bike. Sure enough, as I peered into the conflagration (thank you 12th grade English), I saw one of our greatest assets engulfed in flames. In its short life, the quad bike had been used for evangelism, hauling sand for building, gathering supplies from the market, hauling water, taking passengers to the airstrip, and giving our family fun outings together.
We quickly ran out of water but contained the flames to one building. Tired and in shock but thankful the flames were dying down, we looked around to find out that the 5-year old son of our Ethiopian colleagues was missing. 30 minutes later he was located and it was found out that he had been playing with a lighter when the accident happened. What Satan meant to use as a divisive event turned out to bring us closer together as we prayed, forgave, and worked through this together as a team.
Praise God that no one was hurt and that we only lost what we did. Praise God that He can use all things to bring us closer to Him.