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Forest Fire

During January and February 2005, the first wells were drilled at the International Children’s Care campus. It was very hot and as a result of no rain, very dry. The rig was set up in a broad depression in the land between the school and the orphanage. The four inch main water lines had been constructed to this point and a small concrete shed was prepared to house the valves, pump controllers and electrical connections to the power grid. The rig was working on the second well and making good progress. One afternoon we began to smell smoke on the wind and it grew progressively stronger. By five o’clock the sky was full of thick smoke. From the higher vantage of the school, we could see a wall of flames about 100 yards wide moving through the tall grass and trees directly towards the valley where the rig was.

During supper, the director made an announcement and after the meal at least 50 young men gathered to try and fight the fire. The only weapons they had were hoes and rakes and machetes. It seemed to me that these “weapons” would just serve to cut the fuel into smaller pieces, but that was all they had. We visitors gathered in our quarters and watched as the red glow through the trees came closer. During the evening we realized that unless the wind changed, there would be no stopping the flames. The only thing we could do was pray, and we did. We went to bed anxious for our precious rig.

The next morning I was up before dawn and saw there was no orange glow in the direction of the rig. At breakfast, we learned that the students and others had been up very late, fighting a losing battle with the flames, when suddenly the wind changed and began to blow the fire back upon itself. The wind was such that the fire could not advance against it. The fire was dying out. The students had been up a long while that night, but at breakfast everyone was very happy.

That afternoon the fire flared again for a few hours, but in the evening, the sky opened and a drenching rain ended all threat of fire. Even the wind shall obey Him. Luke 8:24

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