Our only insurance is in God, family's house destroyed by Volcano
Ten years ago in Montserrat, I built myself a five bedroom
house in a superb area where the mountain and sea was always in sight.
I considered myself successful. I later got married and then came the
car. I thought I would never have to go from one place to the other
paying rent, I was wrong. The volcano started (which we were excited to
experience, totally ignoring the dangers) and changed all that comfort.
We were forced from our homes into a life we never dreamed possible.
The seventeenth of September 1996, one year and two months after the
Volcano erupted, we were awakened by the sound of the Mountain churning
like a giant concrete mixer. There was a large plume of ash with fire,
lightning and thunder. It looked like a giant “star-light” with red-hot
materials falling all around it. Stones were falling like if a tree
full of mangoes were shaken.
I got dressed, picked up my emergency bag and woke my neighbors, who
were sleeping through it all. I told my husband “lets go” and he asked me
“where”? I told him if he wanted to stay it’s up to him, but I would
rather die trying to get out than die not trying.
We piled into the car with our neighbor, her husband, grandmother and
child. We started our escape towards the safety zone. The stones that
were falling were the size of tennis balls, in between were a few the
size of coconuts. I thought we were going to be crushed in the car.
We had only gone half a mile and we couldn’t see, the windscreen and
headlamps of the car were covered with ash. We got out of the car and
felt our way (by our knowledge of the area) to a shop below the road. My
neighbor pushed her baby into my arms and left. She called me a short
time later, so I gave the baby to my husband and went to see what she
I was shocked to see that she had broken a 24 by 38 aluminum window in
two and had crawled through that small space into the shop. I called
the others, and together we crawled through the space into the shop. We
felt our way around to some seats and had just sat down when the phone
rang. I had an idea and felt my way to the ringing phone. When it
stopped, I took up the receiver and felt my way over the keys to the numbers
of my cousin. I told her where we were, knowing that there was nothing
she could do for us, but at least she would know where to find our
bodies. I knew we were going to die and she did too, the anguish in her
voice said as much. I did the same for the other family and was about to
go sit next to my husband, when my neighbor asked if I would pray with
her and her family. My husband, on the other hand, was telling me to
come sit next to him so we could die together. I prayed with the family
and sat down next to my husband.
My life flashed before me, not the house, not the car, but my
spiritual life. Is it well with my soul and the savior, have I done my best for
Jesus, is there anything I did or did not do in my Christian walk that
would hinder me from making it to heaven? Just then a peace came over
me, a peace I can’t describe and I knew that I was ready. I thought
about the people in the neighboring islands and wondered if they knew how
fortunate they were to be breathing fresh air and living a stress free
life. I thought about the many times my husband and I left Montserrat
only to come back to die. I was so caught up with my thoughts that I
didn’t even realize that the stones had stopped falling. We crept through
the space and felt our way to the car. The debris on the car was about
three inches thick, and was like cement, pasted on the headlamps and
windscreens. We cleaned the debris from the car and proceeded to the
The miraculous thing about this is that of all the stones that fell,
not one hit us. The baby was sleeping peacefully through it all. It was
as if an angel had put her to sleep.
We are paying rent once again because we lost our house with most of
our possessions. The famous words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes chapter 1,
"All is vanity and vexation of spirit" comes to mind. Lay not up
treasures on the Earth where moth and rust doth corrupt. what we took
years to build took only seconds to destroy. Only our relationship with
Jesus will last and I have hope.
One year later there was another eruption and I had to go with a friend
to identify her husband. Some of the bodies were burnt beyond
recognition; some were identified by pieces of nylon clothing that had stuck to
their baked bodies. I said a prayer in my heart for them and thanked
God for saving me the year prior.
We insure our houses, lives, cars and even our furniture. But what
about our souls? When we are dying we don't send for our insurance agents
to find out if our benefits will be taken care of, we call on God. The
insurance companies all filed bankruptsy and pulled off the Island
leaving us penniless, but we had God our protector. If you ask some what
is their idea of a successful life, they will tell you money, a big
house, a car and a family. But what about God? It's not a sin to be rich,
the bible says in third John chapter 1 verse 2, that "God wishes above
all things that we would prosper and be in good health". But we should
not let these things consume us. Let Jesus reign in your heart and
life. Just ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to come into your
life. The next step is to be baptized, study your Bible, (God talking to
you) pray, (you talking to God) and share his words with others, (you
talking for God).
My writing to you is not to get praise or pity for myself, but to share
with you the length and breath of Gods' love and mercy. We lost our
house but our home is in heaven. If this has been a blessing to you
write to the address below and share it with me.
Thank you for your time and feel free to pass this on to someone else
Testimony submitted to the Breadsite. To submit yours click here.