A STORM IN THE CHURCH
Thank God for HIS grace!
This is my personal testimony: 03.30.16
I was on my way to Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the north side of town. It was a clear, beautiful evening and the sky was blue, without a cloud visible. As I was talking with my eighty-five (85) year old mom as I do each day, my phone sounded a weather alert stating: WARNING, A TORNADO IS IN THIS AREA! TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!
I looked into the sky, and it was still cloudless and blue, no wind, no rain, no hail, nothing to indicate severe weather, only my phone alert. Okay, I thought, well not this immediate area, but maybe ten or more miles from me…so I figured.
I arrived at my husband’s church, Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church, All was still calm, I took my usual seat, greeted my fellow members’ brothers Prevost, Thompson, Sister Tracey. Sister Scott and brother Suttle were in the treasurer’s office.
Testimonies and prayer request just concluded, and I raised my hand as if in school, and said, “Pastor, I had received one warning of a tornado while driving and now another alert.” My husband indicated “yes, I am aware and we are on alert.”
The church (has) had a very high ceiling with offices upstairs, a large open sanctuary, and two long hallways on each side, no windows, and natural light only from the lobby. The church underwent an extensive renovation inside and out about a year ago.
About 7:18 pm, the wind began moving forcefully through the rafters, becoming disturbingly firmer, fine sand like substance started falling from the ceiling; and at that very moment, Pastor Phipps gave instructions to move quickly from the sanctuary into an alcove in the lobby, encased in brick and cinder blocks. Vehement winds were firmer, with sharp sand hitting my face like powered glass. I was always praying out loud repeatedly; “Lord, please save us.” Moments later, the offices upstairs collapsed; the roof disappeared; rain was falling hard upon us. Ceiling tiles were hanging from their original places as well as electrical wires; I prayed they were not live. Water invaded the church about two (2) feet deep. I was also very concerned about tangled wires and sharp debris in the once beautiful edifice. With Debris in my eyes and throat, I continued to pray as I witnessed a tumult whirlwind of papers and other debris rotating in the lobby, the sounded like a speeding train, and rain was falling. When we finally reached the sanctuary and gazed up at the blue sky, I fell to my knees and thanked God for Grace.
I repeated, “at no time did I witness the sky turning dark or saw the tornado.” Humanly, I will never understand why the strong, violent, twisting wind didn’t lift us through the gaping hole in the roof. Spiritually, I understand perfectly. I also know the Lord said to Satan, “You will not take my servants! I know the Lord is a shield in time of a storm. I know the Lord will never leave or forsake me. I know I can walk in the valley of the shadow of death and know the Lord is with me, and that troubles and storms don’t last forever.”
I oversee the only soup kitchen on the north side of Tulsa, but because the Lord gave me Grace, I know it will be bigger and better to serve the food insecure people from the area. Please pray that the “Soup Kitchen at Bethel” will receive donations to restock our shelves. Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church the P.O. Box is 481002, Tulsa, OK, 74148.
If you doubt the reality of our Lord and Savior, talk to me about the miracle the Lord performed the evening of March 30, 2016.
Sister Carolyn Phipps, MAOM
Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church
April 18, 2016
February 24, 2016
February 24, 2016