We spent 4 long days awaiting Hurricane Tomas. We first heard about it on Friday afternoon. The kids were dismissed from school and the Island was put on alert. As we waited through Saturday, then Sunday we kept hearing that Hurricane Tomas had been upgraded from a Category 2, then 3 until it reached category 4. As time went on the storm was moving slowly but with more and more power. It was headed Southwest through Vanua Levu, the northern Island, through Taveuni and then straight to Suva. By Sunday evening and Monday the entire city was put on a curfew. All was so quiet it was eerie. No traffic, no dogs barking. Everything was closed down for 2 days while we waited and waited. By Tuesday midday, the news came that it crossed Vanua Levu, Taveuni and the entire Lau group as well as many surrouning islands. The devastation was unbelievable and Suva was bracing itself for similar devastation. By Tuesday afternoon we received news that the Hurricane had changed direction, first due south which meant it would skirt Suva and the Eastern side of the Island. It soon was on a South East course which meant it would miss Suva completely and that we were expected to have ony winds and rain. By Tuesday Evening all was calm and the worst was over. Wednesday, everyone was back to business as usual however the talk of the town was how lucky it was for all of us that Suva was spared from the the effects of this devastation. Many prayers were answered and much thanks was offered to God for sparing us from the devastation on Viti Levu, Fiji's main island.
Our thoughts and prayers were with those people devastated by the Tomas in the northern Island. All of our missionaries were accounted for and reported safe and unharmed. We were unable to make contact with the 4 missionaries on Taveuni for another 2 days. Our prayers remained with them assuming that "no news was good news" til Thursday evening when contact was finally made and all 4 missionaries were safe and out of harms way. Relief efforts began immediately, our missionaries are assessing the damage done, and New Zealand sent help immediately.
Taveuni has a brand new chapel that we are scheduled to go to the dedication of it the end of April. Our concerns were that the new building had been destroyed or damaged but word came that it did not sustain any damage at all. Amazing!
Needless to say we were more than relieved that we did not sustain any affects of the storm other than a few branches blown from trees, No fierce rain, no power outgages. What a blessing to all of us.