EARTHQUAKE – Cartwheeling Children

25 April 2015 – Part 2

As the people of the church are pushing and shoving out the door, I slowly react, do a 180 and all care and thought about the babies and people are gone. I push my way into the stampede and head towards the stairs. The stairs with no stability and their steepness would be highly illegal in Australia. I was eating my previous assessment of the stairs where I thought they were okay and typical of the area – no, they are without-a-doubt the worst and most terrifying stairs!

At the top of the stairs, I look down and there are three boys. The boy furthest up the stairs trips with one of the earth shakes and tumbles into the other two. All three boys cartwheel, roll and somersault over each other and land in the twisted pile at the bottom of the stairs and for less than a moment; as quick as lightning, they are up and out of the building; screaming. And the earth only seems to get angrier, more violent.

Next down the stairs is a dad, who is holding one son under his underarms up. His other son is behind him with his arms gripped around his dad’s waist. The second son doesn’t use his legs. It’s like he lost the ability to carry himself. He is being dragged down the stairs. The boy looks as if he is about to snap in half. All the while, they are being knocked side to side as the earth continues to wave.

Without wanting to accidently stand on this boys’ seeming lifeless legs I have to wait a moment at the top of the stairs. I am having to hold back the stampede and I can hear, clear as day, Brenda’s loud and cried prayer: “Lord Jesus, please protect us!”

At the sound of this prayer, I have this moment of clarity, where I smile to myself because I know that I will not be dying today. I have things in life that I still have to do. Because I know that I am called, and things I’m called for I haven’t yet completed.

Once the boys and their dad had safely cleared the stairwell, I sprint down those terrifying stairs being rocked side to side, all the while being shoved and pushed from behind.

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Tahlia Van De Beld is currently in Nepal Working with Metamorphic
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