After the major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04 p.m. on October 17, we received many phone calls from concerned friends. People from all over the world wanted to know if we were all right.
Yes, we are all right. No, no one was injured. Sure, it was scary. When you find yourself dancing and that was not your intention, and it’s happening because the floor is moving instead of your feet, you hope you will never have to learn to do that step again. The many aftershocks were somewhat disconcerting, too, because one never knows how severe they may he or what they may do to already-weakened structures.
We sustained minor damage at our headquarters building and at our hospitality house a block away. We need to replace a broken window and lamp and fix some loose plaster and non-threatening but unsightly cracks that appeared. Most of us also faced varying degrees of cleanup at home, like crooked or fallen pictures, broken glass and china, spilled cupboard items, toppled appliances and bookcases that disgorged their contents all over the floor.
Ministrywise, it was not so bad. Just before the earthquake, we had already handed out all of the World Series tracts for the day at Candlestick Park. (We always give game tracts to fans on their way into the stadium rather than on the way out, because some are quite unhappy and unreceptive afterwards if their team loses.) On the day of the quake, our staff handed out 7,400 tracts for that big game that never took place. Hopefully, the gospel message fell on hearts that were made more receptive than usual by the very sobering events that followed.
For an entire day after the quake we had no electricity at our headquarters office. That put us behind with our administrative duties, but after an hour of prayer the staff went out on the streets and handed out earthquake tracts instead. We also used the time to write a couple of new tracts, one about earthquakes and one about World Series games that get cancelled.
Our worst problem was that our post office was damaged, so we couldn’t pick up our mail for several days. When we finally did get the mail, everyone had to work overtime to catch up. If you do not receive a receipt for a donation or a response to anything else you may have sent us during the period of October 15 to 20, please let us know.
As to what we feel about earthquakes, we could live without them! At times like this, it’s comforting to remember that Christ is the Solid Rock, even when our entire world is totally shaken. Anyway we intend to stay in the Bay Area because we feel that God wants us here.