November 28, 1951

Picture of Eunice Ott

Eunice Ott

Missionary with the Evangelical Alliance Mission

Msengedzi
November 28, 1951

Dear folks,

You must send my post at my new address.  Here it is:

P.O. Bindura, P/B 16

I really should have told you the last time.  Tell any of the others to do so to whom you might write.

Well it is humid today, although it is about 20° cooler than yesterday.  We have had terrific heat for some time and yesterday it climaxed in a big windstorm for us plus a little rain.  It had been very, very, very hot for days and yesterday I dismissed school at nine o’clock as it was so hot.  In the afternoon a storm arose and it didn’t appear to be much, but suddenly a terrific blast of wind, dirt, rain, plus all sorts of stuff came upon us.  I never have experienced  such a gale in Africa and all of the people say they never have seen such a wind.  It lasted about half an hour.  Just Lois and I were here, as Warren had gone up to Mavuradonha with a load early yesterday morning.  We were each in our houses.  I had to stand and hold a window shut as the wind would yank it from the hook.  The grass roofs of our houses were all badly damaged.  I expected to see the roofs go flying.

In the midst of the terrific blast, I heard a yell like someone out in my yard who had been hit.  I learned afterwards that it was our half-wit herd boy who was out back here.  I surely couldn’t blame him for yelling for fear.  He wasn’t hit.

Well after it subsided, we went out to look around and we looked up toward the school and church, and both of those lovely big buildings lay in a heap of rubble.  How shocked and stunned I was.  I rushed up there and the teacher was already up at the school.  It was such a terrible sight.  I had a lot of school supplies in the office, and the cupboard in which they were was still standing and the supplies were OK but the desk and chair were kindling wood.  There was about three feet of brick, mud, etc., on the floor.  The walls of the main part had all fallen in and the big grass roof squatted flat on the ground on top of the bricks.

The church was even flatter than the school.  Well, it really is awful after all the work, etc., put into those buildings.  The church wasn’t quite finished.  It wasn’t finished inside and the tower hadn’t been put up, but otherwise it was lovely.  When Russ hears about it – I wrote him – he will surely be stunned, too.  To think of all of his hard labor.

Today school met under two little grass shades which we have.  We still have a week of school.  They start to write exams tomorrow.  Helen and Orval are supposed to come down this week-end with a load of their things.  They will be shocked, too.  Well, we must be thankful that we weren’t having school at the time of the storm – I never would have thought to leave the school for a storm – and then that it wasn’t the houses in which we were in.  The natives say that it ripped grass off of their houses, water came in, ice came down from heaven, but here on the station we didn’t get any hail, and they say that they were all scared.  Lots of trees were uprooted.

Well, so it goes at Msengedzi.  It is very hard to understand but I guess that it isn’t asked of us to understand.  I told the school kids this morning that yesterday they saw God’s power in the wind and that we could do nothing about it.  I told them that one day He will pour out His power in wrath and judgment on sin and sinners and who will be able to flee from it.  The only safe place will be in Jesus.

Well, I trust that you are all well.

Love,
Eunice

School under the grass shelter

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