Set-up days are necessary, but not necessarily fun. Hours are spent filling sandbags, raising shade cloth, cutting weeds, running electrical wires, installing safety barriers, and preparing each site for excavation. There are no Indiana Joneses on set-up day, just dusty grunts lugging gear and getting the job done. Today was one of at least two set-up days. Sadly, many of those dusty grunts – missing luggage lost by the airlines – had to work in clothes they had not planned to get dirty.
As far as set-up days go, this one was a good one. Much work is left for tomorrow, but much work is complete. If all goes well tomorrow, we could be digging new material in some of our locations by Tuesday.
Something weird happened today. The Old Testament often speaks of whirlwinds – Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind and God’s judgment is said to come like a whirlwind. What is the whirlwind in the Bible? A tornado, tempest, or a water spout – maybe. Could it be one of the whirlwinds that we called a “dust devils” in parts of the United States? This biblical word picture of a fast-moving whirlwind appearing without warning came to life for us today.
Just as we were beginning to eat lunch, a whirlwind (dust devil in Oklahoma speak) came through our camp. The whirlwind picked up one end of our tent (shade cloth and plastic pipes strapped down with rope and iron stakes). The shade cloth, poles, and stakes flew right over most of our heads and landed on the other side of our camp. I say most because at least two of our volunteers were hit when the tent was caught up in the whirlwind. Thankfully, the injuries were minor – a scrapped shoulder and bump on the head. It could have been much worse. We are thankful for God’s protection during this weird event.
On to day two of set-up.