July 2012 - Vol. 61

front end digger in Roger's backyard pool

“What Is a Front End Digger Doing in Our Pool?”

by Roger Foley

In the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of September 2010 which struck Christchurch, New Zealand, our swimming pool was damaged and since then has been unusable. Then the significantly more powerful February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, which caused many deaths and ravaged the cluster and eastern suburbs, finished off the pool by spiraling nearly 20,000 litres of stagnant water several metres into the air, then when the water crashed down it sucked soil, rock and garden into the pool...

Month following month, the pool disintegrated into an unsightly and unhealthy deep green color with no possibility of seeing the bottom. I hammered the insurer repeatedly and advised that on measuring the water loss and replenishment rate, the average was 7,845 litres a week since last November. But still no action, until last week.

A window of encouragement
And then within four frenetic days – with trucks and diggers and land compacting machinery seemingly everywhere – the back end of the carport, also damaged in the earthquakes, was demolished and the pool was extracted and then the hole was backfilled with dirt. It was a job well done.

But that is not necessarily the end of concerns, because several hundred thousand litres of leaked water went somewhere! Take a look at the photograph. The pool damage is evident, but look at the wetness of the excavated soil. Take a look at the collapsed ground which slid into the pool taking the digger with it as soon as it moved close to the pool edge. It took much skill and five hours to extract the digger.

The repair of the significant damage done to our home could still be several years away, as with five or six others of our nineteen damaged homes in the cluster. But it did feel somewhat satisfying to see, at last, some progress on the pool. It was a window of encouragement.

Where did that come from?
This week we received news of the unexpected 5.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the area around Melbourne, Australia and my thoughts and prayer went immediately to our brothers and sisters in the Families for Christ – they would indeed be unnerved and wondering “where did that come from?” And our Wellington Branch people live right on top of what is reputed to be the “big fault-line” of New Zealand. And worldwide there are many of our communities vulnerable to severe disasters and devastating acts of nature. But we all have access to God. The best and perhaps only real preparation for our lives as we move through life is our relationship with the Lord.

And so Veronica and I have had a flicker of re-build activity right there in our garden. It is not much, but it is a start. But in a more significant way we have the assurance of the Lord as he spoke to our community gathering in June: 

My ways are not your ways. I know that you have served me faithfully for thirty-three years, but I say to you this day that your work for me is only just beginning. It is only just beginning for all around this nation I have placed lights, lights, the Lamb of God Community – in cities and in provinces. I say this day that your work for me has only just begun. And for those of you who are young I say this work is for you too. And for those who are getting older I say to you this day that your strength is in me and not in yourself. I will give you strength. For days of darkness are coming on this land. Your work for me is only just beginning.
Roger Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God Community. He and his wife Veronica live in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
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