Captain’s Log- 11 February 2011- Ice Storm In Bunia


The Governor was ill and had to make a special trip to Aru for treatment across the border in Uganda so I had another trip tacked on to the end of my long day.  As he loaded up with the usual fanfare, a storm was building to the west of the field and lightening flashed.  The tower gave a warning of severe winds and thunderstorms building.  Before I could take off I got a phone call from the guys at our Bunia airport office saying to stay there until I heard back from them as the strong winds, harsh rain and huge hailstones there had just taken out half of the big tree in front of the office and it had fallen up against the windows.  Eventually we left Aru without incident.

Cher in front of our house with vegetation and paint off the walls

As I flew back I could hear lots of chatter from the MAF

Our front yard stripped bare of leaves and ice still on the ground

team talking on the radio, asking if everyone was alright.  When I got over Bunia 20 minutes later the rivers were swollen, some vehicles under water and there were trees down everywhere.  Cher called on the radio and said I should come home as soon as possible before all the hail melted because it was quite impressive. And now, the next morning, the hail has still not all melted!  All the way home there were roofs off, trees down, the stream bed full of ice and mist and people gawking at the aftermath.  I know this is nothing for someplace like Minnesota or Antarctica, but remembering that we are on the Equator in Africa it is all quite remarkable.

Cher and Mkuki with hail in back of house. 8 inches deep!

When I got home everything was a shambles.  All the vegetation was not only off the bushes but chopped into little pieces.  All the bedding and garden plants were destroyed.  The paint was chipped off the walls and there were big drifts of hail about 8 to 10 inches deep in places.  Some of the hailstones were over 2 inches across.  We were blessed that our solar panels were still in one piece and none of the windows on the cars shattered.   Our previously “lush” garden is no more, but other people have no crop for the year.  Our neighbor had his roofing rolled up into a ball.  One of the nearby small shops was completely blown away.  There is always someone worse off than you.

There was so much more in the day, but that will do for now.  Count your blessing today!  I am sure you can find many.

Our neighbor’s house with roofing sheet rolled up by wind.

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9 Responses to Captain’s Log- 11 February 2011- Ice Storm In Bunia

  1. Pingback: Busy Month of Church Visits and 40% Supported | Living Life Fuller

    • jcadd says:

      You are missing out on all the fun. You will have to hurry back. Great to have you. Just saw your thank you card in a stack of letters. Thanks! Jon

  2. Isaac Sibanda says:

    Hello Jon !!!

    Wow im so happy to find you and be able to communicate 🙂
    sounds like your having a great time over there and seeing
    Gods will done over there ! I would love to e-mail you more
    and really just catch up a little ! Whats the best way to do
    this ?

    Thabani Isaac Siband – from Zim
    now in Liverpool 🙂

    God bless !

  3. Chris says:

    As much as the hail storm was that much, and despite breaking up rooftops, and plantations, it left the compound looking white-beautiful!!! with much love to bush captain and bush wife, C.

  4. John says:

    Donna sent me pictures this morning – yes, the storm was large and I’m sure devastating, especially to those with less well-built homes.

    Brian found your blog and sent me the link. This is a great way for us to try and stay abreast of events in your neighborhood.

    I think of you and Cher often and wish that we were coming out again this year. Know that we are prayng for you and Cher and the rest of the MAF team in Bunia and Nyankunde.

    Greetings to all.

    • jcadd says:

      Hey John, Great to hear from you. It would be great for you to come back out. We really appreciate all you guys did for us. Thanks for checking in and thanks for the prayer. More later. Jon

  5. Krista says:

    Wow, that is so crazy! I’m glad you weren’t flying through the middle of that! It looks “normal” to me to see a white ground, but obviously not at all normal for a tropical place!

    • jcadd says:

      Hey Krista, It is certainly not normal here. I am also glad I didn’t have to fly through this. We are learning more of the damage caused to friends but it was a fairly narrow path. Good to hear from you. Thanks for writing. Jon

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