If the Lord had not been on our side . . . the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. . . . Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124: 2, 4, 5, 8, NIV

On Friday, November 8, 2013 (also my husband’s birthday), the world had its eyes on the Philippines as Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history, hit. As winds increased momentum, the drum-like beat of raindrops on the roof became deafening. At 7:00 A.M. water began seeping in under the door. We moved to the next room where the babysitter, my eldest daughter, and my two-year-old girl climbed onto the double-decker beds.

Suddenly, with a loud crack, the door was cut in half by a wall of black, rushing water. Knees quivering and hearts gripped with fear, we—including my husband—climbed the upper deck and tried to break through the ceiling with the handle of a broom we had grabbed from the top of a cabinet. Since the only hole it made in the ceiling was the diameter of the broom handle, my husband inserted his fingers into it and pulled. Thank God, the whole ceiling square gave way!

We quickly climbed up as the water inside our house now churned up to ceiling level with a sucking sound resembling that of a washing machine. Outside, winds howled and huge waves repeatedly struck our building, threatening to collapse it. Aloud we repeated God’s Bible promises of deliverance, prayed, and sang my baby’s Sabbath school songs. Repeatedly we sang, “My God is great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.”

Around 10:30 A.M. the water subsided. The highest outside watermark was fifteen feet; inside the water had reached a “low” of only eleven and a half feet. And what devastation! Missing houses along the shore, vehicles—some upside down or piled one atop the other—scattered like litter, and only concrete posts where concrete houses had once stood. The scarcity of food, water, and clothing resulted in great suffering, not to mention the loss of lives.

That night we gathered for worship thanking God for His wonderful deliverance.

Once again, He had proven himself faithful and true to His promises. Truly, “my God is so great, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.” Praise His holy name!

Fe C. Magpusao

First published in Notes of Joy (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press), 2018.
Carolyn R. Sutton, editor