Friday, September 11, 2009

Church was on fire tonight. No, really. On. Fire.

Now you need to know that we worship in a tent attached to an Episcopal chapel in a suburb of Cairo. The tent has a steel frame and canvas roof panels and open sides.  Power cables run from the switch box in the chapel through conduits, across the roof of the tent to the stage on the other side. Lots of power cables. And it was one or two of those that decided tonight, during the offering, to short out and burst into flames.

We were about half way through the second service of our usual three services. There were about 500 people under the tent, and LD Frazier, a gospel singer from New York City was doing some special music while we took up the offering, just before the sermon. Suddenly there was a bang from the back of the tent and all the power on the stage went off along with some of the lights. Someone yelled "there's a fire, everybody get back" and someone grabbed a ladder and a fire extinguisher and climbed up to the top of the tent and put out the flames. We then started flipping breakers, and after a couple more dramatic bangs and pops from the fused cables we decided to kill ALL the power. The Master Switch.

Darkness fell across the property. The kids in KidZone came out of their rooms because all the lights had gone off and the air conditioning too.  People milled around and wondered what to do. Eventually we decided that we couldn't get some of the circuits back on safely as we didn't know which breakers were connected to the fused cables, so we cancelled church and spread the word.  It was all Very Dramatic.

Wow, we are so blessed that the canvas tent didn't catch fire, which would have spread in seconds and been a potentially fatal disaster. We are so blessed no-one was hurt and that there isn't much damage. God was looking after us tonight.

I just hope we can get these cables repaired before the LD Frazier concert on Tuesday!

Tickets are available...

PS, who can guess the famous worship leader and song writer in this picture?

Posted via email from Jafferblog


Micah said...

It's Graham Kendrick in the photo! It was so freaky tonight! How long until it will be repaired?

Trent said...

His hand of protection is beyond words! Looks like David will be able to use his former skill-set.

Mark Jaffrey said...

And the prize goes to Micah :-)

Trent - it was a close run thing, and David has already supervised the re-wiring!

Had to do delete a spam comment here and ended up deleting my own comment too. Doh!