I had just finished my last piece of pizza. The whole team was together celebrating Lily's birthday at a new Italian restaurant. Then I felt something shaking. I figured Hoagie was shaking the table, since he likes to fool around. Within seconds, I realized it wasn't just the table, but the ground that was moving.

“Earthquake!” someone yelled. “Find a doorway, NOW.” I raced along with two others and we held each other, trembling beneath the nearest doorway. Scenes from disaster movies were playing in my mind. I thought we were going to die. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” I kept repeating out loud.

“Get outside!” we were told. We made our way across the shaking floor back outside. Mobs of people had fled to the streets, in panic. The ground was like jello beneath us. Lily and I hugged a frightened waitress until the tremors stopped. Moments later, the worst was over, but my hands were still trembling.

For the rest of the day, shops closed down and the streets were lined with people as they waited out the aftershocks. The community seemed dazed and shocked; most of them have never felt an earthquake before. Afraid to go back into buildings, thousands of people slept outside in parks or on sidewalks for the following days. Students were evacuated from their dorms, and their sports fields were transformed into refugee camps for students and patients from the local hospital. Newborn babies were delivered the next day on the campus sports track!

Thank God for protecting our team! We are all safe and in good spirits. Thankfully, we were far enough away from the epicenter, so we were unscathed. But there have been tens of thousands of deaths and many injuries reported in the surrounding regions. Please pray for the victims' families. I am praying that God will use this to draw many more to Himself.