For those who attended NITOC 2013 in Siloam Springs, you remember the weather we endured and the tornado we went though. While no one was hurt on the campus of John Brown University, you'll recall that there was a terrible storm-related accident that happened to the Johnson family from CO while on their way to the tournament. This short video gives us an update on how things turned out, and is a testimony of our Lord's covering and protection.

Additionally, the Harbman family from CA experienced the "terrible storm" of almost losing their wife and mother while at NITOC 2013 due to a life-threatening episode of sepsis. Their written update below is yet another testament of God's provision and answers to our prayers.

As we pray for His providential provision for NITOC again this year in the face of wildfires, be encouraged by these stories of His sufficiency and blessing last year!


Dear Stoa Friends,

As we approach the anniversary of my sudden, life-altering episode of sepsis, we are so grateful for the extensive community of Christ that held us up in prayer and that circled around us and cared for our children in their time of need last NITOC. Thanks to each and every one of you for the part you played in our lives that week and all the weeks since. We were truly protected and covered by your intercession.

Since many of you have asked, we are delighted to assure you that I am nearly fully recovered. On the down side, I still have some minor irritation in the nerves of my right foot, and my lung capacity does not seem quite back to 100%. However we give God thanks that this does not restrict my everyday activities, and in just about every other way I am back to normal. I am about to begin a follow-on round of physical therapy to strengthen some of the muscle weakness I have experienced this year, but other than that, I have hardly any remaining physical issues.

Also on the spiritual and emotional planes, we experienced volumes of grace from God both during and after my acute illness. Our children have an expanded appreciation for life’s every day gifts. For myself, I was overwhelmed by seeing how various people in the body of Christ with different strengths (and weaknesses!) met our needs for encouragement and prayer again and again at critical junctures. This really taught me to value the ways God uses many members to build up the whole. I am grateful to say that God is teaching me to be more thankful, less critical, and more able to trust the care of Jehovah-jireh (my provider) for me and for all His beloved people. One other significant change has come in our marriage where we have seen God’s sufficiency to provide for ALL of our needs – both physically and emotionally. God has used this to teach us more open communication with each other as well as to see God’s hand in everything – large AND small – in life.

Thanks so much to all of you who have walked this path with us in any capacity at all. I am still hearing new stories of people who came together to pray for us during NITOC 2013 (and long after!) that startle me with the intensity of all your prayers and care for us. God heard them all and used them to give us a “Yes!” result this time. We’re very thankful and also learning to trust that even when God gives us “No” times, we can rely on His strength to carry us through.

With gratitude in Christ,

Graham and Carla Harbman