Living through nuclear alert

To the editor:

“What’s it like living through a nuclear alert?”

I asked Hancock nativeBilly Kyllonen that question. He is serving and teaching in Honolulu with Youth With A Mission. Hawaii had a nuclear alert on Jan. 13, 2018.  The  following is Billy’s response:

“We are missionaries living in Hawaii. We’ve been hearing repeatedly over the last few years that there is a threat from North Korea. Last Saturday, everyone’s worst nightmare came to life. The warnings we’ve all heard for the last 50 years about a nuclear bomb came true.  

“I was up making waffles for my kids when the phone went berserk. It was the same sound as you get with an Amber alert for abducted children. 

“I ignored it for a few minutes before checking what it said. Pretty crazy! 

“I was stunned, a bit in shock at first. Immediately my family gathered and prayed. Short prayer. We asked for God’s mercy, that it would be either intercepted or miss, and then we asked that if not, then forgive us of our sins and receive our spirits!

“No one panicked. None of my kids or my wife freaked out. But we were all pretty nervous, fully expecting that this is it. In 15 minutes we are going to be dead. 

“My father instincts were in overdrive. Looking at all my family, knowing that in a few minutes they were all going to be killed and there was nothing I could do about it. 

“There are no bomb shelters here, and the island is so small that anyone who survived the initial blast would be killed by the fallout. 

“Longest 38 minutes of my life as we literally waited to die, before finally they began announcing it was a mistake. 

“But since then we have been out on the street multiple times sharing the gospel. People have been wide open. Led seven people to the the Lord. 

“Sunday everyone we approached was an open book. Still in trauma, I think.

“But by Tuesday night, people were acting all cavalier and nonchalant about it already. Amazing how fast they push it out of their minds. Remember 9/11? Churches were packed for about one or two weeks, and the moment passed. 

“John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'”