April Fall-out

In springtime we celebrate the salvation of the world through the work of our savior Jesus Christ. Every April 26 my family remembers its near destruction.

On that day in 1986, in the early morning hours, the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history occurred. In the decades that followed, as I was growing up on the banks of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, my dad became part of a team investigating what had gone wrong at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and safeguarding analogous reactors in the former Soviet Union from a similar fate. In the 2000s, he spent almost a decade in Ukraine leading an international effort to construct the largest land-based moving structure to contain the (still radioactive) remains of the unit destroyed that fateful morning.


My dad, mom, and younger sister April in the Chernobyl reactor

There was a critical design flaw in the Chernobyl reactor. My dad has explained it to me. Many times. And while it’s not rocket science, it is nuclear physics. Here is my simple understanding:

The circumstances were just right (to be very wrong). The night preceding the accident the reactor underwent a planned test wherein several of the back-up systems were intentionally disabled. Unfortunately, during that test, there was an unanticipated increased demand for power. Per my dad’s generous description, there was a “poor safety culture.” Those conducting the test at Chernobyl did not have access to the plant designs or test data from similar soviet reactors. They were not equipped.

This reactor type had an unintentional and serious design flaw. This flaw caused the reactor to enter an ultimately explosive positive feedback cycle of exponentially increasing power production.


Pripyat, a now deserted city once inhabited by the families of reactor employees

This April I have experienced a glorious melt-down from a different sort of positive feed-back loop.

The circumstances were right. This month Clark turned in his formal resignation in anticipation of our fall departure to Kenya. On Good Friday my mom passed away after a prolonged illness. My back-up systems were stripped away.


Mom with Hannah, March 2017

The next week after my mom’s memorial service, as I shared with a tremendous group of ladies in Louisville the Lord’s work in my life and at Tenwek, I was overwhelmed by their encouragement and God’s faithfulness.


Our Christ-filled hostesses in Louisville

God’s design is that when we step out in faith, He is faithful. His provision then enables us to move forward with yet more boldness.

I encourage you to trigger an explosive increase of God’s power. Thank Him for a specific time that He has been faithful this past week and see if it doesn’t motivate you to give Him yet more opportunities to work.

Phil 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


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