Sunday, March 6, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere. . . .

Well, the past few weeks here in Guyana have really been somewhat exciting. . .

Actually, originally, I was supposed to be back in the states by now.  But a little over two weeks ago, after a month of heavy rain, we have TONS of rain over the weekend, and the flooding started.

To understand why we have flooding, the first thing you have to know is that most of the Coastal area of Guyana is BELOW SEA LEVEL, including the entire capitol city of Georgetown.

We live and work mostly on the East Coast area of Georgetown, about six miles east of the city.  This area, and the area to our east, is some of the lowest of the region.   As a result, when we get a lot of rain, and the tide is high, the water literally has no where to go.

The Dutch originally settled this area, and they certainly know how to deal with areas that are below sea level.  They built sea walls all along the coast, and then, built a large network of canals and ditches.  They also built what is referred to as the Conservancy.  This area is a LARGE man made lake. . . THOUSANDS AND THOUSAND of acres, and located to the south of us by about 4 or 5 miles.  This area, known as the Conservancy, holds water during High Tide, and allows the water a place to go.  The Canals all lead to the Conservancy, or to the Atlantic Ocean.  When the tide is LOW. . . they open gates, that allow the water to flow out into the ocean.  When the tide is High. . . then the water goes to the Conservancy.

The problem we had recently was that the Conservancy was full. . . the RAIN fell all day and all night, and the gates couldn't be opened for part of that time due to unseasonable high tides.

This picture above was taken right outside our house.  The house on the left had about 3 inches of water all over the lower level.  The house behind us also had water in the lower level.  Our co workers, Alvin and Ingrid Persaud had SIX INCHES of water in their house for 5 days!  And Salita Pooran, our office manager, had water RIGHT UP to her door, and ALL OVER HER YARD AND SIDEWALK.  It made it impossible for her to walk to and from her house to go to work without getting SOAKED from mid calf down. . . .UGH.

Yet through all of this, and all the destruction the flooding caused. . . these people kept a smile on their face, and went about their business.

Some friends of mine literally lost EVERYTHING they have because they lived in a lower level flat, and the water rose to over a foot.  Their mattresses were on the floor, so they lost those, and they had no real furniture, so the clothing and food that they had in boxes on the floor were also either damaged or destroyed.  And yet THEY still go about their business. . .and continue to smile and be faithful!

What an incredible thing to watch!

How would you face this kind of Challenge?  

I am often in awe of the people here, because they have nothing compared to our standards, and yet, they are willing to share, take care of others, and bear up under the strain of losing all they have.  And yet, they go on with their lives and keep a smile on their face.

I asked someone the other day who had lost almost everything how he did it.  He looked at me, smiled, and said "Brother, I remember the verse. . . I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me."  Tears came to my eyes!  And in fact, even as I write this, I fight back the tears again.

Lot's of times on the road, we deal with challenges.  Things happen that we don't expect.  Rains and Floods threaten to sweep us away.

Perhaps we need to remember that no matter what the challenge. . . no matter what the threat. . . We CAN do all things through Christ. . .who strengthens us!

See you on the Road!