The news has been flooded with reports of the disaster that struck Houston in the last couple of weeks. Record rain caused flooding that destroyed houses, washed out roads, and even claimed some lives. My family lives close enough to be affected, but we are very grateful we avoided most of the damage.
Two weeks ago on Sunday night, no one in my house rested well. The constant crashing of thunder and pounding of the rain on the roof and windows kept everyone awake. When I finally decided to get out of bed at 7:00, I immediately knew something was wrong. The house was eerily dark, and our stove light was off. It didn't take me long to realize we had lost power. Unfortunately, our water pump is electric, which means we lost water pressure as well. We used our pond water out front to flush toilets, and drank from water bottles.
Throughout the day, rain continued to pour, and our yard turned into a mud pit. We were very grateful nothing flooded, but we did need to move our animals out of the ankle-deep standing water. My family raced to move our many chickens to higher ground. Our donkey was soaked, and our pigs lived in mud for the next two weeks. Our kitties didn't seem to mind, though...
We couldn't drive more than five minutes in any direction without running into submerged roads. The ditches along the sides were completely full, and were running over the roads in many places. My dad was unable to reach work that morning, and my mom was not able to go shopping. She usually shops on Monday, which meant we were very low on groceries when the rain hit. We were stuck with our van, which was too low to make it through many flooded portions of road. Thankfully, our neighbors were taking their truck out to go shopping, so my parents rode with them. These are some of the pictures my dad took from the truck. See the SUV in the background?
By sundown, power had been restored to 98% of people who had lost power. We were part of the final 2%. We lit about 18 candles and gathered together in the living room. We used my dad's laptop and watched Turner and Hootch together. I read by the dim light, and it reminded me of times I had hidden under my covers with a dim flashlight to read.
The next morning, power had been restored. The roads were still flooded in many places, but my dad was able to get to work. For my family, life mostly returned to normal as we waited for the water to recede. For many others, it was not nearly as easy. So many people lost their homes, their belongings, and even their lives. The community pulled together to support those who had lost everything.
I'm sure everyone is wondering what God was doing. Why would He send such a disaster? Although we may not know why He is doing what He is doing, we know His plan will ultimately be accomplished, and everything He does is for our good and His glory. Please continue to pray for the people who are truly suffering. God will use His people to bring relief and blessing to this city.
Have you ever suffered through a tragedy like this? Were you affected, or did you watch as others were hurt? Have you ever participated in a relief effort? I would love to hear your stories!