Monday, May 18, 2015

What Flooding can Bring to a Neighborhood

These sweet kids live in a section of Ngando that was also affected by the flooding.
When the days are long, dry, hot and dusty, we all long for rain.  
The gardens need rain.
Water for our homes becomes a problem.
And the dust is just everywhere!

But, it seems that this year, things don't come to Nairobi in moderation.  
Because this last week, the rains came... with a vengeance.

There was flooding in the roads.
Power was disconnected more often than it was on.
But, most difficult for us, was watching our neighbors whose homes had flooded.


For the ones with some extra money, it meant an overnight move to a new home.  For those who didn't have the money, it meant moving in with a neighbor if they had someone - or just wearing gumboots and living in inches of water across the whole house.  When finances are scarce, flood damage can be devastating.  

Brad and I took a walk around our neighborhood the day after the first huge rain.  The first thing to hit us was the stench.  Because when the area floods, so do all the pit latrines.  So this water is filled with sewage - and disease.  Then we watched as one family carried a mattress out of their home - it was dripping with water.  Others were sitting next to all of their belongings - trying to get a little sunshine to dry things up a bit.  Many were just standing - in the mud and water, looking very overwhelmed.  We gave what we had - sympathy, hugs and words of compassion.


This is Pastor David's church - the front yard was completely full of water and mud.


This is the community of Pastor David's church - when I took this photo, it hadn't flooded - this much mud is after a normal rain.  I didn't feel right taking photos on this particular visit - in the midst of such pain. - so I don't have any pictures from that day.

We headed to the church of Pastor David - which had also flooded - and we brainstormed together.  How would Jesus respond in a situation like this?   As we talked, we realized that what was really needed in this situation was a sense GOD'S presence, of His care and love.  People were feeling forgotten.

Pastor David gathered his own congregants and invited the whole community for tea and bread.  Seems like such a small thing - but his church FILLED with people!  Many had never stepped foot in a church before.   Prayers, encouragement, and then ideas of practical ways to help began to flow amongst the people.  

And somehow, through a cup of tea and a church that cared, 4 people met GOD in a new way as they understood His LOVE and GRACE!


And, after the flooding had gone down a little, Sam had some fun with his friends - racing boats down a ditch.


And these are 2 little girls that I love... when I see hard things, these are the faces I think of.  Please be praying for each little beautiful person affected by difficult circumstances!