Monday, November 24, 2014

Saved through the flood!

Isaiah 41:2 says, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee…” What a wonderful promise that when we pass through the waters, God will be with us. Usually we think of this passage to be referring to the waters of trouble, affliction or problems we experience. But it also can be applied literally as two sisters, Carol and Jeamly found out during their time of being students at PAFCOE.

Here is their inspiring story as recorded by Carol, the younger sister:

“This week, we had a very wonderful experience doing outreach! Thursday afternoon, my sister Jeamly and I were doing visitation to the homes of our Bible students. We are so happy doing our work! After we stayed there awhile, we got ready to go home when suddenly the heavy rain started pouring out of the sky. We got SO wet! But we made it home safely. My sister, Jeamly and I decided to go canvassing the next day, Friday since it was our free day from the PAFCOE classes. We prepared our things for that and went to sleep. The rain was still falling.”

What they didn’t know was that a typhoon was hitting the Philippines right during that time – Typhoon Mario. Back to the story:

“Friday morning came and the rain was still very hard. But we decided to still go out for canvassing anyways and collect our customer’s payments they had promised earlier. We took a jeepney and left around 10:00 and it was still raining and the streets were getting flooded with the tremendous amount of water. All our customers were in Pasay – an area in the southern part of Manila. We rode the train and finally reached there. All morning we canvassed and collected our customer’s payments for their books. But the rain continued and got harder than ever. Finally after 12:00, we decided we should go home. We again rode the train to a place about half-ways from where we were to our home.”

She continued on, “When we went down to the street from the train station, we saw it was still raining! Worry began creeping into our hearts because we realized there were no more vehicles on the roads – no jeepneys, no cars and not any buses even. We became more and more worried because everywhere around us was full of water. How were we going to get home? We began asking the people around us how we could get to our place, but they told us there were no more jeepneys passing that road because it was very, very flooded. But our hearts sank when we learned that there would be no more public transportation passing through that street for the rest of the day because this was a big typhoon. So what were we going to do? We couldn’t stay there the rest of the day! And we were still far from our home.”

These are not the students. Just a picture to illustrate. But the water was probably this deep.

Picture yourself in the sisters’ situation and ask yourself what you would do! Returning to the story:

“We decided that the only way we were going to get home would be to walk. So we began walking. The water was up to our knees and we kept walking. The water rose higher and higher and we began to cry. Then we remembered about God and paused for a moment to pray and ask for His help. Then we kept walking and the water was up to our hips already. We cried more because we are so wet and so are all our bags and all the things inside the bags were wet too. As we walked through the water, we knew it was so dirty because we could see garbage and lots of other disgusting things floating in it. All along the water as we walked, we asked those by the side of the road if the road near our house was near there, but they always said, ‘Oh, that’s SO far from here.’ So we kept going. We passed by the reporters of the news stations who were out to take pictures of the flood and report how bad it was. By now it was already after 5 pm.”

Imagine walking more than 4 hours through flooded streets to reach home! She continued the story by saying, “We kept praying all along to God, but the rain didn’t stop. Finally we saw a man who was also walking in the road and we asked him where he was going. He was going to a place near our home, so we went with him – still walking through the water. But at least we had a guide. We were so cold because not only the rain was still falling, but it was so windy, too! Later on, we saw a 10-wheeler and the man told us to ride inside it. Praise God! He sent a vehicle to save us! Inside were all the rescuers and those who had been rescued. We arrived at the church where we have our classes at 5:30 and when some of our classmates saw us, they were shocked at our appearances! But tears of joy filled our eyes, because God had saved us through that terrible flood! We really praise God for the safety that we had that day! We changed our clothes and joined the other classmates going to UP (University of the Philippines) for our seminar that night.”

That was a hard weekend for our seminar because of the typhoon but we praise God that not only did He keep Carol and Jeamly safe, but He also helped us to be able to continue our meetings. We did not miss even one night because of the typhoon.

God’s promises really are true! When we pass through the waters – literal or symbolic – He is with us and will not allow the waters to go over us!

More amazing stories coming soon!