Archive for July, 2010
Weekly, raging flood waters race through Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyorgy) a city of 60,000 souls, my home in the Central European country of Romania. Many countries around us are suffering from severe flooding. But here, I see it, experience some side effects, feel the pain of those who have lost everything.
When I see the veil of water moving over the Sugash Mountains west of my home, I know that by morning another flood will be sweeping away everything in the path where the placid little creek usually flows through the north part of the city.
My apple green house sits about a football field’s length up the mountain from the flood waters. Though I have suffered no flood damage, continuing heavy rains have destroyed my living room ceiling. While the water in my basement has been minor, my neighbors, Gusti and Adolf, had major flooding in theirs. Water in the basement is not what I need! Gusti and Adolf deal with the water for me. Joco has built some great barriers that have kept most of the water out.
My radish crop was washed away down the mountainside. My street is impassable to cars, trucks. Slogging, rather than walking, through the mud, guessing where it may be safe to step in the oozing mud has become too much of a challenge for me.
My street is torn up while the sewer lines are being installed. When there’s sun for one day, the ground dries out enough for a car to drive on it. But what if you are up on the mountain when a heavy rain comes? Well, you are not going to drive your car down that road until the sun shines for a full day. (I watched a gypsy horse and wagon sink down into the mud clear up to the middle of the horse’s ribs.)
It’s a different kind of life than I have ever experienced. However, what has not changed is that God is helping me manage through yet another difficult period in my life. I’m thankful that God has given me a temporary place to sleep until the road is somewhat repaired. I’m thankful that my special LST ladies, Alva, Melissa and Suzanne, are here to help and encourage me during these challenging times.
I’m thankful that God is providing for all of my needs. I love my work with the Red Cross, with the Pro Nobis Counseling Center, and with the dear people God has brought into my life. I am blessed beyond measure. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philipians 4:13
“For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-18. So, I ask you, “How much mud does it take before you choose to turn your back on God?” or perhaps the question for you is, “What’s a little mud in your life when God is there to help you grow strong enough to deal with it?” — Anne
Floods, deaths, loss of everything…for more than 40 days, the rain just keeps pouring forth from the skies. How do we keep pressing on? Has God turned His back on us? People ask, “How can a loving God allow such pain and heartache?”
Two answers immediately spring to mind. The flood that devastated the village Belin was the consequence of man’s greed…cutting the forests several years ago to sell the lumber for profit. No one planted more trees to absorb the rain, to slow down the strength of the water as it flows over the land.
The other answer is that we live in a fallen world. Many do not believe Satan exists. But I am simple minded. I believe the Word of God. In I Peter 5:8, Peter says, “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” If Satan can get anyone to stop trusting God, Satan feels victorious! He sends many hardships in our lives for that one purpose.
So, how do we keep “keeping on?” The answer is clear…we have hope! Hope, trust in God keeps us connected to the Good Father. Hope helps us to “stand tall” even when life is hard. Have you ever said, “WHAT next? This is more than I can bear!”
Without hope, you may stumble on the path, sit down on the bench of despair. Trudging up my Mud Mountain, tripping on the stones, I often forget to look up. But what I am learning is that God never leaves me, sends angels to help me on that impossible path. I cannot walk it alone. I can’t. It’s too much.
Lately, total strangers provide a way around the ditch instead of me having to jump over it. One old man appeared out of nowhere to help carry a very heavy bag through the worst part of the mud, Sziszi appears behind me and catches up with me to carry heavy bags of things I need.
I am reminded that this difficult path ultimately leads to Heaven. How easy or how hard it is to walk on it becomes unimportant. Walking in faith that God is always with me, waiting to give me the Gift of Eternal Life with Him in Heaven fills me with Hope and Joy! — Anne
God continues to provide special opportunities to “be there” for people while receiving a blessing myself. Here are a few photos that explain this.
Being so high up in the Carpathian Mountains, Sfantu Gheorghe escaped flooding until early this morning. Though my house was not damaged…just a little water in the basement, the little creek down the mountain from me, turned into a wall of water rushing from the Sugash Mountains…flooding 110 homes across the city that were on the banks of the creek, washing two cars clear across town, tearing up streets that cross over the creek, and causing the death a 36 year old man with heart problems – the son of Jutka, one of my co-workers at Pro Nobis Counseling Center. They were trying to rescue their animals when his heart gave out. So sad….
Words fail me…I’m still missing my Dan. I have been told by many that a mother never gets over losing a child. My heart goes out to Jutka, in her great loss. May the God of all comfort be with those who are suffering because of the widespread flooding here in Europe, or because of the loss of loved ones. — Anne