Flood of Community Response

Monday, May 26

5-26By Evelyn Spence of Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA

“Humble yourselves and continue in prayer to him; cry to him when you are in your fields, and over all your flocks; cry to him in your houses, and over all your household, morning, midday, and evening…And when you do not cry to the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer to him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.”

—Alma 16:219, 222

Our city did not experience an EF5 tornado, a hurricane, or a tsunami. Instead, we fought record-high Missouri River water. Devastating floods hit north and south of our home. Our interstate highway flooded and closed, as did other major roads. For an extended time, some people traveled long detours to get to work.

Floods cause more damage when water stays for a month or six weeks. This wasn’t just a flash flood. The high water level for such a long time devastated the people affected. We knew some, and our hearts broke for them.

In Council Bluffs, a pall settled over us as the danger became imminent. At least half of the city is in a floodplain. Residents sandbagged businesses and houses. The city officials enlisted civilians and the National Guard to help patrol the many miles of levee next to the river and two large drainage creeks. They placed pumps at danger points to send seeping water back into the river.

In the lowest area of our town, seeping water caused basements to collapse, making houses unlivable. Recreation trails closed because they were atop levees. The lakes, too, were unusually high and could not support normal water activities.

A different aura permeated the area and people on higher land. We each knew people affected. This was just one place of many in the world suffering the effects of natural disasters. When families lose everything, the loss not only devastates the families, but everyone feels the devastation with them.

I cannot imagine how many prayers were offered. Bearing one another’s burdens, we volunteered at sandbagging efforts and distributed supplies. The community prayed with faith over our households, and we pulled together.

Prayer for Peace Steadfast God, we humbly pray for the families and homes of neighbors and strangers who suffer loss. We know you weep with them and send your Spirit of peace to be with them.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will sandbag to hold off danger. If I can’t sandbag, I will feed the sandbaggers. If I can’t bring food, I will pray for them.

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  1. Darkness and the Warrior of Light | Pictimilitude

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