Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gathered at the River

We had a cooling, refreshing rain last night. We enjoyed a good night's rest after we cooled off.
It was not as pleasant for some of our neighbors.
This is the river in Cabaret where many local people come to bathe and wash clothes.

Today they were washing their household items. There was a terrible flood last night when this river spilled over it's banks and rose quickly and violently, sweeping away anything caught in it's path.

Although those living along the river's edge were most affected the flood was widespread and even flooded into the town of Cabaret. It happened after dark in an area no one would have suspected of a flood, when they were so far from the river.

Look carefully at the porch columns on this house and you can see the watermark.

Everywhere you look you see only grey. Everything is covered in a sea of mud.

This lady is trying to sweep that grey carpet of mud out of her house.

It's hard to tell what this is a picture of, but behind the barbed wire are 2 box trailers that were washed away and tipped on their side by the rushing water.

Those weeds stuck in the windows of this house are sticks carried along by the current and wedged there.

Furniture and other belongings were drying on rooftops where they had been thrown in effort to salvage anything possible.

This field of banana trees was completely flattened by rushing water. Bananas are an important crop and this loss will be profound for the community.
The river came up over the road to Cazale all the way to the gates of these homes, washing the road completely away.

That stone terrace is really wire cages filled with river rock. The community has been making these and lining the river with them to try and prevent a catastrophe like this. The stones held, but the river was higher and just went around the garrison washing away the road, trees, homes, animals and people.

A home once stood here.
Many people are missing, many of them children. In some cases entire families are gone with their home. We saw a dead horse on the roadside that had been badly injured and then drowned.
2 children, younger than 3 years old, lay by the side of the road dead. Someone had found them and pulled them from the water. A kind young man covered them with small leafy branches to shield them out of respect. No one was sure who they were. Their parents were nowhere to be found. It is unknown if they are stranded upriver and don't yet know the fate of their little ones, or if they too were swept away and drowned by the flood.

Please join us in prayer for these families who are hurting so much tonight. And hold your own little ones just a little bit tighter as you tuck them in tonight. We are so very blessed, we only pray we can also be a blessing.


Leslie said...

Hi Guys,
Thanks for posting this. Chris drove through there yesterday and was amazed at how much damage there was. He said the water that had gone over the bridge would have gone up past his knees had he been standing on it - that's got to be about 12-15 feet deep! Those poor people.

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

Hey Rusty and Cheryl-
Thanks for the email last night. We are shocked at the damage. Can you exit the Cazale road onto Rt Nat'l 1 anymore? Ugh. Very sad. We hope you are all doing well and having a successful trip --- with love,
T & T

Brenda said...

Rusty and Cheryl,

This is unbelivable and so sad. Thanks for sharing.

(was at your orphange this past August with a team and we got to help with the birthday party!!)

ChatterboxLS. said...

some of our best friends are the zacharys, moise & betor families - we've known them for years even before they went to haiti & talk to them almost daily via phone - licia was telling me how bad it was & then sent us pics - i can't belive it

lori (

Anonymous said...

Hi Rusty & Cheryl,
We continue to be in prayer for you & the area. Are Alexandra and her family OK? Thanks, Lorraine

The Jeltemas said...

Rusty and Cheryl,
Thank you for letting us know about the flood, can not believe the damage that has been done. Wow! What do you do from here??

Love you two, please hug the kids for us.
Denny and Kimberly