Flooding in Southern Alberta

June 23, 2013

by Carla Bregani, Senior Communications Advisor

Clinging to God in our time of need

It's amazing how quickly life changes. One day you're journeying happily along, making plans for the weekend and hoping the rain clears up by the time you leave the office—and the next you're making plans to deploy multiple Disaster Relief Units and praying for coworkers who have been evacuated from their homes.

The current Samaritan's Purse disaster relief event in southern Alberta feels different than other deployments; this time it's in our own city. Just a few kilometers down the highway from the head office of Samaritan's Purse Canada, fellow Calgarians are living in shelters or with family and friends as their houses sit in significant amounts of water. The Bow and the Elbow Rivers breached their banks this past Thursday, leaving many with only minutes of warning to leave their homes.

In other southern Alberta communities, the story is the same. In Canmore, High River, Black Diamond, and more, this flood event is altering lives and livelihoods.

I freely admit that the devastation prompts "Why" questions I can't answer. Why those people? Why not me? Why did my husband and I choose to our current neighbourhood when we moved to Calgary a few years ago? Why does the creek by our home have higher banks than the ones that flooded?

Then there are the "How" questions. How can I possibly communicate love, compassion, and honour to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in the southern Alberta floods? How can I use the resources I've been given: Facebook, Twitter, the Samaritan's Purse website, and other tools to share the urgency of the situation with fellow Canadians and encourage them to volunteer their time or donate financially or pray, pray, pray for the Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief effort in southern Alberta? How have I, and the team I work alongside, been entrusted with such a task?

I pray that each family encountering sadness, anger, doubt, depression, and loss today knows how much God loves them and that He longs to come alongside them and walk with them through this valley. And as I try to comprehend the task in front of each of us—for many, recovery and healing—for some of us, sharing God's love with the hurting, and asking the rest of Canada to come alongside and do the same—I claim this verse for myself and for those whose lives have been turned upside down in the last three days.

"Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me."  Psalm 63:7-8 (NIV)

May God uphold us as we cling to Him in our times of need.