As I am preparing to go to Peru in July, my heart continues to be drawn to the stories of these brave, Jesus-loving women who went through such a devastating flood. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing their personal stories here on Simple Deep Life to give you a better glimpse into what happened on March 15, 2017.
This first story comes from Ana, my sweet sister, and mother of my oldest daughter's best Peruvian friend. She's an amazing lady that runs the Bible club ministry and training program, as well as serves on the leadership team for the BCM Peru mission. She does all this while raising 4 amazing daughters. She is one of my role models and I sat under her encouragement for 5 years while we lived in Peru. Here's her story... get out the tissues.
It was Wednesday night on March 15th around 9:00 pm when the neighbors warned us that the river’s surge was growing. We were prepared with sandbags and all the men were working. My husband was in the river towns in the Amazon without any form of communication since there is no cell phone service or electricity out there. I was in the house alone with my daughters. The two older ones were helping some of the other 15 families within BCM moving and raising furniture so that it didn’t get wet and the youngest was sleeping soundly while the third helped me protect things. Behind our house, there is a small wall that serves as protection with the river rises. My house and another house are right at the entrance of the campus. We continued watching the river rise as we weren’t able to sleep.
Suddenly around midnight, there was a loud explosion behind my house and people began yelling “The wall broke!”. My heart started beating very quickly and in my mind I could only think “God, help me get my daughters out!" I ran to get my youngest daughter who was sleeping but it was difficult for me to carry her. The water began entering my house quickly and forcefully. I could just get rain boots on my daughter and I went out to call someone to help me get her out of the house. Thanks to God, one of the other missionaries came to take her. I hugged my other daughter and I told her that we could get out together but she was very scared and crying said, “I can’t”. Since we couldn’t see where we were stepping because of the water and mud we went together as quickly as possible holding on to the trees to another house that was raised up a little higher. All of the mothers and small children gathered there. I asked God to continue giving me strength because I wanted to break down in tears but I had to be strong for my daughters and coworkers who were all very nervous.
When I realized my oldest two daughters weren’t around, I became afraid since we couldn’t see anything in the darkness and there was a lot of water that came above our knees and even up to our waists in some parts. I yelled their names as loud as I could and then I called some of the missionaries to see if they had seen them. My second daughter was at one of the houses and made it to where I was, she was afraid and nervous as she hugged me. I felt a little better but I was still missing my oldest daughter, there was no sign of her and I was very worried until someone yelled, “Here’s Dana!” My daughter, in her youth and adventurous nature, came to me telling me of her adventure to the house where we were.
The neighbors and firemen yelled that we had to evacuate but everything was full of water and I saw how difficult it was going to be, and it was. We were able to get out with much difficulty and fear but in my mind, I kept saying, “Lord give me strength!” In the entrance, a front loader owned by a neighbor waited for the moms and children to be able to head to a safer place in an orphanage close by.
It was very difficult for me since I was alone, without my husband, watching our home flooding and losing many things but the most important thing is that God in His love and mercy, gave me the strength to get out and to encourage my daughters, coworkers and myself. He took care of us. We know that this was all under God’s control and that nothing surprises Him. I thank God for many people, brothers and sisters in Christ, and family members who were praying and helping our BCM Peru missionary family.
What a story of God's faithfulness for this mom and sister in Christ!
My goals as I head down to Peru are these:
- Host an "IF:Gathering" for these missionary women to encourage and uplift them as they rebuild their lives and enter back into ministry.
- Offer several life-coaching sessions, both for groups and individuals to help process some of this event and empower any of the women who feel "stuck" in this difficult loss.
- Leave these women with tools and resources to continue their journey to health and wholeness. They are on the "front lines" of ministry in Lima and my prayer is to help them unite as a team of women to encourage one another along in the healing.
In order for me to do this, I need partners who are willing to come alongside myself and the ministry of Simple Deep Life! You can donate through YouCaring and be part of the restoration for these amazing missionary women! Stay tuned for more opportunities to be a part! An Amazon wish list is coming soon for supplies and materials for the retreat and life coaching sessions.