This month, Brandon has lived in a flood situation. Three years ago we had the 1 in 300 year flood. That should have been good for 299 years. Alas, this year we are in another flood. This one is bigger and higher than 2011. So far the dikes around the city are holding up to the flood waters and two crests. One more crest to come but the length of time the dikes hold back the flood waters seem to be incredible. A bit of clay and sand bags and super sandbags... all holding 1183ft of water out of our city. But other communities have not had the dikes hold. Some communities are wondering after the flood subsides if they will move the whole community. The majority of our farmers have lost this year's crops. Many of our First Nations communities are under water. Some people have been evacuated. Some people stay with their homes.
So together we sit and wait for the next crest of flood waters to come. There is not much to do other than wait. As we sit and wait, it is interesting listening to the community's voice of their impression of the floods. Many are ready to help out where needed. Locally, the Mayor and Emergency Services have been calling for volunteers to help out in various areas on selected days. Very few of our Churches have said they are praying for those who have been evacuated from other areas in Manitoba due to the flood nor said they are praying for farmers who have lost their crops and their income. Provincially Manitoba is in a state of emergency. Yet we wait. Nationally in Canada, our flood situation hasn't garnered media attention other than the Military was called to help out in Portage la Prairie (thank you to those in the Canadian Forces who were called from 26 Fd Regt RCA here in Brandon to help). And Mr. Mulcair had a snit fit when he wasn't allowed to use the military helicopters to fly over Portage la Prairie. Mr. Mulcair, why not just rent a car and drive out to south western Manitoba and see the flooding yourself? The Prime Minister came and listened and looked. And we wait. While Emergency Disaster groups have been present, there was not been much of a national campaign to help provide funds for those who have been flooded. The tally to date for recovery from this flood is already in the billions of dollars. And we wait. Quilters who usually respond to any disaster have not come forward wanting to donate quilts. And we wait.
It is as if everyone is waiting to see what happens before they begin donating monies and services for recovery. When the crowds kept following Jesus, they eventually ran out of food. Jesus turns to Philip and asks how the disciples will feed everyone. Philip has no idea. But a young lad comes up to Andrew and says that he has five loaves and two fish. Andrew brings the boy and the meal to Jesus. Jesus takes the five loaves and two fish, blesses the food and then tells the disciples to share what has been blessed with everyone.
Today, Manitobans are waiting for the five loaves and the two fish. Keep us in your prayers...and let us know that you are praying for us. Be the first ones to donate funding for farmers to keep their livelihood. Be the first ones to donate funding for First Nations communities to rebuild homes and water treatment plants. Be the first ones to donate quilts for those who have lost everything. Together we share what we have and know that God blesses us each and every day.