Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Flood Update

Thanks everyone for your prayers.

We are fine and our property unscathed (just damp!).

Failing another "extreme weather event" like the storm which dumped 80mms (~ 6") of rain in 30 mins, I don't think Toowoomba will suffer much more. It can't be ruled out, but the BOM are saying it was a 1 in 100 year event. The rain is predicted to ease - for now - over the next 24 hours. However, Brisbane (pop 2 million), the capital of Queensland 130 kms to our east, is going to flood, probably exceeding 1974 levels. They are expecting up to 2m of water in flood prone areas along the Brisbane River.

Sadly, I believe 9 are dead and 66 unaccounted for in Toowoomba and environs, most particularly on the eastern side of the ridge (the city is on the western side) and in the valley below. There is a sense of shock and unbelief in the community generally, but I think the impact will be profound when it settles in. It's likely that grief will be delayed by the simple need to get on with things and the knowledge that people not far away have it much worse. The pics from Toowoomba that you probably saw on TV were spectacular, but the real damage is being done in the Lockyer Valley (aka "the salad bowl of Australia") below us, which is largely under water. I fear the loss of life there will be much worse than here.

I believe half of Queensland is now under water to some degree or another. To put that in perspective, that's a greater land mass than France and Germany (and probably Poland as well) combined, which makes this the worst flood disaster this state, and this nation, has experienced in recorded history. All of this can only lead a believer to reflect deeply on how much our lives, and our plans, are in God's hands. Hopefully, this will lead Christians here to commend themselves anew into God's care, cry out to him for help in their time of need, and plead also for our neighbours' safety and welfare. Perhaps it will also turn the minds of many people to the transcience of life in this world and lead them to seek the one true source of security.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Ps 91: 1-2

8 comments:

ELP said...

Mark,

We are praying for you and for your community. May God sustain your testimony in this time of tragedy.

In Him

Thomas

Pr. Alex Klages said...

Prayers ascend from Canada (where my brother-in-law and sister are currently visiting from Australia!)

matthias said...

My thoughts,prayers and donations are with all Queenslanders at this time.
I pray for all affected by these floods and especially the families and friends of those who have died;may your people Lord,be salt to the earth and lights on a hill . Be with this morning the family of the 4 year old boy who drowned at Marburg yesterday,whilst being rescued.
Protect Fire and rescue crews, police ,SES and ADF personnel who are placing themselves in harm's way to save others.

Lvka said...

Could this help explain the current Lutheran (and Mainline Protestant) situation?

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Thanks Thomas, Alex and Matthias.
We are relatively well-off: we have power and water and access to supplies for now. Thinking of others nearby whose communities have been wiped out.

Lvka said...

Maybe this intercessory prayer to Saint Elijah might provide good food for thought and meditation in such times of floodings (or droughts).

Pr Mark Henderson said...

We Lutherans go straight to our heavenly Father, Lvka, as our Lord taught Christians to do.

Lvka said...

You do, but unlike other Protestant bodies, the Saints actually play a role in your hymns, services, and prayers.

(But this was not the point of my comment here: just read the text of the prayer-fragment, in case you haven't done so already).