Almost three weeks ago, Lloyd and I returned from The Dominican Republic. In the 27 days we were there, it rained for 24 and rain continued after we arrived in Canada. Our departure was a concern for us as the airport in Puerto Plata flooded three days before we left, and two roads between us and the airport were closed because a bridge was at risk or parts of the road had washed away. We sent emails back to Canada asking for prayer. Temperatures were cool and high water levels caused problems for septic tanks, for housing, mudslides and transportation was often difficult. Only three church services were cancelled during our stay– sometimes because there was no roof on buildings which are in construction. We attended a baby dedication in one church without a roof and laughed later as we said the babies were doubly baptized, first by the pastor and then by the downpour of rain. We agreed not to sing the chorus of Noah and the Ark or the hymn Showers of Blessings even though we knew that too much rain was better than no rain.
The day we left for the airport, we took a longer and more roundabout way to avoid the bridge near Imbert. The bridge had gradually opened, first for motorcycles, then for cars but only one way at a time. There were long delays at the bridge. We saw evidence of flooding, lots of water in fields, lots of mud. We arrived safely at the airport and flew home. Before we left for home, we heard the bishop ask Dominicans to help others by donating sheets, towels bedding, appliances and food. Back home, by email, we learned of more rain, that the House of Mercy in Navas the town where we were staying had flooded and mattresses etc. were damaged, that a church had been washed away in Isabela- a town we drove through on the way to the airport. We learned that at least five people passed away in that area. We watched anxiously the videos and reports that came by Facebook. The videos were graphic – rain marks reached as high as six feet on inner walls of houses. We saw sound systems completely destroyed. We sent out more pleas for prayer and many who had been to the Dominican on mission trips wanted to know more and if they could help. Bishop Cecilio sent a video on Facebook so that people could be aware of the need and then an authorized presentation for the FM church in the Dominican (on facebook type Maro Drum Vasquez).
more of the story to follow in a couple of days