Why These Flood Survivors’ Heads Are Above Water

In this season where good news seems hard to come by, we wanted to bring you updates to prayer requests that we’ve recently shared through social media and our monthly prayer calendar. Because it feels like we all need a reminder that God is still at work, rescuing and redeeming this broken world.

February feels like a lifetime ago now, doesn’t it? But on Feb. 29, we posted this prayer request in Compassion’s monthly prayer calendar: Pray for the families of 1,558 children in Sri Lanka affected by recent heavy rains and flooding. Pray for grace and provision.

Grace and provision. Those are things that we need today, too. That’s why we wanted to share with you some GOOD NEWS about Densy, whose family was among the thousands affected by flooding in Sri Lanka. As a reminder that God hears our prayers. He never stops listening.

And that is something we should celebrate.

Densy is wearing a blue and white dress and is standing in front of her home. She is putting her hand up on the brick to show where the water was.

It was dawn when the warnings began ringing out in 3-year-old Densy’s community in Sri Lanka. Loudspeakers blasted the all too familiar flood warnings, and families stumbled around their homes, gathering belongings and rushing to higher ground.

Densy’s father, Jenishtan, immediately took action. Their home is on the flood plain, in the direct path of the waters. He tied his family’s few belongings — their clothing, firewood and the children’s school supplies — to the ceiling of his home. He gathered his wife and two children and evacuated to his mother’s home, which is elevated and built strong enough to withstand the floodwaters.

Densy is wearing a blue and white dress. She is being held by her mother, Jemalini, wearing a blue, white and yellow dress. Her father, Jenishtan, is standing beside them in front of their house which was submerged in three feet of water during the flood.
Three-year-old Densy outside her home with her father, Jenishtan, and mother, Jemalini.

There was no amount of preparation, though, that could save the homes in the path of the flooding. Water rushed into Densy and her family’s home, creeping 3 feet up the walls. And it would stay there, turning everything to mud and ruining the family’s few possessions, for days.

It was into this chaos that Densy’s mother, Jemalini, waded every day. She lit a smoky fire on the stove and cooked for her family. What else could she do?

Jemalini is wearing a blue, white, and yellow floral dress. She is cooking in her kitchen on the top of a barrel. Behind her, there is firewood used for cooking tied up to the wall so it will not get wet.

As the floodwaters began to recede, Densy was visited by the staff at the Compassion center she attended.

“When we went and saw their homes, they were flooded and some children did not even have a place to sleep. We felt very sad when we saw this,” says Thuthishanth, a Compassion center implementor.

With sewage overflowing from latrines and into homes, disease was a threat. Compassion staff members spread throughout the city, doing everything they could to help to help flood survivors, despite the fact that many of them were also dealing with flood damage to their own homes.

Four Compassion staff members are waist deep in water outside a blue building. They are going to meet Jenishtan and his family after the flood.
Compassion program workers in Sri Lanka wade through water to visit flood survivors.

“We are determined to help them recover from the flood,” says Joanna, a Compassion center manager. “We gave them nutrition packs and other necessary items.”

Center staff prepared food packages with rice, milk powder, dried fish, soap and other essentials to give to 175 families in the Child Sponsorship Program who were affected by the disaster.

A group of project staff members are gathered together outside the project. The building is orange and there are trees in the background.
Some of the Compassion center workers who help answer the prayers of children in Sri Lanka.

The support is a weight off the flood survivors’ shoulders, while the helping hand extended makes families feel supported.

“We felt really blessed and very happy when the staff came to see us,” says Jenishtan. “It showed us that they care and are willing to help us in times of difficulties.”

Densy’s family is among many others still recovering from the flooding in her community. But despite the slow path they are on, there is comfort in knowing they are not alone.

We can’t wait to bring you more follow-up stories of prayer requests on the blog in 2020. If you’d like to join Compassion’s prayer network and receive monthly prayer requests and praises, click here. And don’t forget to visit Compassion’s Prayer Wall, both to share your own requests and to pray for others. We are so grateful to serve a God who hears our prayers!

1 Comment |Add a comment

  1. Kampher August 5, 2020

    By God grace is enough for each and every one of us

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