We would never have thought to ask this from our prayer partners but we are asking y'all to please pray for the rains to stop ... for a few days at least! The river has risen to a dangerously high level. So much so, that there are many places that are already flooded & beyond repair.
Last year, the country did not receive enough rains & most farmers lost their crops &, therefore, we have experienced a famine this year. This year, the rains came a little late but, once they came, they fell steady & strong. The rains have been larger & more consistent than anyone can remember in the last 50 years. And it's been all across our region.
Due to this, the river began to rise & swell. In the last few days, the levees have broke & those along the river have begun evacuating. Many Songhai live on islands that are now completely flooded. Many markets are on the river's edge for those traveling by boat to have easier access & those are now flooded. The Christian school in Niamey has 2 feet of water already inside the buildings. The seminary where Cephas attends is flooded, too. Biba's family has had to evacuate their home & they're a mile from the river.
Some of our believers have lost everything - their gardens, their livestock, their homes, their entire livelihood. Because of the steady rainfall & homes that are made out of mud brick, even those that aren't close to the river have lost their homes from crumbling under the pressure. Our hearts are breaking & I'm on the verge of just losing it.
Not this, Lord. Not this. Not after months of going hungry because of no food to losing their homes & their livelihood. My mind cannot process this. I have NEVER been in their shoes. I will probably never be in their shoes. There is no such thing as flood insurance. Where do they go from here?
My heart & my mind HAVE to rest in the fact that God is in control of ALL of this. He can hold back the waters JUST the same as He can open the floodgates of heaven. He can restore lives & homes from nothing. He can turn chaos into events for His Glory. He can draw people to Himself through devastation. He can & He will. He will provide for the needs of His beloved. He will comfort those who are grieving. He will be praised even in the midst of suffering. He can & He will.
Please pray. Please pray for the river to recede quickly. Please pray for no more damage to be done. Please pray for God to provide for our believers & their families. Please pray for Him to bring Glory to Himself through this & that He will draw people to Himself in their desperation.
You can go to the Songhai blog to see pictures.