by Eli Garza
DETROIT, MI – Before going to bed in the very early morning hours of Saturday, June 26th, we heard a high pitched squeaking sound coming from the air vent in the kitchen. This led me to go to the basement to investigate the cause of the sound. I was shocked to see that our basement was flooding fast with approximately close to a foot of water filling the entire basement. My son and I quickly tried to rescue boxes, books, personal belongings and place them in our main floor rooms.
The water finally stopped rising at 1.5 ft and slowly receded over the next two hours. We lost so much of our personal memories through pictures, books, and mementos. In addition we lost all of our appliances and book cases and suffered some electrical damages.
I asked for prayer for our family over Facebook because of the unprecedented flood. Pastor Tim Patterson responded by notifying the BSCM Disaster Relief team to include us in their list of homes to assist.
On Friday July 9th, the team, led by Don Bezeau, did a great job of removing many of our damaged goods, cutting out the damaged drywall, and wood paneling and sanitizing the basement. The team's work helped us save thousands in cleaning and removal costs.
They were also a physical testimony in our neighborhood since we are very likely the only evangelicals in a two block radius of our neighborhood in East Dearborn. Our Muslim neighbor understood who the team was and represented, and thanked them for helping our family.
Chaplin Jim Ellsworth was a great encouragement to me while the team worked as we discussed our hardship and the ministry needs of our city. We are so grateful for the Disaster Relief Team's hard work, joyful disposition and friendly contacts with our neighbors.
An unexpected disaster will shake up one's life, routines, outlook and cause one to grieve deeply over financial losses and the loss of meaningful personal belongings. I felt like what David wrote in Psalm 61:1-3 as the waters receded in our basement in the middle of the night: "Hear my cry O God, listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe."
Yet, the Lord provided unexpected love and help after the flood through a gift, offers for help,and the work of the Disaster Relief team.
After the team left, I was encouraged by Paul's words in Romans 8:35-39, especially through the answer to the rhetorical questions of verse 35: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?"
The answer to these rhetorical questions is that nothing can. Paul makes it clear in verse 39: "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
We are grateful for the Lord's care demonstrated in various ways and through the Disaster Relief team's work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Eli Garza was born in Detroit, MI and worked as a structural engineer for 20 years before serving as associate pastor and senior pastor of First Spanish Baptist Church. He attended First Spanish for 57 years. His family lives in Dearborn, MI.