On June 20th (and in the following days) huge areas of Calgary were flooded and thousands of people were evacuated.
Now, two months later, most of Canada has moved on with their lives, but Calgary still has a long way to go. Houses have been destroyed and lives need to be re-built. However, in the midst of all of the tragedy and uncertainty faced by many Albertans, God is working in powerful and wonderful ways.
One place we have seen God working is through the radio station AM1140. This High River-based station has been a source of Christian programming and local news for years. However, when the floods hit High River the station had to be evacuated.
The station had been reporting on the rising water levels, but they did not expect to be affected and so on June 20 they came to work and it was business as usual. However, by noon, the street outside the station was covered in more than 6 inches of water and cars were being swept away. By 2:00 High River was declared to be in a state of emergency and the town was evacuated. By 3:00 pm AM1140 was off air!
With the station underwater and no way of providing important information and updates to High River, this was a moment to look to God to see how he would provide. And provide He did!
Only a few days later AM1140 staff were able to get back downtown to the station. As they walked into the building they discovered that all of their essential equipment had remained above the water line and was safe! What a blessing.
AM1140 has also been blessed by their sister station, The Eagle 100.9, in Okotoks. Only a few months earlier, The Eagle had moved into a larger office and so AM1140 has been able to broadcast from this wonderful facility. The Eagle has selflessly converted boardrooms and offices into studios, which allows AM1140 to provide vital information and encouragement to the community.
However, they still have a long way to go. AM1140 is anxious to begin re-building, but it could be months before they are able to do so.
The road towards re-building is long and work intensive. Just getting to a stage where a contractor can begin to re-build requires huge amounts of labour: furniture needs to be removed, floors and drywall need to be cleaned or cleared, and the buildings need to be washed and sanitized.
Samaritan’s Purse has been working tirelessly to get hundreds of houses to this point. Typically, Samaritan’s Purse uses one of their huge Disaster Relief Units (a tractor trailer equipped with supplies, working office and phone system) in an emergency. However, the damage in Southern Alberta was so extensive that they had to bring in a second truck from Ontario and the USA office even volunteered a third truck.
Volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse took time off their own schedules to help out
in the Bowness area of Calgary on Canada Day. — photo by Frank King/Samaritan’s Purse
With the help of these trucks and the stream of volunteers and donations; Samaritan’s Purse has continued to clean more and more houses. They are showing God’s love by being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada (BGEAC) has also been blessing the people of Southern Alberta. Some of the trained chaplains from BGEAC’s ‘Rapid Response Team’ have been travelling with Samaritan’s Purse. Losing one’s home and possessions is an overwhelming experience and many people experience grief. The chaplains have been able to provide support and comfort in the face of this loss. They lead prayer and singing and provide guidance.
Together Samaritan’s Purse and BGEAC have been working to do everything they can to help Southern Alberta, while also supporting and uplifting local churches.
A masked Samaritan’s Purse volunteer adds to the massive mound of garbage outside a flooded High River home. — photo by Frank King/Samaritan’s Purse
Cities like High River still have a long road ahead of them. Yet, God is working through organizations like Samaritan’s Purse and BGEAC to show his love to the people of Southern Alberta. In spite of the challenges caused by the flooding, God has continued to take care of His people and organizations such as AM1140.
Two months ago tragedy struck, and for those of us who do not live in Alberta, it is easy to move on with our lives. However, we must continue to pray and help support those in Southern Alberta in any way we can!
Eagle-Com is grateful for the partnership that we have with AM1140. They are professional broadcasters….with huge hearts!
We are honoured to represent Samaritan’s Purse and BGEAC to help spread the word about their great work to Canadians.
Source: August 2013 “City Light News” – Article #1: “AM1140’s rapid recovery reserves vital news link” (page 9) by Peter Fleck, Article #2: “Samaritan’s Purse resources stretched by Alberta Floods” (page 11) by Doris Fleck, Photo credit: Frank King/Samaritan’s Purse