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“Breach In The Dike”

08-16-09_1758[1]Thursday, August 6,2009 – Our usual day began despite dark clouds. Children going to school in the morning and us, parents braved the traffic to go to work. At the end of the day, on my way home, I felt a certain dizziness, hot flashes on my left face that I couldn’t fathom. After dinner with the family, my husband Raul told me to rest first. But the children kept coming inside our bedroom to ask questions regarding their assignments and projects. I didn’t hear my cell phone’s message alert tone at 8:00pm. It was my son Ralph who heard the other cell phone rang and he read to me the message forwarded to us by Anna Cardona –“Dear brethren,pls pray 4 deboma family,we were advise to evacuate our house coz of possible flashflood coz of a breached dike, thanks and GOD BLESS!”

I felt a rush of blood going up my head, but still so weak that I requested my husband to call Ann Deboma. He was able to talk to Gilbert, my brother (Ann’s husband) who told him that the dike on the part of barangay San Juan was breached, so the waters of Bucao river flowed to the residential areas and were now approaching the other nearby barangays. They were advised to evacuate if the waters reached neighboring barangays Paco and Beneg. They were getting ready to go to Iba, Zambales to take refuge in Ramon Magsaysay University, where Gilbert is a college instructor.

Immediately, I called the family inside the room and we prayed. As my turn to pray came, I visualized the waters rushing and then being siphoned off by the sea, and that was what my petition to God centered, as if the parting of the Red Sea will happen again, albeit in a small scale. I asked God our Almighty Father to spare the three little men being nurtured by Gilbert and Ann for His glory and praise.

Afterwards, I called my sister Joy who said, ”Ate, papunta kami bayan para maghanap gas(olina), para kargahan tricyle. Andito kami sa bandang barangay Paco,may tubig na rin at marami nang taong nalunod daw sa may San Juan at naglulutangan na papunta dito”. I got tongue-tied that I wasn’t able to answer her back any encouraging words, I just told her to take care, then hung up .

It was Ann’s turn to call, ”Ate, patulog na ang mga bata mga alas-otso,nasa kusina ako at nagpapainit tubig pampaligo nung humahangos si Joy para sabihin sa amin na nasira ang dike. Malakas daw ang current ng tubig at lahat na ng barangay sa paligid, may tubig na. Ate, panay-panay ang daan ng mga sasakyan at tricycle, lalong nakakapanic. Si shadrac, ayaw pababa. Sila Stephen at Miguel, pinipilit ko munang matulog kahit sandali para kapag oras nang lumikas, may lakas sila.” I told her then, ”Hindi, no, hindi kayo aabutan tubig. Nagdasal na kami dito,hindi kayo aabutan. Magpahinga ka na muna kahit sandali. Wag ka na magpapanic kasi nararamdaman yan ni Shadrac kaya ayaw pababa. Tawag or text ka kapag may developments.”

I texted Lorna and Gladys to check where they were and told them if it need be, to come here in Manila, to which they replied, “The waters covered the National Highway and the long bridge is impassable”. I called Lorna to assure myself she was with nanay and not somewhere else,doing overtime work for World Vision In’tl. I was like a captain making a roll call,”Is Gladys and the children with you also? Has Joy returned already? How about her daughters, Yen and Nica,are they awake?”. Told them to stay put and continue to pray that God will not allow the flood enter the compound.

Friday, August 7 – 5:00am,time to wake up and prepare breakfast for the children. I sent text to Ann and Joy. Twenty minutes passed, no one replied. And then, I got a text message from Anna to continue to pray because based on radio reports heard by Kuya Dodie (Argallon), the waters continued to rise.

I called up Joy who told me, she was on her way to Iba to buy some food because the town market was also flooded. The waters didn’t reach them but the sky was still dark and raining every now and then. I called up Ann too, who was half-asleep when she answered and said,”Ate, ikaw na please ang magtext sa brethren, pakisabi Thank you sa prayers,di kami inabutan baha”. On the background, I could hear the loud cry of Shadrach James so I told Ann to go back to sleep and rest. I sent a text message immediately to Anna Cardona to assure the brethren that the Deboma family was spared.

Based on the description of Joy, the residential area of barangay San Miguel, where the Deboma family is, was spared from the flood but the ricefields of San Miguel were flooded from knee-deep to 5ft high. It was as if the residential area was turned into a small island or Noah’s ark! It was an astounding miracle that happened before our very eyes and ears! I thank God our All-Powerful Creator, Merciful Father.

At around noontime, I sent a text to Joy and Ann again asking any development, they both replied that there were intermittent heavy rains. I sent Anna a text asking for the brethren to continue to pray so that the rain will stop since the Sabbath is approaching. And it was granted, the Deboma family, Gilbert, Ann, and their three children-Stephen,Miguel and Shadrach welcomed God’s Sabbath time in peace and quiet.

An almost 24-hour ordeal ended with the reassuring words in the Bible:

Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. . . The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Psalm 91:7 - A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.

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