This Mississippi River is rising! You’re probably asking, “What does that have to do with us way down here in Florida?” Well, it doesn’t have anything to do with us directly, but there’s a body of Christ in Vidalia, LA that I care a great deal about. Vidalia is RIGHT on the Misssissippi River. I’m writing to ask you to pray for the people of Vidalia, LA. I’m asking you to pray for people that we called “brother, sister, and friend” for 7 years of our life.
You see, in 1927, the Mississippi River flooded the little river town of Vidalia, LA with up to 30 feet of water. In 1937, the river reached its high water mark. That year, the river crested (reached its maximum height) at 58.04 feet. In 2008, the river crested at 57.03 feet. I remember that time very well. It was pretty scary as the immense river lapped the lip of the Vidalia Riverfront. A couple of teenagers ran out into the river on a dare. Before they knew what had happened, they were being swept down the raging current out of control. If it were not for the heroics of a couple of men that happened to see the whole thing develop, those two boys would have been picked up somewhere around Baton Rouge (about 90 miles downriver.)
The current prediction is that the river will crest at 64 feet on May 21st. Yes, you read that right…SIX FEET above the top level it reached in 1937. Recorded history has never seen river levels as high as they will be this year. Thankfully, after the 1927 flood, the Flood Control Act began developing a system of levees to prevent any such disaster ever happening again, but there is great fear in that little river town right now. Should a levee fail (remember the images from Katrina in New Orleans)…should the river reach greater heights…should the water overtop the levee at any point…any of these scenarios would spell disaster for the people of Vidalia.
It was all put into perspective for me today when I saw a picture of the river reaching the Vidalia Riverfront (a featured development of that little town.) In the background of the picture was a steeple. I know that steeple very well because I placed the cross on top of that steeple as we renovated the sanctuary of FBC Vidalia. Literally, a mere mile from the Mississippi River lies the center of that congregation that means such a great deal to me. They are scared. They are nervous. And, I ask you to pray for them.
Many of our Louisiana friends are packing up their precious belongings and moving to high ground. Photographs, keepsakes, and memories are all moving to flood-proof locations, but houses can’t be moved. So, I’m asking you to pray for the people of Vidalia.
Now, to make this more personal. Put yourself in the place of the people of the Miss-Lou. If you had to evacuate your home, what would you take with you. Let’s just assume that you’d take your family (including pets). Other than that, what is most important to you? What would you want to save if you knew that everything left in your house would potentially be destroyed? Let’s limit it to ONE thing. What physical thing is MOST important to you? What would you not want to do life without?
I hope that we’ll never be in that situation. I know that some of you HAVE been in that situation before. I also hope that the things that are most important in your life promote your faith and your family (two of the most important things that God gives us.) Thank you for praying for Vidalia and the people of that little town. I know that God has a purpose in all things and, even in this, I’m praying that He will receive the glory!!!