Flooding in Romania........
This is a note to bring you up to date on our activities
during the recent flood here in Northern Romania. For the last 3
weeks pretty much the whole country of Romania has been under flood
watch. Two weeks ago in the southern portions of Romania flooding
was experienced. These floods extended into the Northern Regions
of Romania where Matthews House is located near the small city of Dorohoi, and in the middle of the villages of Dersca, Lozna and Padureni.
Last week on the 28th and 29th of June, a cloud burst occurred which
dumped torrential rain (about 8 inches in one hour), followed by lesser
but still heavy rain for the next 24 hours. This resulted in a
powerful flood that affected all the above villages to some extent with
the city of Dorohoi and the village of Padureni the hardest hit. A
single fatality occurred in Padureni, with 20 others in and around
Dorohoi. Seventeen families homes were destroyed in Padureni with
many more in Dorohoi.
Padureni is a very poor village and the area
affected in Dorohoi is also very poor. Tuesday morning my men and
I quickly looked over the problems in the village of Padureni. The
men who work with me are all from that village so they were quick to
fill me in on the needs of their neighbors. First there was no
electricity because the transformer there was under water. To make
our own electricity we had a portable generator that we set up at the
only small store in the middle of the village. Here the water only
entered a little bit and we were able to help the store owner keep his
freezers and coolers going saving his meats and vegetables from
spoiling, (it would be a week before the electricity would be restored).
Then with our John Deere tractor fitted with hay wagon scraper blade and
loader bucket our tractor driver dropped the hay wagon near the flooded
houses where our men could begin to rescue folks belongings and pump out
the standing water from the houses with our irrigation pumps. Then
the tractor proceeded to open the road that was blocked with mud and
debris. He also opened the drainage ditches that let the water that
was trapped like a pond run free. This work continued for two more
days in intermittent rain. All the time we prayed. It then
became evident that though most people in the village had made it safely
to higher ground an elderly man of 80 had not. He had died there
in his flooded home.
Others needed water and food. The wells
in the village had become contaminated by the flood waters. The
immediate need was fresh drinking water and food. While the men
worked with the belongings of the flood victims and opening the road, I
went with our four wheel drive vehicle to Dorohoi and bought 120 loaves
of bread and 50 gallons of bottled water to meet the momentary needs of
those who were without. This would be the first of several such
runs over the next two days. At Matthews House proper we have a
freezer stocked with 3 mature butchered hogs. I ordered the freezer
emptied and two more hogs to be slaughtered. I traveled on to 3
other mission organizations to see what I could do to network with them
to help the situation. HCI, an organization that has a large
kitchen at a school they operate told me that they would cook food that
was brought to them for the flood victims. I took them up on the
Next I traveled to Center of Hope in Dorohoi where a soup
kitchen is operated, but they had no electricity to cook. I told
them that meat was being emptied from our freezer to be sent along with
with potatoes I found in Dersca to HCI to make soup and they were
welcome to it. I also had about 200 dollars worth of Romanian Lei
in my pocket that I handed the director of center of hope to help with
their needs in supplying food for the victims there in Dorohoi.
After this, I received a phone call from a brother who said his
pastor’s house was filled with water. He asked if we could send a
pump to evacuate the water from the house. I sent the pump and a
mechanic to supervise the pumps use at the pastor’s house. Then I
traveled on to the small village of Horleceni.
There is a missionary family from the Isle of Man who
builds houses for the poor. These houses had also been flooded, but
not as severely as other houses. I was able to contact the
missionaries by phone and invited them to come get meat and bread
from Matthew’s House. We also had an abundant supply of canned
fruit and vegetables from last summer. We turned all these over to
them. They in return gave me about 20 gallons of fresh water for
Matthews House to distribute. I then returned to a bakery and
ordered 120 more loaves of bread for the next day. This takes care
of what happened the first day.
The second day our men worked setting up a soup kitchen
in the culture hall of Paderuni. We bought bowls and spoons and
containers for soup. I then began to transport large quantities of
soup, bread and fresh water to the flood victims. Also a group of
folks from Alabama who were visiting HCI asked to take part in
serving the soup. I gave them a quick lesson in Romanian “Isus te
iubeste.” These were the first Romanian words I had learned upon
arriving in Romanian over 20 years ago. I have used them every day
since then. In English it says, “Jesus
After everyone had eaten their fill at the kitchen and
had heard that Jesus loved them, we heard about 2 elderly sisters
who were still stranded in their house in the flood area. We loaded
supplies in our 4-wheel drive vehicle. We managed to arrive at the
house but slid into a deep mud hole, becoming hopelessly stuck. A
nearby neighbor brought a tractor and log-chain and retrieved us
from this situation. I sent the folks from Alabama to see the 2
sisters and take the food into them. They only had the words “Jesus
and the food, while I worked on getting the vehicle unstuck. I
is the greatest translation of all. The entire world needs
Upon returning to the village, I was met by the mayor.
He said they had a large backhoe, in fact a new one, with 4-wheel
drive, but had no money for fuel. I had about 15 gallons of fuel at
Matthew’s House. So I traveled back to the farm and got it and
poured it into their back hoe. As I left, I watched the large
backhoe roar to life. This ended the second day.
By the third day the army and news media
with their equipment arrived. Up until that point, everything
had been done in
All of our resources and us were exhausted. But we provided
quick response and needed help until the professional help arrived.
Please pray for Romania. Many
lives were lost, there was much damage to crops and property. Rain
continues to damage crops not eradicated by the flood. Famine could
be a reality by fall or winter because of the flood loss.
Many thanks to all you who have contributed over the years, to help
Matthew’s House be a city set upon a hill which cannot be hid.
Pray that on that hill
always be seen.
Love to all, Delbert and Martha and all the folks at Matthew’s