Posts Tagged ‘ relief ’

There’s Something in the Water

Hey.

How you all doing?

I’ve been a little preoccupied lately with a certain event that has been dominating my mind over the past few days, and it truly is one of epic proportions. People have been, and will continue to be affected by it.

What am I talking about?

My 18th Birthday.

Oh yes, the big ‘One-Eight’. The day where a young boy becomes a young man. The day that usually includes copious amounts of alcohol and/or gambling, and perhaps a celebratory smoke on a cigarette or a cigar. The day that you and your rambunctious friends might decide to spend in a bar getting intoxicated on beer, or maybe a foray into the dancing scene in a nightclub with a hundred other jam-packed bodies swaying and moshing to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. The day that, in the case of my brother, resulted in a late night ambush by his friends, attacking him with eggs, flour, and spoilt milk in a lighthearted way of showing affection.

And I would be soon be eighteen.

I’ve heard many stories about being eighteen – now that you become 18, you’re legally entitled to do whatever you want. You can drink, you can drive (not after the first, though), you can gamble, you can enter nightclubs, and you can play paintball or airsoft without a protective vest.

Rambo was so tough, he played paintball without a protective vest AND used real bullets.

I’ve been so excited over this monumentous event that I even compiled a list of presents that I wanted my family, friends, well-wishes and random hobos from Hoboken to give to me. Among others, they include:

  1. My pick of Apple products. Because only Apple makes them cool.
  2. The new Justin Bieber CD. For mad stompin’ on fun!
  3. A pet iguana. Because how many people do you know can honestly say that they have a pet iguana?
  4. Platters of meat products.
  5. Lotion. Or various lotions. That’s why my skin stays so soft.
  6. A whacking stick. For all my whacking needs.
  7. Cigars…and a pussycat. They go in great with my supervillian costume I’ve been dying to try.
  8. An ‘I’m with Stupid’ T-Shirt. For emergencies, in case I ever run into Justin Bieber.
  9. The entire Star Wars collection. Never seen it, would like to. But someone already spoilt it for me – Darth Vader? Really Luke’s father.
  10. A jetski. Do I even need to explain?

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

A few days ago, my mind was rudely jolted out of its party-anticipating stupor by horrific news: Australia had been hit by flash floods of near-biblical proportions. Most of Brisbane, Gatton, Withcott, Toowoomba (west of Brisbane), and other Queensland towns had been devastated, and most of the area was literally under water. At last count, there were fifteen dead and many more missing.

What really brought it home to me is that I used to stay in Toowoomba. I had called the sleepy town home till two years ago, when I moved to Brisbane for university. I went to school there for 9 years, attended a church in the CBD for the same amount of time, hung out with friends at one of the three big shopping centres there. I knew many of the nooks and crannies, the side streets that crisscrossed the small houses, heck, the people that used to stay in those houses. Brisbane, or at least where I lived, was similar. I had only stayed there a year, but I was already familiar with the area around my house and the university. My family and I had made many friends, and I loved that place.

And but for the grace of God, who put me where I am now in Singapore, I would have been, literally, in the muddy soup.

Now, safe in Singapore, I shudder to think of the fear and turmoil that the residents of the affected areas must be going through. The evacuations, escaping the rising tides, or alternatively, sandbagging the house to protect the residents who have nowhere to go. Not only that, but they have to deal with the snakes and crocodiles who have taken it to wage a war on humanity. It’s enough to make many give up in sorrowful defeat.

And yet.

And yet.

And yet the flood waters did not reach the expected peaks, saving many lives and property. And yet the flood waters have already started to receed, allowing the residents in Toowoomba and other rural towns, at least, to start the cleanup. And yet aid in the form of volunteers and international aid have started to pour in to the affect areas. And yet many residents and churches and offered their houses as evactuation centres. And yet places that were affected were not totally destroyed, and are slowly starting to get back up on their feet.

And yet it could have been so much worse.

So, as the days pass, and the flooding continue, let us remember the ones who need our thoughts most – the flood victims of Queensland who are struggling to get back on their feet. Instead of buying that Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, why not use get some McNuggets and send the money to the flood victims. Instead of throwing out that sweater that your mother-in-law made for you, why not donate it to the residents of Toowoomba. Instead of buying me the jetski, why not send it to the people who need it more than I do.

In the words of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh:

What we have here in Queensland tonight is a very grim and desperate situation. There are many Queenslanders tonight in critical and dire circumstances; emergency workers out facing risky situations and many people facing a very terrifying night. I think we can all say that our thoughts are with them over the coming hours and we pray and hope they’ll be safe when first light comes… [SOURCE]

I fully concur.

To donate to or volunteer for the Flood Relief, please visit http://myhillsong.com/ausfloods for more information.