Extreme flooding seemed to happen all around the world last month.
One disaster that hit, unknown to most North Americans, was what reporters called “deadly freak floods” in Skopje, Macedonia. The storm produced more rain in a day than the average for the whole of August.
AGAPE, a long-time partner and local Christian NGO, began relief efforts almost immediately. The CAMA Disaster Relief Fund provided extra funds to help with distributions. And beyond relief, AGAPE volunteers are presenting the hope of the gospel.
Here is an update from AGAPE’s Mirco Andreev:
Greetings from Skopje, Macedonia.
I want to update you about the flooded areas in Skopje, Macedonia. We began with humanitarian work and have already shared hygiene products and clothes several times. There is a great need for that at the moment.
We have been warmly welcomed by the people, as most of them are in desperate need. The larger flooded areas were cleaned by the police, the army, and volunteers; but there is still a lot of work to do. It will take a long time until they can return to their normal lives.
As I said, we’ve been warmly welcomed. We are helping both Macedonians and Albanians, and we’re happy to see them working together. Nobody is asking about which nation, religion, or political party they belong to.
Besides needing relief, the people just want someone to talk to about their problems. So the good thing is our volunteers had a great opportunity to talk to the local population and hear their needs.
Everybody is talking about the same experience. They had to climb out their windows with their children and climb on their roofs to survive. The water reached 2-3 meters. Their basements and first floor were completely flooded.
They’ve lost almost everything. Furniture, electrical devices (refrigerators, TVs, computers), and cooking supplies were destroyed. Most of them even lost chairs and tables. Everything they have worked for their whole lives was destroyed. All that was left was the mud in their rooms.
Even if something wasn’t completely destroyed, it was ordered by authorities to be thrown outside as protection against disease. There was damage to around 600-700 cars. Most of that is now cleaned and thrown away. Thanks to God there has been no epidemics or diseases.
Besides that, most of the flood victims are farmers and their fields are completely destroyed. Now the experts are examining if the land can be used again for agriculture. As for now, it cannot be used; and that is their only source of income.
A few days ago these families were well situated. They have never been without, so this is a new situation for them. Our team will go again to distribute different things—mostly clothes as this is a great need.
Please pray for protection for our AGAPE volunteers. Pray that God will give them the right words to use. Please pray for the people of Skopje. Pray that they can move on and return to their normal lives. The school year starts in September. Pray that all schools will be ready to receive kids so they can continue to learn and have fun.
God bless you.