My heart is pained as I am aware of what is happening now and is getting ready to happen to countless thousands who live in south Texas and worse yet, across the Rio Grande River in Mexico. Hurricane Dolly has done what few expected which was to become stronger as it got nearer land. Now a category 2 hurricane with winds over 100 mph, it is capable of causing substantial damage.
The anticipated problems with Dolly are not so much related to the wind but the distinct probability of enormous amounts of rain which will cause the Rio Grande River to breech the levees and flood thousands of acres of rich farmland. If this sounds familiar, it is; the very same thing just happened last month in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. The big difference is the sheer numbers of people who will be impacted by Dolly are far bigger than were impacted along the Mississippi.
I am quite sure we will be inundated with images of wind damage and then flood damage coming out of the Texas side of the Rio Grande Valley. I feel badly for those who are being and will be impacted by this storm, but the saving grace is that they live in the United States of America and will receive all the help which is available from FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, private insurance companies and innumerable small charities. Within a relatively short amount of time, most of those directly affected by Dolly will receive substantial help. Across the river in Mexico, it is a whole different story.
One does not have to go to countries in Africa or Asia to find living conditions so brutal that no one in this country could imagine. Poverty is so deep that there are no solutions and political systems are so rife with corruption that there is no hope for millions of people right across our border in Mexico. Too many times Americans picture Mexico as a resort country due to visits to Cancun or Acapulco. Too many times Americans associate Mexico with only the huge and sprawling capital of Mexico City.
Outside of these areas, there is a huge country locked in poverty with few governmental services available and areas run more by drug lords than any official government. The people live in utter squalor and have for many generations. From these dire straits comes the yearning to come to America where there are jobs (which most Americans refuse to do) and money to be legitimately made. Most of what is made by Mexicans in America goes back to Mexico to support their families.
As fewer and fewer Americans are willing to make a living doing physical work, somebody must to it or it won't get done. If it were not for the Mexicans who went to New Orleans and the Mississippi coast after Katrina, hardly any roofs would have been repaired or replaced. We would starve to death if not for the migrant workers who make their living picking the fruits and vegetables we enjoy so much. Most Americans are simply not willing to do this kind of work.
As Dolly plows up the Rio Grande River valley, it will literally wipe out hundreds of thousands of cardboard homes and probably end of killing thousands of poor people the world will never hear about. Every major hurricane has seen far more casualties than are ever "officially" recorded. Eyewitnesses swore under oath that they saw trucks loaded with bodies in body bags leaving the devastation after Hurricane Andrew. The same was true after Katrina.
Officials refuse to accurately give statistics for fatalities due to fears that they will be held responsible financially or in the court of public opinion. Instead, they downplay the numbers of people killed, especially when they are peasants, homeless, illegal aliens or ultra poor. These tactics are employed in the United States, Mexico, Miramar, China, Russia and just about every other country in the world. Ruling governments do not want the world to know just how badly they messed up by not preparing for a major storm or by quickly helping the victims afterward.
In any major disaster there are those who we see on the news who somehow manage to get all the help they need both economically as well as volunteers to do the work. The people we never see are the ones who either fall through the cracks or somehow miss out on all the help provided by social safety nets or worse yet; as far as their government is concerned-they never were there to begin with. God help the invisible forgotten masses whose only means for survival comes from our prayers and the willingness on the part of a few true heroes who look for them and help them exclusively.
I thank God for the small independent relief agencies whose mission is to find those people neglected by everyone else. I thank God for those who are willing to avoid the headlines and the photo ops to search out the one lost sheep no one else cares about. In my books, those who are worthy of being called "relief workers" are those who go where no one else is willing to go to help those no one else will help. Isn't it significant that the vast majority of such heroes are Christian in nature? Please pray for ALL whose lives and livelihood are and will be devastated by Hurricane Dolly.