It started out as a normal day in Trujillo, Peru. My parents woke Michaela and I up to get ready for school at around 6 a.m. while they got Josiah ready for day care. I believe I was 5 years old at the time. We all got in the car and got dropped off at school a few minutes later. Before dropping off Josiah, my parents stopped by Merpisa (Trujillo’s smaller version of Wal-Mart) to get some groceries. On the way there, they noticed that the people around them were rushing everywhere-a very uncommon thing in Latin culture. Everyone was crowding the grocery store or running inside their homes. My parents did not know what was going on, but they decided to follow the crowd. They noticed all of the customers were cleaning off the bread, oil and milk from the shelves, so they did the same. All of a sudden, a woman came through the door and shouted, “Ya viene el agua! Ya llegó!” Here comes the water. It is here. My parents went to the door. A thin layer of brown murky water was covering the road and sidewalks. It was a natural disaster known as El Niño. It had rained so much the past few days that the rivers had completely overflowed and the muddy water was flooding the town.
My parents quickly got in the car and went back to pick up my sister and I from school. As they pulled up, they saw a large brown wave coming towards the car. The teachers had us all standing at the door and when my dad got out of the car, our teachers practically threw me and Michaela at him. We made it in the car just before the wave hit, but now we had to make it home. The water now reached halfway up our tires and was rising pretty quickly. I remember not understanding what was going on until I looked out the window and saw a woman with her shoes off crossing through the water to get to the other side of the sidewalk. I also saw a lot of cadavers in the water because the cemetery had been washed out. At that moment, I realized we were stuck in a flood and we needed to get out soon.
When we were five minutes away, it started looking like we would get home just before the water reached our doors! But when we went to make one of the turns, our car suddenly tilted down and to the left. Our tire had gotten stuck in one of the many potholes that cover the Peruvian streets. We began to panic. Because of the tilt, the water was covering some of our doors, so dad could not get out to push the car. There was no way out. Everyone was in a rush to get home, so no one would stop to help us. “What are we going to do?” my dad said out loud. I spoke up from the back of the car and said, “We could pray.” My dad admitted that he was too angry to pray. So, my parents asked me to pray. I folded my hands, bowed my head and prayed, “Dear Jesus, thank you for getting us out of the flood. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” “He hasn’t gotten us out of the flood YET,” my dad thought. Just then, some teenagers walked by playing and splashing the water at each other. My dad rolled down the window and shouted in Spanish, “I will pay you guys money if you help us get out!” The teens agreed. They each went to a different corner of the car and were able to easily push the car out of the pothole. After my dad thanked them and paid them, we noticed that the water level was now at the bottom of our doors and it was much harder to drive through. That’s when we noticed the white car on the sidewalk right by us. The driver signaled for us to follow him, so dad maneuvered the car onto the sidewalk where the water level was much lower. We followed the white car all the way to our house without any more problems! As dad opened the garage door, we turned to thank the driver. However, the white car had disappeared. To this day, we have not figured out who the driver was, but we believe he was an angel with a driver’s license who rescued us from the flood.