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CBN.com It’s been a tough decade for 75-year-old Lois Ryder of Rainier, Oregon. She and her family were running an RV park and marina when the Columbia River flooded its banks in 1996.
Lois says, “That afternoon of February, the water came over the bank and it came fast. Really fast. Because it started over the bank at 2:00 in the afternoon, by 10 that night we had five feet of water out here.”
Floodwaters filled the RV parking area and their small convenience store, causing about $200,000 damage.
But Lois is a fighter, and together the family rebuilt what had been washed out in the ’96 flood.
But then, 10 years later, it happened again.
The Columbia River is the second largest river in the United States, and it sits in Lois’ backyard. So when the record rains began to fall on Oregon in December and January, the river started to rise again, and Lois began to ask herself if she was going to see the same kind of devastation that she had seen a decade before.
“Everyday it was raining and on the news they were talking about it all the time,” says Lois. “The Columbia was flooding in various and sundry spots. Right across the river from us here is Kalama Washington and there’s an RV park over in Kalama. It was under water.”
So Lois began to pray.
“I just said, ‘Lord, I can’t go through this again. I did this 10 years ago.’ My husband is in the hospital again. We didn’t even know whether he would live. Here all of a sudden, the water’s coming up. All these things are happening, and it’s just deja vu all over again.”
But the waters continued to rise -- so much so that the floating dock and walkway, which normally sit at an angle, were sitting level with the parking lot! The river was about to flood its banks again.
“The water was coming up every single day. It was an inch or two deeper coming up the boat launch, which is where I can measure how deep it was. And I thought, 'I just can’t do this,'” Lois says. “I was thinking I’ve got to pray about it!”
Early in January, Alice said she received an important package in the mail, a book that would change the way she thought about prayer and miracles.
“I was just so discouraged, and he had been talking about the book on The 700 Club that morning, and I thought, ‘Boy, I wish that book would come out. I’d like to read it,’ and lo and behold, I got it in the mail.”
Lois had actually gotten an early copy of the book because she is a 700 Club partner.
“Then I sat up about half of that night reading over half of the book. When I got to page 46 where it told about him dealing with hurricane Esther, I said, ‘This is what is happening to me!’ Then a couple of pages farther than that, he tells when Mrs. Robertson went over to Taiwan with a group of missionaries, and they had to deal with a typhoon over there. I thought, ‘I can’t go through this again, so I’ve got to do something that is going to keep it from happening.’”
That “something” was a trip down to the river the next morning after a time of prayer.
“I had a talk with the good Lord, and I had a talk with the river. I said, ‘You cannot come any higher than you are right now. You can go down and come back up, but you can’t go one inch higher.’”
Lois says, “It stopped. It never went higher. Everyday, every morning when I came down and looked at the river and every evening before I left I looked at the river to make sure it was behaving itself. It never went over the spot where it was when I said, ‘You can’t come any higher.’”
To this day, the water has not risen above that line in spite of the fact that it rained and flooded for weeks afterward.
“It kept flooding all around us here. It flooded in Portland. It flooded in Oregon City, but the Columbia River at Goebal never came any higher than it was when I said, ‘You can’t come any higher.’”
As for the skeptics out there (and there have been a few), what does Lois say to them?
“Now I know a lot of people would say, ‘Well, it just happened.’ But I don’t think so. Because I’ve been through this before, and it was doing exactly the same thing that it did in ‘96,” Lois says. “I think it’s a little like Pat said with the hurricane. The Lord’s hand was there and kept it from going any farther, because it didn’t make sense otherwise. Everybody else was flooding.”
So Lois and the family keep pressing on confident in the miracle that God did for them.
“I’ve always believed in miracles, but I’ve never had anything happen quite in the way that made me feel like I was right in the middle of a miracle like I was this time,” Lois says.
“I believe that it is really necessary to have faith. You don’t have to talk a lot; you don’t have to do a lot, but you gotta mean what you say and you gotta believe in it.”
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