A Ghanaian Catholic Priest serving in the Diocese of DesMoines in the U.S. has been honoured “for his efforts, care, and devotion to the residents” of Hamburg, Iowa State during the 2019 floods.
The honor is contained in the Iowa House Resolution 113 that was adopted on April 6 as a Bill titled, “A resolution honoring Father Raphael Assamah for his dedication and service to the residents of Hamburg, Iowa, during the floods of 2019.”
In the resolution that was introduced on March 23, Iowa legislators say though the people of Hamburg were devastated by the effects of floods when Missouri River broke its banks, they “found strength and resolve to rebuild from a faith source”.
“WHEREAS, the devastating floods of March 2019 brought disaster to the lives and livelihoods of residents of southwest Iowa; and WHEREAS, historic levels of flooding in the Missouri River basin killed several people, left thousands of people homeless, and devastated farms, fields, and local businesses … the flood victims found strength and resolve to rebuild from a faith source in the form of Father Raphael Assamah
“Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, that the House of Representatives honors Father Raphael Assamah for his efforts, care, and devotion to the residents of Hamburg, Iowa, during the floods of 2019,” Iowa legislators say
Members of the Iowa House of Representatives express gratitude to the Ghanaian Catholic Priest “for his service and designate him an honorary Iowan.”
The legislators say that “while flooding rivers devastated towns and villages along their banks, they also took a toll on the spirits of residents, but the raging Missouri and Nishnabotna River were no match for a 5-foot, 237-inch, sturdily built and energy-filled priest from the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.”
They add that when St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Hamburg, was “completely flooded and was only accessible by boat or helicopter, and most items that residents attempted to salvage had to be disposed of”, the Ghanaian Priest “deployed” the three theological virtues.
“Fearing the devastation would lead his small parish to despair, Father Assamah deployed a power mightier than mere raging rivers: the power of faith, hope, and charity,” they say in the resolution that has been shared with the Local Ordinaries of Ghana’s Accra Archdiocese and DesMoines Diocese in the U.S.
The Iowa legislators add, “Father Assamah knew that praying together would strengthen the community’s resolve to build together, hope would make the community’s future brighter, and charity would bring the community’s members together with the larger community of the Diocese of DesMoines.”
“Despite the church building being under water, the members of the parish were not as Father Assamah kept the community together and moved the Catholic congregation to higher ground at the First Baptist Church, where they prayed, planned, and rebuilt their town despite the new challenge of COVID-19,” Iowa legislators say in the resolution adopted April 6.
Source: ACI AFRICA.