Thursday, January 13, 2011

Australian Teen Sacrifices Own Life to Save Brother During Flood

As one nation was reeling from a senseless shooting, another one was dealing with torrential floods ravaging its towns. The state of Queensland, in northeast Australia, has been hit with tons of water unleashed since late last December, and the destruction wrought upon the land down under is devastating. Among other things, tens of thousands of homes are without electricity, the cost to repair the damages in Queensland will be at least $5 billion, and the death toll as of Thursday is up to least 25.

One of those victims was Jordan Rice, a 13 year-old boy who selflessly put his 10 year-old brother up to be rescued, then drowned when the rope he hung onto snapped as he was carried away by the current this past Monday.

Jordan, as well as his younger brother Blake and 43 year-old mother Donna, were in their car when the force of the flood began to penetrate the vehicle. A rescuer, Warren McErlean, and another man went out to retrieve the trio. Ms. Rice gave Blake to the unknown man because Jordan couldn't swim and wanted his younger brother to go first. McErlean then gave a rope to the mother and son to be rescued, as well. Unfortunately, the rope snapped and the two were swept away. According to McErlean, Blake wanted them to "save his mum" because he was upset she wasn't along with him. Their bodies were later found in a nearby creek. Both perished while trying to stay afloat.

Heart-breaking, to say the least.

Jordan's older brother, Kyle, corroborated his bravery as a part of his benevolent character gone much too soon. The 16 year-old said that Jordan "loved his family and he would do anything for them." He walked his talk three days ago, and it made him the latest martyr to grace our daily news. Truly sad, yet truly remarkable.

Additionally, it really is a shame to hear about children dying, no matter their circumstances. Not even two weeks into the new year, we already have two children whose deaths put an innocent face on grisly events. By now, anyone in America knows full well of Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the Tucson shooting born on yet another dark day in American history – September 11, 2001. When she went to see Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords last Saturday morning, she was an aspiring politican who wanted to see how government worked and had her whole life ahead of her. Instead, her life was tragically cut short by a deranged coward. And while Jordan Rice's death may not have been as shocking as Christina's, death was certainly prevalent in his mind when he made the decision to have his younger brother saved first.

The courage that this incredible young boy possessed to risk his own life is nothing short of inspiring. Sure, it's not every day that our lives are at stake due to an act of God, but would you lay down your life so someone else would live? I think that's easier said than done.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." – John 15:13 (KJV)

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