For Jordan Rice, the decision was simple.
On Monday, January 10, 2011, as the Queensland floods continued to ravage the Australian landscape, 13-year old Jordan Rice found himself trapped in a car with his mom and 10-year old brother, Blake. Just moments earlier their car was operational, moving slowly through the tire-deep water.
But the car soon stalled in the rising waters of their hometown of Toowoomba, one of the cities hardest-hit by the deluge. Donna, the boys’ mother, used her cell phone to call emergency services, but the floods were wreaking havoc on rescue personnel; Donna and her boys found themselves on the long and growing list of people who needed help but would not get it.
As the waters continued to quickly rise, Donna and her sons were forced to clamber on top of their stalled car. Finally, a person watching the terrified family struggle for the lives, decided to help. He waded into the torrent of rushing water only to be swept off his feet and cascaded downriver. Another man, Warren McErlean, tied a rope around himself, and somehow made it out to the stranded car.
The brave man first reached for Jordan, but the teenager instantly pointed at 10-year old Blake and yelled for McErlean to, “Save my brother first!”
Without a doubt, Jordan was afraid. The floodwaters had already claimed dozens of lives…and he couldn’t swim. But in the midst of the terrifying moment, at the forefront of his mind was his little brother.
The selfless decision would prove to be his last. Immediately after McErlean left with Blake, the floodwaters ripped Jordan and his mother from the top of their car. Both were washed downstream and drowned in the raging muddy river.
Jordan was instantly hailed a hero by those in Australia and around the world. But Jordan wasn’t trying to be a hero that day; he was just trying to be a loving brother, a loving brother who let his little brother go first.
Because Jordan decided to make a sacrifice, Blake’s life was spared. Because Jesus decided to make a sacrifice, our lives were spared.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)