Not long ago we were gathering stories from the Skopje flood disaster and made a visit to a retired Macedonian couple who have rebuilt after the disaster on that August evening. Here is some of their story:
"We were not at home the night of the flood - only my son Igor was at home, sleeping downstairs. The electricity shut down and Igor awoke to find himself in chest high water which was rushing in and already 1.5 meters deep! We spoke to him on the phone, but there was no way for us to come home. Igor's daughters aged 11 and 12 were not at home that night.
"You can still see the water lines on the house. Two of our friends, a man and his wife, were drowned in the flood. It was a catastrophe. There was mud up to my knees for one week. Nobody helped us. The president was here (in the worst hit area). Everything downstairs - most of what we owned - was ruined. The kids were without clothes and we were all without blankets. Our car was ruined. It was bad.
"We received Eur500 assistance through the government, but beyond that, there was no money before you helped. No other organisation came. We have no words. Together with you we purchased materials and laid down concrete and lamination. Our kitchen was done by a tradesmen/ meister and it is beautiful.
"After you came, we were talking with friends and telling them about Operation Mercy turning up out of the blue. They were totally surprised. Thank you! We made it through the winter. The kids were sleeping on the ground upstairs with the wood-stove and we had wood. Gradually life came back together. You should be the ones in government.”
"Thank God," we replied.