Friday November 18, Black Friday
Actually the darkness really settled in on October 4, almost 7 weeks earlier. That was a dark day, when everything these precious people owned was destroyed. Hurricane Matthew obliterated everything! It was a dark day.
For the last seven plus weeks, these 230 families, which represents almost 1000 people have been living under sheets, tarps and whatever else they can find. There are very few beds, people sleep on the ground. There is very little protection from the hot sun and the heavy rains. There is not enough food. There is not enough water.
I call November 18, a Black Friday because that is the day our team was introduced into this community. As we climbed the steep grade to the first knoll, we saw something we were not prepared for, it was impossible to put into words. It just felt dark! The winds were whipping around, the sides of their makeshift homes created an ominous sound. I have never been in a place where people are living so very desperately, and I have seen many things over the last 21 years of doing missions.
We walked though the community, “built” on the side of the mountain, talking with people and hearing their stories, showing them compassion. Their children came and took us by the hand and showed us around. The adults wanted us to see their plight. They wanted us to understand and not forget about them.
We then walked through their old community, saw the homes completely annihilated and heard their stories of survival. To say it impacted us wouldn’t give justice to what we were feeling. I think in some small way, we could feel a glimpse of their pain. We will never fully understand! We do however truly care.
There is a plan in place to help these families. Community leaders and pastors are rebuilding 20 homes ( they need others to help invest funding to buy supplies) Once these families move into their home they will be taking two other families into their home with them. This will happen in 4 consecutive builds until all families can get back into a home.
Our team was blessed to then go and purchase 650 lbs of rice and bring it to the people. Our team helped carry the rice up the hill, along with the community security team. This rice will last a few days but certainly is not enough to sustain them long term, but other purchases are now planned to let these people know that we join others in caring for them.
So would you like to make a Black Friday purchase? How about helping us purchase much needed food and water and building supplies. Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas gift for your family? You could give them a card saying, “I bought a family 50 lbs of rice in your name” or “I bought a bag of cement in your name.”
As I woke up this morning from my comfortable bed, had a little breakfast, drank water and sat in my living room to write this…I was reminded again that my friends, one week later continue to struggle. My heart is heavy.
I am inspired because I know that each morning and evening the people in this community come together to pray and worship. They are thankful they are still alive and declare their trust in God.
Hope is rising!
You can help at http://www.boazblobal.com