I recently returned from an outreach to Santo and Malo, two islands that were badly affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold in March. On arrival I could see just how huge the damage was and how great the loss for the island was, despite this I had a really good time in Santo. One thing that really touched my heart is, even though we have experience real-life challenges in major disasters, you can see the resilience of my people. Everybody has the same smile on their face as if nothing had just happened to their wellbeing and livelihood. Everyone has got on their feet and come together in unity to reconstruct their homes damaged caused by TC Harold. Many communities had already been facing difficulties before the TC Harold hit. For example, many of their crops haven’t been sold to gain money since December 2019. TC Harold added to the contribution of huge stresses for many people who are constantly concerned with how they will provide for families.
Many farmers are trying their best to collect planting materials from crops that were destroyed by TC Harold for replanting crops for both food and profit. They also tackle much larger challenges such as reestablishing vital infrastructures including access to fresh drinking water and rebuilding homes and shelters.
I am so thankful and grateful to God that I had the chance to share his love and comfort to those who have lost hope. It is heartbreaking to see people without hope. I am so glad that I could bless others. A huge emphasis of this trip was to bless others, we felt strongly from the Lord to pray and encourage the local people and that is exactly what we did. We prayed with them, we discussed their fears and worries and prayed through them. We sung and we worshipped together with them, a burden is hard to carry on your own, but when shared the load lightens.
It was a joy to pray and process with so many people on this trip, I pray that God will continue to work in and through each and every one of their lives. We were also able to bless people with stable food items such as rice and flour, and some other needs they had. We brought nappies for babies and soap for families. It was such a blessing to be able to serve these people in this way.
Tropical Cyclone Harold caused many homes to collapse, destroyed the crops and fields, it made food is scarce, and it made all hope seems gone- yet still, we trust in the Lord. For you lord are our life, you are our Rock, you are our Refuge, you are our Hope.