Today, we had a wonderful visit with former missionary colleagues, Ron and Denise Hamme, from Thailand whom we hadn't seen since 2006! It was good to catch up and to think they are just an island (or a 40 minute boat ride) away. It was a great encouragement to also learn that Ron had, historically, provided some pastoral and preaching services to the congregation with which we are working AND that he and Denise have been praying for the island and for the provision of pastoral/preaching services to it.
Later today we visited the home of friend here who has provided a warm welcome and a lot of encouragement and support. She, her husband, and three sons are living in their second rental home since the storm. (They were here for the duration.) Their permanent home is still under reconstruction.The family has lived here since 2015. They stayed through the storm and have not left since. But rebuilding is slow due, primarily, to a paucity of workers
Some of their neighbors houses did not fare as well as you can see below.
Many houses or lots remain untouched, even though Samaritan's Purse and the Great Guana Cay Foundation were active in clearing debris for months, offering
discounted rates for debris removal, in some cases even free, if the financial circumstances warranted that.
Many second homeowners, not living on the island and therefore not being fully aware of their particular home’s situation, refused the offer of carting the refuse away for a measly $1000. They are now faced with estimates of $5000 or more and so they have not moved forward.
We took the risk of entering one of the neighboring houses to take note of damages which are not discernible from the outside…
You can see where the vacuum created by the 200+ mph winds, lifted sections of the floor. And yet some bottles and jars of shells sit unmoved on kitchen shelves in the next room.
We share this only as a means of demonstrating that relief work is disparate and takes years in these situations. It is easy to see why, at times, discouragement sets in, and the initial joy that “we are alive!” is later replaced by a feeling of helplessness and discouragement.
We believe that our distinctly Christian, pastoral presence here, in listening, praying, helping clean out the house in which we are staying, helps to address some of that. It’s one small thing we can do for the Kingdom in this part of the world.
We are confident of God’s ability to do more than we could ask or imagine. AND we carry with us the good news which is so needed
– “You are not forgotten!”
Would you pray with us?
Glen and Carol