This blog was written by the leader of the Texas Tech Group who recently visited in May.
The Wesley Foundation has traveled to Haiti every year with a different group of college students. Al Martin has led the charge each and every time.
The day before their team left, a member of their community rushed to tell us that a devastating fire destroyed EVERYTHING! The following morning, a small group left at 5am to survey the damage and offer their love & support.
The team packed large bags of rice and beans but were unable to deliver it to them at the time, because there was no place to store it.
Several days later, we were able to arrange for the 40+ families to receive that food. They thanked us whole-heartedly as they could now spend the next week focused on rebuilding, instead of worrying about feeding their families.
Here’s a report from Al…
I’ve never lost everything. At most I’ve lost some money, some of my stuff, or a car in a hail storm, but I’ve never lost everything.
This is Al. I’ve probably only written on this blog once or twice over the last 11 years, but today is different. Last night as we were preparing to play with the kiddos at their Easter Party, we heard the news that Kappa Fu burned down.
It literally burned all the way down. Everything…every hut, fence, shed…everything except a small portion of one wall of one hut.
Kappa Fu is a fishing village that we have been visiting for the last 9 years. It is a village that is made up of grass huts, a very small lagoon, and a community area with a small shaded place to gather. The residents lost all their possessions in a matter of minutes.
Jodie (my wife) and I were commenting earlier that day about the extreme wind as we walked 25 minutes to Karenage, another fishing village. The fire started in the far East of the village and it quickly engulfed the community. The villagers didn’t have time to gather their meager possessions, they just ran.
This morning a small group of us from the mission boarded a boat at 5:15 to make the 45-minute boat ride to the village. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I saw was worse than I anticipated.
Fires were still smoldering and the villagers were roaming absent-mindedly around what used to be their homes. The residents that stayed were camped at the base of the hills, while others made the long trek to Mole St. Nicolas where they were forced to cram into the houses of friends and family. It was surreal.
The only possessions they had were the clothes on their backs. I’ve never lost everything. After we talked and looked and surveyed and talked again, we gathered together to pray and worship. Yep…pray and worship.
I have insurance. I have a bank. I have a fire department. I have running water. I have so much to rely on that praying and worshiping would be far down the list of where I would have turned in a time of need like that. Yet, they did.
I listened to Mama GiGi share her heart, as she reminded them that they were blessed.
- -They were blessed because “they didn’t wake up dead in the ocean”
- -They were blessed because the fire started at 8:00pm in the evening and not 3:00am in the morning when everyone would have been asleep.
- -They were blessed because they lived literally steps from the ocean and they wouldn’t have to worry about their next meal because God provides.
- -Their fishing nets were burned but they cheered when she said that. They clapped and raised their hands.
- -They weren’t going to be hungry that night as they slept at the base of cliff that hovers over their destroyed home.
- -They were blessed because God provides.
I’ve never lost everything, but Jesus says to give up everything and follow him. Faith comes easier when all we have to rely on.. is Him.
We don’t know what to do, but we know we will do something. Our video guy, Drew, was there and he captured some of what happened. We will share a video presentation soon.
Yesterday, we had bagged up hundreds of pounds of rice and beans to share with the village but were not able to take it to them this morning because they don’t have a place to keep it as this point.
Our students and mission staff made “Kappa Kappa Fu” shirts and sold them to raise money after our last trip. The need is greater now.
The Golden Rule is one of the simplest yet most profound teachings in all of scripture. I feel that this is a time to apply it with our actions. Be blessed my friends. This trip has been incredible like all the ones that came before, but it is one that will forever change me.
The Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech is actively fundraising to rebuild this community. Please be in prayer for the beautiful people of KaPaFu.