We've all watched the suffering of thousands as Hurricane Harvey mercilessly pounded Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas, feeling painfully helpless to do anything about it. This was an unprecedented disaster in many ways.
Below are just a few of the many testimonies we receive about lives being impacted and transformed by the Disaster Relief Ministry of Heaven’s Family.
"My children are crying for food. I am helpless. I have no money. There's no hope…" lamented Setara Begum, a Rohingya refugee and mother of two, one of whom is just 5 months old. Such desperation is now being felt by thousands of Rohingya refugees impacted by Cyclone Mora, which struck Bangladesh 3 weeks ago.
"This is all our government gave us," one elderly woman said to me, while pointing to a single corrugated roofing panel measuring about 3-feet wide by 6-feet long. She was referring to the government of Cuba's response to the destruction of her home by Hurricane Matthew last October. I had a hard time believing her story, until, that is, I heard it repeated by so many others I met this week.
Every leaf from every tree and shrub was stripped away—it looked like the work of a massive fire or bomb. Each day during my visit this month I'm hearing similar chilling descriptions from those who survived the 145-mph onslaught of Hurricane Matthew last fall in Haiti. Corrugated metal sheeting, flimsily tacked on poor, shack-like homes for roofing and sometimes walls, became razor-sharp projectiles that wounded and maimed those who couldn't find adequate shelter in time. About 1,000 died, estimates say, but no one knows how many were wounded.
“Apocalyptic,” was how one local, a former prime minister of Haiti, described the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew last October. Thousands of cobbled-together homes of the poor went up against 145 mph winds and lost—roofs were blown off cement-block homes; most other homes simply disappeared.