WORLDWIDE – There’s no way to deny it—the world has been in a lot of trouble lately. The end of 2023 was a uniquely challenging season at Operation Blessing, with disasters and crises taking place on what felt like a weekly basis. Regardless, YOU were always there to help during this season of disaster!
From August to December, our disaster relief teams deployed to Hawaii, Florida, Morocco, Armenia, Israel, and Mexico while we’ve also continued our work in Ukraine and Poland.
But thanks to you, this has also been an unprecedented time of hope. You have taken this opportunity to shine a light into some of the darkest situations we as a human race can face. Only through the faithful support of you and so many caring souls like you have we been able to keep up the pace, responding to multiple disasters around the word, often simultaneously.
For that, you have our sincerest and humblest thanks!
You are simply amazing.
The deadly fires on the island of Maui in Hawaii caught the world off guard. Driven by high winds, these fires decimated a large area around Lahaina—taking 100 lives and leaving an estimated 11,000 people homeless. With support from friends like you, Operation Blessing quickly reached out with a shipment of vital disaster relief supplies. We also worked with partner organizations to help create a temporary housing community for displaced residents.
Dusten and his family were among the wildfire survivors we had the pleasure of meeting and helping. They lost everything in the fire, only having time to grab their documents and a bag of clothes as they fled the terrifying flames. He said, “Everything else is just ashes.”
They were especially touched by the fishing and diving supplies friends like you gave them. These would help Dusten provide for his kids again and would also give them a priceless sense of normalcy and help restore their island culture.
Help Provided in Maui
Grills | Tents | Fishing Supplies | Water Filters | Generators | Batteries | Flashlights | Diapers | Rope |Tarps | Diving Supplies | Sustainable Housing Units
HURRICANE IDALIA IN FLORIDA
As we were still responding in Maui, Category 3 Hurricane Idalia struck the area of Homosassa in Florida. While not as deadly, it packed a powerful punch and left a path of destruction in its wake. Because of generous donors like you, we were able to send another disaster relief team there to provide water, food and cleaning supplies, and assistance for residents as they began recovering their property and their lives.
REFUGEES IN ARMENIA
In one week, more than 50,000 ethnic Armenians were forced to flee Azerbaijan for their safety after their area was attacked by anti-Christian occupying forces. Even before this attack, they had been cut off from food supplies for months, and Operation Blessing had been sending resources to them. Once they reached Armenia as refugees, they needed tremendous support. Along with our sister ministry, Orphan’s Promise, we provided food and supplies while helping them find temporary shelter and hope for the future.
WAR IN ISRAEL
After a brutal terrorist attack on October 7, war broke out between Israel and Hamas. Many residents living near the Gaza border fled for safety, leaving their homes, jobs, and possessions behind. Operation Blessing got to work with our partner ministry on the ground, CBN Israel, to provide shelter, hot meals, food, hygiene items, trauma counseling, and even safe spaces for children to continue school and have opportunities to play.
Eight-year-old Alka was one of the many children blessed by partners like you. She was given a place to stay, warm meals, and the chance to enjoy games, sports, and toys that made her feel a little more at home during this turbulent time.
“It sounds like a vacation, but it isn’t. They just want to go back home, and the kids are having a rough time,” said her father, who is also volunteering with Operation Blessing. But seeing his daughter laughing and playing brought him great joy. “It’s amazing, and it’s really helping the community … thank you.”
Help Provided in Israel
Hotel Accommodations | Safe Play Spaces | Hygiene Supplies | Food Packets | Hot Meals Educational Supplies | Trauma Counseling
HURRICANE OTIS IN MEXICO
Although Mexicans along the coast had been warned a hurricane was coming, Otis shifted direction and strengthened unexpectedly to a massive Category 5 storm. Families were taken completely off guard as the deadly hurricane slammed into the Acapulco region. In the aftermath, many victims needed medical care and essential supplies in order to survive.
Rosa recently became a single mother to five kids—with her sixth still on the way! Facing the hurricane alone with them was terrifying, as the storm tore the roof right off their house. After sleeping on wet mattresses, the children had coughs and fevers. But friends like you reached out to them with much-needed medical care, food, and supplies. Rosa even received a free ultrasound and was reassured that her baby was doing fine. She is incredibly grateful for your love and compassion.
Help Provided in Acapulco
Medical Care | Medications | Solar Lamps | Hot Meals | Food | Clean Water | Children’s Activities | Baby Supplies | Toys | Home Recovery Assistance
When a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco, taking nearly 3,000 lives, people needed help—and fast. With support from faithful friends like you, Operation Blessing swiftly took action. Most of the hardest-hit areas were difficult-to-reach mountain villages. We used jeeps and even donkeys to make sure we got lifesaving supplies to those who needed it most!
Over the following weeks, we also provided medical care, hygienic bathrooms, water filtration systems, furniture and supplies to restart schools, and other essential items to help Moroccans rebuild their lives.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Rebuilding lives after a season of disaster can take years. Not only do survivors face physical destruction of homes and possessions, they often suffer tremendous grief and trauma as well. We’re so thankful that you reach out and wrap your arms of love around them in these difficult times. And we’re doubly thankful that you’ve chosen to partner with us and allow us to physically reach out to them with practical help, encouragement, comfort, and hope.
Please keep all of these disaster victims in your prayers as they continue to build a new future after a season of disaster.
Times are challenging, and the need is great. But one day at a time, people in the U.S. and around the world are finding hope on the road to recovery because of you. Thank you so much for sending your love and compassion to them.
If you haven’t already done so, we hope that you will please consider getting involved with Operation Blessing on an ongoing basis, reaching out to poor and hurting people as a dedicated member of our community of Blessing Builders.
ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES FOR TOUGH TIMES
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. –Psalm 23:4
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. –Psalm 147:3
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. –Isaiah 41:10