Preparing for Hurricane Ida

UNITED STATES – Hurricane Ida has strengthened to a category 4 hurricane. Preparing for Hurricane Ida has became critical as the size of the storm threatens to batter anything in its path. Making landfall, powerful winds lashed the coastline stretching from Texas to the Florida panhandle. Life-threatening storm surge warnings are in effect for coastal Louisiana and Mississippi. Roads and access points that are essential for transportation to and from populated areas will soon be submerged and remaining structures littered with damage and debris.

Hasty Preparations For Hurricane Ida Destruction

These residents are no stranger to storms or hurricanes. Preparing for Hurricane Ida forced the evacuation of many people who feared its destructive power. But while they are away, belongings, homes, and communities are at risk of extreme damage.

Operation Blessing’s United States Disaster Relief team has deployed to our warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee. They are loading up on supplies to meet the needs of affected residents when the storm passes. Please continue to pray for residents in the path of Hurricane Ida, as well as volunteers and staff who are heading towards the storm. To learn how you can bless the victims of Ida with hurricane relief, visit or text “OBDR” to 71777.

Hurricane Ida: Operation Blessing Teams Prepare

Operation Blessing Pre-Deploying Disaster Relief Team & Supplies in Advance of Hurricane Ida

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Thanks to the support of friends like you, Operation Blessing is able to pre-deploy its U.S. Disaster Relief Team in advance of a potential strike from Hurricane Ida.

An advance team and equipment caravan will depart Operation Blessing early Sunday morning, to include a construction trailer, work order trailer, and several trucks. The caravan will drive to the Operation Blessing warehouse in Bristol, TN, to pre-stage for further deployment after Ida passes.

Anthony Lloyd, senior director of U.S. Disaster Relief, and other team members will continue to Memphis, TN to stage ahead of the storm. The team is currently in contact with partners in Houma, LA, Slidell, LA, Baton Rouge, LA, New Orleans, and Galiano, LA, who are expected to be in the storm’s path. The team will monitor the storm closely over the next 24-48 hours and deploy when the storm has passed.

Operation Blessing has also pre-deployed truckloads of drinking water to relief partners in Mandeville, LA and Cleveland, TX. Additional supplies will be deployed as needed after the storm.

Operation Blessing Responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Operation Blessing was a first responder when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005 and spent two-and-a-half-years providing relief efforts there, including 265,000 hours of volunteer service, running a free medical clinic that served over 30,000 people with free doctor care and free prescriptions, treating thousands of stagnant swimming pools with mosquito-eating fish to avert a disease outbreak, preparing over 1 million free meals to emergency responders and volunteers, donating an entire fleet of busses to St. Bernard Parrish for transportation of relief workers and volunteers, and providing roughly $5 million in cash grants to local nonprofit organizations for relief efforts.

Help Disaster Victims

To help disaster victims, visit or text “OBDR” to 71777.

A Weight Lifted : You Give Hope to a Struggling Mother in Need

VIRGINIA – As a single mother to three children between the ages of 9 and 13, Aimee does her best to provide for her family. But money can get tight. Two of her children have autism, requiring frequent appointments with doctors. This makes it hard for Aimee to maintain a steady job. Keeping up with numerous medical visits plus hefty household bills and food costs proves a real challenge for Aimee.  Mothers like Aimee often face food insecurity in Virginia. A condition where access to food can be limited by financial strain.

“You just never have money for anything,” Aimee said. “You’re always trying to look to pay that bill. Being a single mother is really hard. Just me and my kids. I try to do the best that I can for them.”  

Bearing the burden of her family’s well-being all on her own, at times Aimee didn’t know what she would do. “You just have to keep the food on the table—and the lights on and the gas and the water,” she said. “Everything comes crumbling down sometimes, and you just don’t know where to go. It’s really tough and hard. You want to do everything for them, and sometimes you just don’t have it.”  


Food Bank To Battle Food Insecurity In Virginia

In the midst of Aimee’s despair, your love provided a ray of hope when she and her family needed it most. Aimee discovered Jonathan Cares, a distribution partner of Operation Blessing in Virginia. Every month, the organization receives groceries from Operation Blessing’s warehouse. To battle food insecurity in Virginia, they distribute to community members in need, and it’s made possible by the faithful support of partners like you!   

For Aimee, the help could not have come at a better time, and it brought her peace of mind.  

“It feels like a weight’s lifted off. It feels like I can provide and be that mother that can give the kids other things instead of worrying about groceries and worrying about where’s their next meal coming from,” Aimee said. “My kids love everything that they offer. They feel good. They’re like, ‘Mom, I can go in there and get some food now!’”  

Aimee’s oldest daughter, Angel, is grateful for the fresh groceries her family receives. “It’s usually fruits, vegetables, and meat, and everything I like! It makes me feel marvelous and excited. … Thank you for making sure that I have food in my belly at night. And in the morning! And at lunch,” she said with laughter.  

You Are Alleviating Suffering for Haiti Quake Victims

HAITI – Between political unrest, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, and a tropical storm, residents of the island nation of Haiti have suffered untold heartache in recent days. However, because of your ongoing love and support, our team was already positioned on the ground. They quickly began providing care and distributing much needed supplies to aid desperate Haiti quake victims.

Heartbreak for Haiti earthquake survivors

Operation Blessing Distributes Disaster Relief

The team delivered disaster kits full of food, hygiene, and household items to hard hit areas like Les Cayes. These kits contained rice, corn, beans, spaghetti, oil, tomato paste, sardines, soap, sanitary pads, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. The goal was to provide for the needs of an average Haitian family for a week.

They took care to deliver supplies into the hands of those who needed it most, rather than just dropping it along main routes through the area. They even climbed a mountain to ensure that the weak, elderly, and infirm in that region received much needed help.

Emergency relief supplies after earthquake in Haiti

Their commitment to distribute kits equitably created many challenges. It required significant crowd control efforts to keep order and deliver supplies to the most vulnerable. When the Haiti team saw an elderly man near tears because he was so grateful that help had finally reached him, they knew their struggles had been well worthwhile.

Thanks to your support, Operation Blessing also provided disaster kits to local pastors. This will ensure they reach additional families facing difficult circumstances. Our partners helped provide kits to hospitals in need of food for staff and patients as well.

Medical care in Haiti for quake victims

Medical Supplies for Haitians in Need

In addition, friends like you have given vital medical supplies for the injured and those suffering from illness during this difficult time. The Operation Blessing team provided several hospitals with items including gloves, caps, syringes, masks, adhesive, antibacterial soap, cotton, chlorine, IV fluids, and medications. Above all, the team has sought to recognize the dignity and personhood of each individual they serve. And they remain committed to alleviating suffering throughout their nation.

More Help on the Way

Currently, another Operation Blessing team of international specialists is enroute to provide even more help to Haiti. They will offer clean water expertise and additional medical support. Thank you so much for making this possible! Your love is making a real difference for suffering Haitian people.

Please continue to keep Haiti in your prayers and consider how you can support people during natural disasters. To get involved, visit or text “OBDR” to 71777.

Training Healthcare Volunteers in Honduras

COPÀN, HONDURAS – Not everyone has access to healthcare. In Honduras, many families live in remote communities that have no health clinics nearby. Their only option is to travel long distances to reach healthcare offices. The trips are often costly and laborious, taking them away from their families and work. If they can afford to make the journey, the services they need will often cost more than they can afford. Basic healthcare is a luxury that many families cannot enjoy.

Healthcare In Honduras With Volunteers

But YOUR love is changing that! All over the world, your kindness has galvanized local leaders throughout various communities to lead the charge in accessible healthcare. Operation Blessing’s community health volunteers program trains local residents in basic healthcare practices in order that they might serve their communities’ needs.

Operation Blessing traveled to Copàn, Honduras, to host a clinic and train community health volunteers. The clinic was assessing the weight and height of children under 5 years old, determining their basic nutritional status and establishing an action plan to improve their health. Your generosity makes all of this possible.

Thank you for your kindness to provide basic healthcare access to men, women, and children all over the world!

Tropical Storm Hits Earthquake-Stricken Haiti

HAITI – The residents of Haiti were left reeling after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook their country. It left homes destroyed and livelihoods lost. Many people lost loved ones in the catastrophe as well. On top of this suffering, social unrest looms throughout this Caribbean nation. Now, Haitians are enduring rain and winds from Tropical Storm Grace, adding yet another challenge for these desperate men, women, and children following the Haiti earthquake.

Dealing With Tropical Storm Grace And The Earthquake

But your love is on the move. A team from Operation Blessing Haiti is on the ground at the epicenter, assessing the need and providing critical resources to suffering families. In addition, the Operation Blessing International Disaster Relief Team is on their way to Haiti, traveling with supplies to meet the food, water, and medical needs of Haitians suffering from Tropical Storm Grace and the 2021 Haiti Earthquake. Your kindness is providing these critical resources as Haitians continue to endure the storm and begin to rebuild.

Please continue to keep Haiti in your prayers and consider how you can support these suffering families. To get involved, visit or text “OBDR” to 71777.

Operation Blessing Partners Provide Aid to Haiti Quake Victims

HAITI – The aftermath of the earthquake that rocked the southern part of Haiti resulted in devastation and death. Given the existing political and social unrest, Haiti quake victims have experienced tremendous suffering.

Helping Haiti Quake Victims

Thanks to our compassionate partners, Operation Blessing’s office in Haiti has been aiding and assisting local hospitals, providing much needed support since the earthquake struck. Though the situation is tenuous, the Haiti team continues to be vigilant as they travel through a dangerous region to provide aid to the needy and supplies for patients at a hospital in Les Cayes.

Haiti Quake Victims

Given the aftermath of the earthquake and the passing of a tropical storm, the southern part of Haiti is reeling from back-to-back natural disasters. Gang violence coupled with the social unrest further hamper the lives of those who have lost so much and are without basic necessities.

Because of friends like you, Operation Blessing’s International Disaster Response Team, including a medical doctor and clean water specialist, departed the Operation Blessing headquarters on August 17 and are en route with much needed supplies that included generators, water purification equipment, chlorine tablets, and other essentials.

haiti quake 2021 victims

Once the team arrives, they will assess the situation, and provide support to those whose needs are great. The Haiti team is working to provide clean water to the population affected by the earthquake disaster through water purification equipment, calcium hypochlorite tablets and sodium hypochlorite production. In addition, the team will offer training on disinfecting water in places of worship, soup kitchens, markets, and hospitals.

Thank you for supporting Operation Blessing and these efforts to bring aid to the hurting in the wake of such devastation. Haiti quake victims are receiving help and hope thanks to you.

haiti quake 2021 complications

Deadly Earthquake Rocks Haiti

On Saturday, August 14th, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti causing widespread destruction and over 1,000 deaths. The quake was centered just 78 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the capital city. The Haiti earthquake damage puts additional strain on a country already dealing with a number of tenuous situations. Accordingly, it is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, suffers from extremely high poverty rates and has been in the midst of severe political turmoil, including the assassination of President Moise in July.

haiti earthquake destruction

Assessing The Haiti Earthquake Damage

While the situation on the ground is still developing, Operation Blessing’s international disaster relief team is mobilizing, along with our office in Haiti, to begin providing disaster relief including food, hygiene supplies, clean water equipment, and medicine to those in need.

We will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds. Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers.

You Are Blessing Artisans in Peru!

Many of us love the artistry, style, and ingenuity of artisans all over the world. But did you know your compassion is supporting Peruvian natives like the Cocomas? They are an ethnic group comprised of the Manacamiri people. For generations they have dedicated their lives to agriculture, fishing, and handicrafts as their main source of income.

Gregoria, a Peruvian artisan, has worked for years crafting goods for her community. But she has also seen much economic hardship in Peru. Gregoria described how her family only ate if her crafts sold. Can you imagine not feeling confident about where you next meal will come from? This was the reality for those earning their living by making traditional crafts in Manacamiri.

Help With Hardship In Peru

But after Operation Blessing learned of this community, through your faithful partnership, the lives of many families were about to change. Thanks to generous friends like you, Operation Blessing started a community project for Manacamiri artisans. Many families with craft skills learned to improve their weaving techniques and painting, and how to create new products. Now they have ways to help battle the economic hardship in Peru they were facing.

Thank you so much for you kindness! Because of you, Gregoria, Mirna, and dozens of other artisans in Manacamiri have transformed their enterprise and empowered their lives. To learn how you can get involved, visit

Beirut Explosion Anniversary: How You Sent Light in Lebanon’s Tragic Days

The following report comes to us from May-Lee Melki, daughter of the co-founder of our partner, Heart for Lebanon. She shares deep from her heart on the anniversary of the Beirut explosion about the tragedy that struck her nation and the ongoing challenges they still face. We know you’ll appreciate hearing how our partners have reached out during this tragic time, in part, thanks to you.

This might not be the first article you read that reflects back on the events of August 4, 2020. For every resident in Lebanon and every Lebanese globally, 6:07 PM on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 marks the darkest day they can recount, the day of the Beirut explosion. The people of Lebanon collectively experienced one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. One that destroyed their capital, killed over 200 innocent civilians, thrust over 300,000 individuals into homelessness, and left an entire nation traumatized.

A year later, facts about the cause of the Beirut blast are scarce and the site of the explosion remains as is: an abandoned disaster scene that leaves many questions unanswered for the families of the victims and the Lebanese people as a whole. Many Lebanese who work in Beirut even have to drive by that scene on a daily basis, reminded that somehow their lives must continue despite the heartache.

Whatever you read about this day after the passing of 365 days, and whatever we all try to communicate about the tragedies of what happened a year ago and explain the heartache of our people, we will never be able to relay the permanency and gravity of the loss, hurt, and grief that millions of Lebanese continue to live in while also still living under the same circumstances and corruption responsible for the tragic explosion in Beirut.

Partner on the Ground: Heart for Lebanon

To put things into perspective as to what that meant for Operation Blessing partner on the ground, Heart for Lebanon, the ministry’s Beirut offices and headquarters are less than 3 miles away from the epicenter of the blast. Most of the Heart for Lebanon Beirut team lives within that same radius and can share individual experiences of loss on that day. One team member tells about the miraculous way she was spared by running late to a wedding that she was going to attend less than a mile from the explosion that evening. A number of team members suffered damages to their apartments, and many more lived through the horrifying experience of long hours of survival check-ins from friends and family. As one team member explained it so well, “The explosion did not happen at the Beirut port, it happened inside every single apartment in Beirut.”

For me personally, it had been exactly a week since I left Beirut to pursue a law degree in the states. I had moved my travel date up from August 4th to July 29th. If I had not, I would have been driving along that exact route headed towards the airport that day. As for my grandmother, May Abboud Melki, she took to her piano immediately after seeing her damaged apartment, with no words to express herself other than to play a tune of Auld Lang Syne before the 78-year-old mustered up the strength to think through how to move forward.

Rebuilding and bringing relief after the Beirut blast
Photos provided by Heart for Lebanon

The Restore Beirut Initiative

On August 5th, teams from the Bekaa and the South of Lebanon came to support the response on the ground in Beirut. The response was organic, it was raw, and it was difficult because it was the first time that every person working was both a victim and a first responder.

Heart for Lebanon spent the first several days cleaning up debris, then began supporting churches and Christian schools that were affected, and any families connected to those institutions.

I’m thankful to say, that because of our partnership with Operation Blessing, your support quickly came through to help us in our efforts. You provided encouragement for us and vital disaster relief supplies to victims in need during this difficult time.

As families were referred to us by church members and affiliated schools, our “Restore Beirut” team assessed material damage to their homes, secured living spaces, and tried to restore a sense of safety. We ensured that all doors and windows of damaged apartments were restored for security reasons. One such family was Walid and Layla’s family.

A team member told me the story from her recent visit to Walid and Layla’s home: “During our visit, Layla was in her living room watching TV as she prepared a Lebanese dish for her family. When Walid started telling us about what happened that day, Layla started to get emotional, she got so emotional and repeatedly kept saying how she still cannot believe that her husband is alive. She said, ‘He was so close to the explosion, it all happened in a matter of seconds. I called him several times, but he didn’t answer so I assumed the worst had happened. Two hours later, I was breaking down, nothing was clear, the whole country was in shock, and watching the news wasn’t giving me any answers, until my husband called suddenly. I thanked God a million times for protecting him. If you knew how close he was, you’d definitely understand what I went through.’ We knew exactly how close Walid’s work was to the explosion—it was only a few feet away from where nearly 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate had just exploded.”

Every family that the Restore Beirut team visited had a miraculous testimony to share, a story in which God protected them. The losses “should have been far greater” one team member said to me. “When you walk along every street and you hear the clinking of glass and the mass destruction that ripped through an entire city, and that was heard across the country, you cannot but declare it a miracle.”

Reaching Out to Explosion Victims in Beirut

As referrals were made from church and school networks, the Restore Beirut team also started connecting with families in need as they moved about the city. Out of the 95 units that were restored by Heart for Lebanon, most of those connections were made by a Restore Beirut team member who noticed a family in need and asked if they could help.

Visiting blast victims in Beirut
Photos provided by Heart for Lebanon

One such relationship was built with Carol. On August 4th, Carol was on the balcony with her 6-year-old granddaughter Katrina watching the flame rise from the Beirut port. A few minutes later, Carol heard what sounded like fireworks and explained to Katrina that there was nothing to worry about—until the explosion got louder. The next few moments stretched long and chaotic.

Carol said, “My daughter and I carried Katrina and ran downstairs trying to find refuge, we thought that a war had just started. Cynthia, my daughter, was barefoot, she walked over shattered glass for almost a mile. She kept on having surgeries to reconstruct the damage done to her feet until December 2020.” Our team shared many visits, prayers, and conversations with Carol as we restored her apartment.

As for the team themselves, a week after the blast and after 7 straight days of over 10 hours of work picking up glass, and salvaging people’s belongings from whatever was left, the Heart for Lebanon team gathered and sang songs of praise in a damaged living room. A team member shared with me that it was at that moment that the tears came rushing through. The shock had subsided, and the tears did not stop.

Camille Melki, Heart for Lebanon founder said, “We should all allow ourselves to cry, but the hardest thing for me has been my inability to do so. I have been asking God repeatedly, when God? When will those tears come rushing down? When will I truly be able to feel again after this paralyzing shock?”

The tragic stories continued with every apartment the team went into. However, it was as if the Lord had gone before them and people’s hearts were somehow ready to give praise to God for the miracles of whatever they had left. After doors and windows were sealed, churches were rebuilt, and schools became functional again, the Restore Beirut team continued to minister to the needs of these dear people

Delivering relief supplies after Lebanon explosion
Photos provided by Heart for Lebanon

Beirut Blast Anniversary – August 4, 2021

Today, there are so many ongoing needs—many created or exacerbated by these man-made atrocities and negligence. Today, Beirut has not been restored. Click here to learn more about the ongoing crisis in Lebanon.

But today, there are stories of God’s miraculous encounters that saved lives. Today, for every survivor of the Beirut explosion, there is a story that points to God, the One who is merciful and who heals. Today, stories of restoration are not of windows and doors, but rather of people and souls.

It is hard to find goodness amid evil and hope in the midst of despair. The stories of tragedy from one year ago are still with us. However, with your help, our team showed the love of Jesus Christ in tangible and meaningful ways to hundreds of families. The people of Lebanon live to tell the heart wrenching stories of August 4, 2020, but also the miraculous stories of August 4, 2020—stories of Christ’s abundant love, mercy, and grace.


We at Operation Blessing would like to thank our supporters for reaching out to victims of the Beirut explosion with love and support. While the nation still struggles, your thoughtfulness and kindness helped to bring healing during those darkest of days.

*Names changed to protect identities