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Sending Love in Their Darkest Hours

Field Report by Dina Sleiman

WORLDWIDE – Thanks to you, Operation Blessing is able to rush relief to people in disaster and crisis situations. Whether the emergency results from natural causes, or man made turmoil, you reach out to victims in their darkest hours with love and support. Over the last several months we’ve been very busy helping victims of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda recover from disaster related damage. And here are some of the other crises you’ve responded to recently, by sending love both through immediate aid and long-term assistance.

SYRIAN AND KURDISH REFUGEES – Sending Love through Disaster Relief in the Midst of Turmoil

When Turkish forces invaded Syria, Syrian families fled the conflict area with little beyond the clothes on their backs. Many poured over the border into the Kurdistan region of Iraq, while others remained trapped in Syria.
One aid worker said, “If you talk to people here…you will feel their sadness, their suffering. They’ve lost hope.”

Christians, Kurds, Yazidis and Muslims alike all left the area, looking for a safe place to take refuge from the disaster related damage. Immediately, you sent aid via our Kurdish partners, the Barzani Charity foundation. You provided food, water, blankets, shelter, hygiene kits and more to the weary refugees on both sides of the border. Together with Barzani, we shipped convoys full of supplies to those in need.

Even after the official cease fire, the area remained dangerous and conflict-ridden. The Turks seemed intent on an ethnic cleansing. Before long hundreds of thousands were reported to have left the region in search of peace. And you continued sending love and relief their way.

PHILIPPINE EARTHQUAKE RELIEF –  Immediate Disaster Aid for the Hurting

Starting in late October, multiple earthquakes shook their nation destroying homes, business establishments, infrastructures and farms. The Cotabato area was first hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, followed by several aftershocks leaving 22 dead, 424 injured and 4,800 families traumatized and displaced by the natural disaster.

An Operation Blessing team rushed in to help following the earthquake. Thanks to your faithful support, we’ve distributed close to 1,000 relief packs to affected families. They’ve received tents, blankets, food, hygiene kits, and medicines. In addition, you are supplying victims with clean water, medical care, trauma counseling, and vital encouragement.

The OB team has even been providing fun activities for the children, to keep them occupied and lift their spirits during this painful time.

MEXICO BEACH, FLORIDA – Sending Love through Long-term hurricane relief

Ten months after Hurricane Michael struck Florida, Mexico Beach was still a shadow of its former self. Many families still struggled in the aftermath of this destructive storm. But thanks to your support, Operation Blessing volunteers returned to help those who hadn’t yet recovered, including Marie and Herman in Mexico Beach.

The couple lived just a few blocks from the gulf. They drove home several days after the hurricane to a scene of total devastation. The house stunk of stagnant water. The roof had collapsed, and their possessions were destroyed. The couple’s insurance company helped them replace the roof, but the inside remained gutted down to the studs for 10 months. Between Marie’s Parkinson’s disease and Herman’s heart and respiratory issues, they were running out of hope of ever having their house inhabitable again.

Then you sent OB to help! Marie wept and still seemed incredibly overwhelmed as we arrived at her home. OB volunteers quickly installed new drywall, ceilings, insulation, and flooring to get the Petersons back into a real home. “I want to tell you how grateful I am for your sacrifice and service!” Marie said.

Thank you for sending your love to those in need during their darkest hours of natural disaster and crisis all around the world.

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