Help to focus on the future

As Logos Hope’s visit to the Abaco Islands draws to a close, crewmembers have been reflecting on their time of ministry among people still picking up the pieces after a devasting hurricane and stalled rebuilding efforts due to the coronavirus pandemic:

“While helping to rebuild a destroyed house, it made me look forward to spending time with the owners,” says Monica Harder (Canada). “We were welcomed every day by different members of the family and spent lots of time chatting with them about all sorts of things. The best part of this was that it made it easy to share my faith as I simply felt I was talking with friends. I’m glad we spent a week there so we could build relationships with the family. By the time we finished the house, we came to say goodbye and offered to pray for them. A family member prayed over each of us, as she was so thankful we had come to help.”

The fact that islanders needed not just physical help, but spiritual help too, became clear to Timothy Lau (East Asia). He got to know a man and after talking for a while he offered to pray for him. The man reacted with surprise as no-one had prayed with him before. He went on to share his concerns for his family’s future and fear for the unknown. Timothy recalls, “I found it sad that no one had prayed with him in this year since the hurricane, but on the other hand, I’m grateful I had this opportunity to share a glimpse of God’s love and care with him.”

Mayra Gonzalez (Brazil) realised the great need for free health care in the community when she and the other crewmembers, alongside crew from sister vessel Pacific Hope, tested people’s eyesight, gave out free prescription glasses, offered dental clinics and hygiene training advice. These sessions saw many people coming daily; even hours before the start time. Mayra says, “We gave love, hope and attention by praying with people and listening to their stories. We also offered Bibles to help them understand that the love of God is the most powerful thing: it can bring people from the other side of the world to help strangers, and can also give us the strength to face hard times like those the islanders are facing now.”

While there is still much to do before Abaconians feel like their lives have returned to normal, Logos Hope’s volunteers are pleased they’ve been able to offer help and are thankful to have met people who are hopeful for the future. Florence Nussbaumer (France) says, “Next to one house we worked in, there was a really nice garden with a pineapple plantation, coconuts, papayas and bananas. The owner invited some of us to have a look at it. Sadly, he explained that before the hurricane hit, the plantation was much bigger but trees had been broken. Still, he was grateful that it was still growing and producing fruit that he can enjoy again.”

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