Bahamas Missions Trip - Blog #3
Thursday morning we took a ride to the east end of the island. If someone local asked us where we went, we would have said, "over the bridge" and they would have nodded gravely - the bridge being the delineation between devastation and total devastation. Over the bridge was a new level of sobering.
While out there, we spoke with a couple who had hired a surveyer to delineate their property lines - where their house used to be. It is the house that they grew up in, next to 7 other homes and behind the restaurant they all ate at. We had to use our imagination. The community would have continued on the other side of the only edifice still standing. The others all agreed to have their totalled houses razed, but one man felt like his could be salvaged. They, and we, were doubtful.
Further beyond where the other houses would have been was the gorgeous ocean. I walked out to it; the beach is gone. And even on this beautiful sunny day, the wind was powerful. It would have been frightening during the storm. Thankfully this neighborhood all evacuated. They lost everything material; a lifetime of memories and daily fixtures that ground our lives. But they were alive - a reason for them to be thankful.
The woman expressed frustration with going from agency to agency registering for aid and getting promises, yet 5 months later, no results. They said they didn't have many resources, but they would use what they had and ever so slowly make inroads on their own. Just one example of why a coordinated approach to recovery is paramount. They also said that going to church each week gave them what they needed to hold onto hope.
I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Will follow with one final installment regarding our final session of our 3 day conference.
Blessings on the journey,