As you may know from my blog yesterday, the village of Maramara in eastern Chad has experienced a fire like they have never seen before. It has come close to completely destroying their village.
When we first decided to partner with the village of Maramara we planned to help with development. The fire has forced us to respond to their need for relief instead. World Concern is working with the people in the village to determine what next steps need to take place.
Here are a few details.
A fire broke out on Monday morning around 8:30 AM. World Concern leaves a phone in the village so they can be reached in emergencies. They called the World Concern office and they immediately left for the village to assess the damage (about a 90 minute drive).
The damage is unbelievable. Of the 85 homes in the village, 73 were destroyed. That means 85% of the village has been rendered homeless.
All the elderly and people with disabilities were rescued by the community members. Three people were slightly injured. Three donkeys, one horse and four sheep were burnt to death. See the picture below.
The well that was dug recently allowed them to save a few homes, but obviously not many.
Beyond the homes and animals, and all their food was burnt to ashes. They have urgent needs for food items and supplies and other basic necessities.
I would guess this will make national news (in Chad) and other government and non-government agencies will step in for relief, but we will be involved too. Our representative from World Concern will be here this weekend and we will talk about our involvement. And we will let you know of any needs that we can meet.
Nate and I are headed to Chad very soon. We thought it was to consider options for use of the extra money, but I think we now know where all of that will go. We will lean on World Concern to figure out how this can be used in the relief effort. This is just devastating news, and I was so looking forward to seeing our new friends in Maramara. Now it will be with a very heavy heart.
One of the community members said that they often have a fire disaster each year which may consume three or four homes at the most. They've never seen anything like this before.
Neighboring villages have been coming to sympathize with them to bring up morale, but they can offer no tangible support. This entire community is vulnerable to many dangers right now.
Please be praying for the people of Maramara.
I have shared with our World Concern contact to assure them of our prayers and that we will be stepping in to help.
Here is what I do love. Our partners, World Concern, arrived before anyone from the government and I pray that we can display the love of Christ to this village in a way they have never imagined.
One of the men of the community said: “only God will send good people for help….. God controls all things…” By God's grace, may we represent Christ well to this needy people.