I'm a little late getting this out but we have been very busy. From now until the next school terms start in February we will be doing our very best to make sure that all students are able to receive the help the Church is offering. Some other time we may go into more detail but this time we want to share with you a matter of concern.
As you know, in March we were hit by a very powerful cyclone that pretty well wiped out everyones homes and gardens. This is a culture that relies heavily on eating what they can grow so it has been very difficult for many. We are now experiencing a severe drought. This is supposed to be the rainy season and it hasn't rained enough to matter for months, and they tell us it isn't going to let up until at least into next year. A lot of people rely on rain for all their water and without it they don't even have water for washing and cooking let alone drinking water. I have spent as much time as I can spare carrying water to people in some of the outlying villages and I'm not really making a dent in what they need, but we feel the need to do what we can
Wherever I go, people bring whatever containers they have for me to fill from what I can carry
This hole is a hand dug well about 20 ft. deep. The man in the well is still digging and only has water up to his knees. They are close to the sea so the water they do get may not be all that good, but at least they will have something to use for washing and watering what's left of their garden. Now is when they should be harvesting their rood crops but when they dig them up there is nothing there because of the lack of water.
We have a couple of interesting before and after pictures
When we first got here we took a drive around the island and found this beautiful road leading into the WWII museum. I couldn't resist taking this photo
this is what it looks like now
This is another part of that beautiful drive
and how it looks now
The Golf coarse when we arrived
This was taken about a month ago. It looks a lot worse now. Strangely enough, we sometimes still see someone out there putting around. Hard core golfers I guess.
On the North end of the island there was an airstrip and Navy Base near Takara. This concrete box is what the fighter pilots used for target practice. When you look closely you can see it has been shot up fairly well. Again, see how dry it is. If it were Fall in Wyoming it wouldn't look so out of place but this is Springtime on a tropical island in the South Pacific. It's supposed to be green.
This is where the airstrip was
There are a few more pictures but you get the idea. In a lot of areas of the country people no longer have anything to eat because they rely on their gardens and the gardens aren't producing. They rely on rain for water and it isn't raining so they have no drinking water. We've heard that on Malekula cattle are starving so they are selling them at 25% of value just to get rid of them. When people ask what can be done, the only answer we can give them is to pray.
We are doing well and even though at times we feel overwhelmed with all we have to do we feel blessed to be here. We are learning much more from these good people than they will ever learn from us and are making many eternal friends.