Impact Disaster Response, in partnership with Texas Baptist Men and North Carolina Baptists on Mission, are responding in Hawaii after wildfires have taken dozens of lives and destroyed hundreds of homes. Eun Strawser, pastor of Ma Ke Alo o (a BGAV watchcare church) shared the following with us:
Aunty Noni and daughter Lani (pictured here) have lost their home in Lahaina and everything in it. They also lost two vehicles. They had lived in Lahaina for over 30 years and generations before them had roots in Lahaina. The home contained all their material possessions. Lani is also an entrepreneur who ran a small successful business out of her home sewing Hawaiian print purses, accessories, and furniture. The vehicles are used to take Aunty Noni to dialysis three times per week.
They have nothing but the clothes on their back and literally need to replace everything. All was lost in the fire.
They tried to drive away from the fire in their truck, but the fire was too close. They saw everyone fleeing their vehicles so knew they had to run for their lives to the ocean. They made it to the wall to climb over and the heat was so intense- had it not been for a male stranger (Benny) who helped them over, they may not have made it. They saw that an elderly person had died along the wall.
They stayed in the water along the beach from 5:30pm until early the next morning- over 10 hours. The Coastguard arrived in the early morning but couldn’t bring the boat near the shore because of the reef. They sent divers one by one paddling in with surfboards to bring people back out to the boat. A fire truck arrived shortly after this and they were able to go with the Fire department personnel to safety.
As the news of the devastation from the wildfires in Maui consume our thoughts and hearts, we not only send our prayers but we send our Presence.
Presence in the way we respond to the call of the heavy-hearted. Presence in the way we come together for the flourishing of all.
Partner with Ma Ke Alo o (which means “Presence” in Hawaiian), multiplying missional communities in Hawaii, as we raise funds that will directly impact our Lahaina ‘ohana. We have 4 different families in our church family with immediate family in Lahaina!
Grace for Maui.
The BGAV has sent initial funds to support their response, and you can donate below. We are also working with Texas and North Carolina to build a team that can help them with the continued response, which may include crisis care chaplains, ash out training and volunteers, and other support as needed.
How you can help:
Pray – please pray for the communities affected by the fires and those who will be offering their presence to assist them.
Give – all funds that you give for Hawaii will go directly to the response there. Ma Ke Alo o will be using those funds to support families directly affected by the fires. To give using the link below, choose “Disaster Active Response (Hawaii Wildfires)” from the dropdown menu.