The winds of cyclone Eloise whipped the pounding rain hard against her small frame, but in the distance, Pastor Abel Faz-Ver, our Mozambican Operations Director, could see the fragile, disabled elderly woman running through the village. He recognized her and assumed she was going to check on her adult children close by. Then, unexpectedly, God spoke to him, “Follow her. She needs your help.”
This was the third major cyclone to hit Mozambique within just two years, an unprecedented increase in natural disasters unlike Abel’s generation and those since have ever seen. Despite the wind and rain, and in obedience to the Lord’s prompting, he went out, and ran after the elderly woman.
As he caught up with her, they at once heard children screaming for help. Abel ran over to the direction of the sound and discovered that a large wall of a mud home had fallen onto three small children. Two young boys were just crawling out from under the remaining wall, but there was a younger girl, around five years old who was trapped underneath it, covered in mud. Abel dug until he was able to reach the little girl, pulling her out to safety. After cleaning her up, he got her to the hospital to check for any injuries.
What a testimony of how God uses a willing and listening heart to reach out and care for others! What might have happened if he hadn’t listened and bravely obeyed?
Many areas of Mozambique had already seen several days of non-stop rain and flooding leading up to Eloise. When she hit Beira, Mozambique, on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, she was a category two with wind speeds as high as 100 mph, dumping another 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.
Most Mozambicans live in homes of bamboo and dried mud with roofs of thatch or tin. The heavy winds and rain tore apart roofs and dissolved structures, destroying the fresh food supplies and belongings stored inside homes. Most Mozambicans also cook over open fire, but fires cannot be lit without dry materials and for many their locally sourced charcoal was soaked from the rain prior to the cyclone's arrival. As a result, many people have not been able to eat for several days.
Our Mozambican teammates have been impacted as well. At least three have lost the roofs to their homes, resulting in destroyed food and belongings. While some relief agencies around the world will be responding to this disaster, coordination will take some time. Not everyone in need will be able to receive direct assistance, but together each of us can make a difference within our individual spheres of influence.
Hope of a Nation is working to provide as much immediate relief as possible to those in need, including food, medical care, and materials to repair shelters.