Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
a Special Offering 2024 Mission Moment
When gale-force winds rushed along the mountains of Maui, they brought down power lines, ignited grasslands, and contributed to what has become “America’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century.” An extremely dry summer, strain on the island’s water resources, and winds as a result of the simultaneous Hurricane Dora, exacerbated the flames, and the toll on land and people continued to mount.
steps toward restoration and recovery
Week of Compassion remains in contact with a wide variety of ecumenical partners and local community leaders as the restoration and recovery continues in Lahaina and other areas of west Maui in the wake of August wildfires.
Maui County has divided the burn area into zones, slowly opening these zones for limited resident access, with a system in place, led by Hawai’i VOAD, where trained volunteers accompany residents on their first day of reentry. These skilled partners help ensure residents have and know how to use proper Personal Protective Equipment, provide emotional and spiritual support, and help connect survivors to additional assistance as it is needed.
While access remains quite restricted due to concerns of exposure to toxins, several organizations are assisting with ash-sifting, to recover any personal property that may have survived, and with cleanup efforts, which are complicated by the environmental concerns about ash and debris flowing into the ocean. Local officials, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others are working to balance access for residents with critical mitigation efforts.
responding with partners on Maui
On Tuesday, August 8, gale-force winds rushed along the mountains of Maui, bringing down power lines, igniting grasslands, and contributing to what has become “America’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century”. An extremely dry summer, and winds as a result of Hurricane Dora, exacerbated the flames and the toll on land and people continues to mount.
We continue to receive your many questions and heartfelt concerns for our neighbors on Maui and the continuously heartbreaking news in light of the hurricane-fed fires that have decimated the island in the last week.
RIGHT NOW it is important to PRAY, GIVE, and STAY.
In this moment, Disciples, our call is to support those affected, with the fervency of our prayers and the generosity of our financial contributions.
headlines & prayers from our partners
from our partners at Children's Disaster Services (Facebook, Friday August 11 2023) :
Children's Disaster Services is responding to the wildfires in Hawaii. Teams of certified volunteers are being pulled together today for deployment soon. They will be working in the shelters on Maui.
Take a moment to say a prayer for all the families impacted by by these wildfires. Also pray for all the responders providing care, including the CDS volunteers.
first responses from local observers
from our colleagues in the Disciples Pacific Southwest Region (Facebook, Wednesday August 9 2023):
We pray for the people in Hawaii who are affected by the devastating fires. While our own congregations (on the island of Oahu) are not directly impacted by this disaster, they are preparing and bracing to help possible evacuees from neighboring islands. Please pray, and provide funds to Week of Compassion (our church-wide relief, refugee, and development mission fund).
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