4 Years Later People Continue to Suffer by Karen
After living here for over a year, we're just beginning to understand the real impact that Hurricane Maria had on the lives of the people.
Surrounded by hopelessness and devastation, many turned to drugs and alcohol for relief; the substances, which were meant to be a temporary escape, quickly began to enslave them in what would become debilitating addictions. The incidence of domestic violence, which has always been high, skyrocketed as people crumbled under the weight of the stress.
All of people's belongings were either gone or ruined and there was nowhere to buy anything new. Every possible means of gainful employment instantly disappeared, leaving people completely helpless. Amidst this pursuit for survival, marriages fell apart and families were scattered. Life, as they knew it, had forever changed.
About a year ago, when we began doing ministry in Aguadilla, we met a man named Joe. He was friendly, talkative and willing to participate in our activities, so we became acquainted quickly.
(As a side note, Joe absolutely loves to play the guitar and jumps at every opportunity Chris gives him to join in when we're singing praise and worship. It's beautiful to see his face light up as he strums the strings and bellows the lyrics of the songs of his past.)
As the weeks and months passed we learned bits and pieces of Joe's story. He was married, but his wife left him. He refuses to entertain the idea of looking for another wife because he's still in love with the woman he married almost 50 years ago. He has children and grandchildren, but he says that they all hate him. He lives alone and spends his free time reading. He went to college for psychology and served in the U.S. military. Joe can always be found hanging around town drinking and/or sleeping on a bench under a shady tree.
We began in the space outside his house which was designed to be a garage. Joe uses this space as a sitting room and said that he often sleeps there at night because it's so much cooler than in the house. We set to work sorting through the stuff that was haphazardly strewn about.
The (many, many) books went in one pile while the dirty clothes went in another. Chris assessed any/all medicine that he found and arranged it neatly inside so that Joe doesn't have to run to the pharmacy every time he has a headache or cough.
The items that were salvageable, but that Joe didn't want, were set outside his gate in a pile for others to take, and the garbage got bagged up. Little by little we made progress.
|(Note: There is a short scene of a young woman |
showering by candlelight in which the side of her
breast is visible. If this is too explicit,
please skip from 4:29 to 4:47.)
Watching this video has given me a new appreciation for all those that have chosen to stay and rebuild - not just the buildings, roads and bridges, but their very lives.
or call Family Missions Company at (337) 893 - 6111.
Thank you and may God bless you and your family!