Missions is Rebuilding

Last week I had the opportunity to take my field administrator and his wife around the island of Saint Vincent. One of the most important areas we visited was Fitts-Hughes, in the area of Chateaubelair.

This area was beautiful, but that wasn’t what made it important…..

It was important because of the damage made by the La Soufrière volcanic eruption in April 2021.

On April 9, 2021 La Soufrière which had been dormant since 1979, erupted. The ash from this eruption affected every community, but especially Owia, and Fitts-Hughes the communities closest to the volcano.

The ash from that eruption and it’s damage to buildings caused an evacuation of both areas. For around three months evacuees were kept in different communities (including mine Barrouallie) till the cleanup could be completed. Speaking with many of them during that time they expressed no interest in going back.

But when Fitts-Hughes was opened again….they all went back!

This illustrates an important point:

We cannot control tragedy, but we can control how we respond to tragedy.

During their evacuation those from Fitts-Hughes were overwhelmed, and probably frightened that the volcano would erupt again. Yet as they went back to the community, I believe not only did memories return, but the evacuees understood it was possible to build things back. Last week the pastor we visited drove us around the area that had once again become vibrant, filled with people who were born and raised there.

The thing about tragedy is it crushes us emotionally..

but after those emotions fade a bit, we are able to begin the process of rebuilding

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being overwhelmed and emotional when the wounds of a tragedy are fresh. That is just being human! But STAYING in that emotional state is a sin because we have just given up.

Eventually it is time to dry your tears, pick up a shovel, and start building again.

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