The sound of crackling woke me up this morning. It was too close and too loud for comfort. We gathered beside Elise and Camille's hut and watched the flames lick at the dry sorghum stalks just outside our fence. As the shepherds beat at the flames with branches the fire slowly died down, leaving only blackened earth in its wake.
It's fire season around here. As the snow falls back in our home state we who live among the Karimojong watch our grass yellow and wither away. The land as far as I can see is hazy with dust and smoke and patches of black stretch to the right and left, little ribbons of trail still winding, white and bare, through the ash.
This week a fire got out of control. It came on the wind, they say, little tornadoes of flames that flew from hut to hut and fence to fence, destroying everything it touched. In the end 32 families are left with nothing, bare ground, bare walls and burnt circles all that's left of their homes. Their stores of food, meant to last until harvest season in the fall, are black and charred.
This kind of disaster in our country brings out the best in us as people and as fellow Americans. We give generously and take trips to help with clean-up and disaster relief. We take people into our homes, if needed, and gather donations of blankets and clothes. We give, give and give more. After all, they are our friends and neighbors.
But what about disaster in a place like this? A place where neighbors don't have enough for their own families, much less those whose food is now black with ash. A place where people own only one blanket, if that, or one pot, or one set of clothes. How do they help? They'll try, I know, but there is not enough to go around. The families who lost everything are sleeping outside on the burnt ground as they beg for help. They are grinding their charred sorghum and maize and cooking it, anything to fill their empty bellies.
And so today, because these people are now our neighbors and friends, we beg you, our neighbors and friends across the water, for help. We have never done relief work on any scale, but this time we feel compelled to try and help. Maybe help will come from organizations here, eventually, but they can't wait.
We are planning to bring a truck from a neighboring town with bags of sorghum or maize, blankets, cooking pots, jerry cans and basins for each family. This is barely scratching the surface of the need, but it's a start, a start that leaves room for our local community to help as well. So please, if you are willing, give! There is a donate button on the right side of our blog if that's the easiest way for you to help, but make sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that money is designated for fire relief. Otherwise, checks can be sent to:
P.O. Box 65147
San Antonio, TX 78265
Please add a note (NOT on the check) with our name on it.
Thank you in advance for your help! We are always amazed by the support we feel from our friends and family back at home. Please join us in praying for these families as they struggle to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Kenneth and Kristi Williams
The Williams Family
Kenneth and Kristi
Nevaeh, 18 years old
Rikot, 18 years old
Ezra, 17 years old
Zion, 16 years old
Izzy, 14 years old
Selah, 12 years
Acuka, 11 years
Benaiah, 8 years
Jubal, 5 years
Jireh, 1.5 years
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