In the last few weeks several disasters have impacted communities across the world. These range between extreme weather events, disease outbreak and the consequences of conflict.
In the Caribbean, Hurricane Lisa, a category 1 storm, made landfall on 2nd November to the south of Belize City. The storm affected 172,000 people, displacing 5,000, but with no fatalities. On 6th November, massive flooding affected the north of Saint Lucia, trapping individuals in their homes. Thankfully, they were evacuated to safety and there were no fatalities in this event either.
Reflecting on these events, the Anglican Alliance’s Caribbean facilitator, Clifton Nedd, said, “We are at the end of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, so any adverse weather events tend to cause a lot of anxiety. I am happy that the preparedness and response systems in Belize and St Lucia have been able to adequately respond to these emergencies, and that local churches are playing a part of those responses”
There is a worrying outbreak of Ebola unfolding in Uganda. Since late September, when the first case was detected, 158 people have been confirmed to be infected by the deadly virus, 54 of whom have succumbed to the disease. The Ugandan authorities have also classified 21 cases as probable deaths from Ebola virus infection. On 14th November, the World Health Organization upgraded Uganda’s Ebola risk situation from ‘high’ to ‘very high’ and the Africa region from ‘low’ to ‘high’.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, a protracted conflict in the eastern parts persists in causing displacement of populations and loss of lives.
Other ongoing disasters include the prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa affecting Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti. In Sri-Lanka, the economic crisis – which has led to unprecedented levels of inflation, shortages of medical supplies and price increases in basic commodities – continues.
These and many others are situations causing untold sufferings to millions of God’s children in different parts of the World. We invite you to join us as we bring the needs, hopes and prayers of the affected families to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
God, you are in the midst of those who suffer
May all affected by disasters feel your healing presence.
God, you are in the hands of those who reach out
Help responders in their courageous work.
God, you are in the hearts of those compassionate ones
Whose prayers cry out for their families
Whose prayers cry out for their neighbours
Whose prayers cry out even for strangers
Bless and comfort those who mourn.
God, you are in the still small voice,
The gentle whisper that follows
May our ears always hear
May our hearts always cry out for one another
May our hands always reach out to one another
And may we always walk like you walk
In solidarity with those who suffer
And so reflect your presence and comfort.
– Prayer adapted from Catholic Relief Services