“No one thought it would last this long,” said Kenyatta Lewis, a pastor who lives on the Turks and Caicos Islands. After growing up in St. Vincent, Lewis was devastated by the destruction following the recent eruption of La Soufrière.
Until this disaster, it had been 42 years since an eruption on St. Vincent in the Caribbean islands. La Soufrière — French for “sulfur outlet” — has erupted close to 30 subsequent times. One was so powerful that it launched sulphur onto four different continents.
“20,000 people have been displaced; about 7,000 of them went to government shelters at churches, community centers, and schools. The rest found shelter in private homes with other family members or friends. People were left with very little,” Lewis said of the aftermath.
But grief and despair soon turned into hope.
“Convoy of Hope, only 10 days after the first eruption, had enough food to feed 500 families for two weeks. Our typical family here has between three and four people,” Lewis said.
Lewis was equally excited that Convoy of Hope purchased some of the food at local food shops to help otherwise struggling businesses.
“We had rice, sugar, powdered milk, canned tuna, corned beef, cereal, [and] sardines. We were well-fed. And again, each household was given food for two weeks’ time,” said Lewis.
Six churches on the island helped with the distribution of food and bottled water. Lewis says that, more than a month after the eruption, Convoy of Hope has reached close to 4,000 people.
“Thank you for your contribution. Thank you for your generosity. My prayer is that everyone who has given will be blessed beyond measure,” Lewis said.