It’s been 54 days since the tragic trash landslide. You may be wondering what’s going on Korah these days . . .
There are no more police.
It’s no longer flooded with visitors.
The mourning, for the most part, has ended.
No longer is anyone trying to clear the trash that covered the homes.
People are back in the dump scavenging for food because hunger doesn’t subside.
Dump trucks are arriving delivering fresh trash.
People are still being relocated daily.
Those who live in the houses considered “at risk” for being too close to the dump are being told they have one week to leave the home they have lived in for 40 years in some cases.
People in Korah are trying to adjust to their new normal while mourning the loss of many lives and the loss of neighbors still living who are being relocated.
It’s a lot of loss in a very short time.
One of our employees, Shitoe, was forced to leave her home immediately after the landslide because it was considered unsafe. We are excited to share that the government has gifted her with an incredibly beautiful two-bedroom condominium.
It is her first home with four walls.
It is her first home that is more than one room.
It is her first home with a toilet.
It is her first home with running water.
We are beyond excited for her and her three children! However, we are sad to report she has been relocated. Since she is now a 20-minute drive from Korah, Shitoe will no longer be working for us.
God has certainly taken care of Carry 117 through this tragedy. Eleven days after we vacated our mud compound, a notice was posted on the gate that the property needed to be vacated in one week because it was labeled “at risk.” It was too close to the dump, and it would no longer be a functioning part of the community. We are overwhelmed at the fact that God had provided us a safe place to move before we ever knew we would be forced to move.
Mostly, we are overwhelmed with the response from partners and supporters across the world.
Here is how we have used the funds that have been donated:
Carry 117 took off three weeks of work to serve and love the community.
Four times we cooked for and fed 200-400 people in the resettlement shelter.
We fed approximately 3,200 meals to people in the community who were not in a shelter.
We purchased and distributed 20 blankets for people in the community.
We provided 10 full trash bags of clothing for 100 people in the community and in the shelter.
We purchased 400 notebooks and 400 pens and pencils for a local school in Korah so kids who lost everything were able to return to school.
We provided two-months worth of food for the school to feed the poorest 400 kids lunch every day (excluding Saturday and Sunday).
We hired two women who were impacted by the trash landslide in some way.
We prayed with an unknown number of people around the community.
“I don’t believe we would have been able to do all of this without the support of people around the world. Everyone always thanks us for serving. But here’s the thing– you guys equipped us to serve. Everybody was so quick to answer and react. Financial contributions flooded in, allowing us to serve to our maximum capacity. Additionally, I have never written and responded to as many Facebook messages as I did during that time. People continually reached out telling me they were praying for us and encouraging me as the leader. I felt like those messages helped get me through all the hard things I was seeing every day. Waking up in the mornings, I knew it was going to be such an exhausting day, but seeing all those messages was such a boost and gave me the the ‘Alright. Let’s do this.’ mindset,“ Henok shared about his experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to measure effectiveness. But God uses situations like this to magnify the fruit of what He has been doing all along.
When we dreamed up the name Carry 117, we talked about how we hoped the ladies of Carry 117 would learn how to live a Carry 117 lifestyle. What I mean by that is that the ladies would do the following:
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the orphan.
Fight for the rights of the widow.
This tragic situation was a good opportunity for them to display this lifestyle.
“The ladies were so happy to be serving their community. They repeatedly said, ‘We are so proud of Carry 117 and ourselves that we are able to help,’” Henok proudly shared. “What is amazing is that I don’t even have to take the initiative anymore. I get phone calls from the ladies saying, ‘There is a lady next door in need of formula and diapers. Can we help her?’ I am not even the one leading the charge. They are leading the charge now. It’s so incredible. When they bring the idea to help someone, it’s different than me bringing the idea. That’s when we know our vision was a success– because the ladies are actually the ones carrying on the vision.”
In the next few months, we will be focusing on these four projects:
We will be purchasing school uniforms for the 40 kids who lost everything in the landslide. We are waiting on the school to give us the go-ahead.
We will purchase kitchen supplies for families who are resettling into their new homes: stoves, pots, pans, cups, plates, forks, knives, etc. Because these families lost everything in the landslide, we want to set them up with a way to cook for their own families.
We plan on buying a few more months of food supplies for the largest school in Korah. This is a huge need. It’s hard for students to learn if they don’t eat.
We will be hiring one additional employee at Carry 117.
Thanks to you, we already have the financial backing we need to carry out these plans! We will keep you posted with any additional needs that arise.