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Cyclone Idai: Picking up the pieces one year later

  • March 12, 2020
Sam Campbell
Sam Campbell

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“A few minutes later, the whole house and roof collapsed on top of me …”

It was March 15 last year when Cyclone Idai tore through Zimbabwe. But Billy still remembers the wind and rain beating against his house like it was yesterday. He went to sleep that night as usual, waking up a few hours later to a raging storm.

“After a while I noticed the walls of the house shaking,” Billy said. “I quickly went to hide under the table.”

That decision saved Billy’s life.

Powerful winds ripped off the roof, and the rest of the house crumbled to the ground. Thankfully, the entire family survived.

But others weren’t so lucky. Cyclone Idai killed hundreds and left thousands more without homes or shelter. Many went to bed that night and woke up to complete horror. Lifeless bodies floating down the streets. Homes submerged in several feet of water. Family members missing.

In the weeks that followed, the people of Zimbabwe spent every waking moment searching for their dead. They pulled dozens from the brown sludge each day, from children to elderly grandparents. The storm wrecked the country’s landscape as well, destroying a year’s worth of crops and causing mudslides.

But because of generous donors like you, help was on the way right after the disaster struck. You provided lifesaving aid including food, clean water, clothing, hygiene kits, baby items, and other emergency supplies.

As cyclone victims came to receive the aid, they had the opportunity to meet with pastors to receive trauma and bereavement counseling.

While the needs are still great one year later, your immediate response in the days following the storm made all the difference. The people of Zimbabwe are slowly piecing their lives back together — and your gifts helped make that possible.

The food gave them strength. Clean water protected them from disease. And infant care kits kept their babies alive.

Billy and his family lost everything … but the supplies they received helped them make a fresh start.

We were able to respond right away when Cyclone Idai hit because of compassionate supporters like you. And you can give now to make sure we’re prepared to respond to the next crisis immediately, so people don’t have to wait for help.

You can make sure another boy like Billy who is starving and desperate for help receives it. Or provide critical aid to a family whose lives have been shattered and don’t know how they’ll rebuild.

During the worst moments of people’s lives, you can bring physical help and spiritual hope. By meeting their immediate needs, you’ll also be showing them the love of Jesus and letting them know they are not alone.

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