by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
Early this month, Typhoon Khanun made landfall on the Korean Peninsula, which brought heavy rains and strong winds across the country. As part of our homeschooling, we learned about typhoons and their devastating effects by watching videos on YouTube
As we scrolled, clips of the devastating fires in Maui caught our attention. When we saw what happened in Lahaina just a few days before a typhoon hit South Korea, our hearts were broken.
We set aside the science lesson for a while and watched the news.
While watching, Callie looked at me and asked if I was okay. Apparently, she saw tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to interviews with the locals who lost their homes and saw images of the whole community turned from color to grey and black.
Our hearts were so moved that I invited my daughter to pray for the people of Lahaina, Maui, and the whole nation of Hawaii. Our science lesson became a moment of intercession and compassion, a more important lesson to learn.
The fires didn’t just consume buildings and properties, it broke homes and stole away beautiful memories. The blaze didn’t just kill people, it took away fathers and mothers from their children, children from their parents, and tore covenant friendships forever.
Just the thought of myself and my family getting caught in the middle of a fire scares me tremendously. To the people of Lahaina, it isn’t just a nightmare, it is reality. I can only imagine the pain and the trauma this tragedy has caused especially to the children.
I wish I could go there and extend help to the people of Lahaina by providing clothes, blankets, and food to those who have lost their homes. I wish I could extend my arms to give comfort and encouragement to the brokenhearted.
I wish I was there to grieve with the grieving and mourning of those who are mourning. I wish but I can’t. But it doesn’t mean I can’t help.
There are so many ways to help–by giving and praying. And these, I will do.
I pray for those who have lost precious family members to the fires, may God’s overwhelming comfort and peace envelop them at this time. May the grace of the Lord carry them through as they move forward without their loved ones and as they pick up the broken pieces of their lives.
For those who have lost their homes and their properties they worked hard for, I declare provision and restoration. What the fires stole from them be returned to them a hundredfold.
As they wait and slowly rebuild, I pray for God to put a roof on their heads, blankets to keep them warm and strength upon their bodies.
I declare wisdom and unity upon the government and the leaders of Maui and Hawaii as they make decisions and navigate solutions to rebuilding the community and the whole nation.
And for the rescue workers and everyone working in the field, I speak strength in body, mind and heart as they retrieve the missing.
May the whole Maui community and the nation of Hawaii be filled with overflowing compassion, generosity and love as they all gather together in support of the people of Lahaina.
As they extend their hands and feet to those who are affected, as they share their resources with those who have lost theirs, may love be so evident and a spirit of community be exemplified.
To the beautiful of Lahaina and the whole Maui community, there are so many people around the world who see your plights and are holding the ropes for you in prayers as you slowly rebuild your lives.
by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan