IBN HASSEIN, Morocco – Traveling through some of the many villages outside of Marrakesh, about an hour’s drive away, it is easy to see how destructive last Friday’s earthquake has been.
Because of the fear of aftershocks, many of the people of this region are living in tents on the side of the road.
On our way to these outlying villages, CBN News saw thousands of those people in tents.
In the village of Ibn Hassein, we spoke with Fatna, who lost her husband in the earthquake. Her village has been destroyed and her home is now rubble.
“My husband died and the whole village has been destroyed by the earthquake, and I was shocked,” she told us, tearfully. “There are rocks on the mountains, so this is not a good place to build houses. So, they will not be able to build a house in this area anymore.”
After sunset, Operation Blessing began distributing food to many of these now-homeless Moroccans.
Very little – if any – relief has reached some of the outlying villages. That’s why Operation Blessing is here, to provide food and solar lamps, since there’s no electricity and not much hope for the future.
One woman expressed her gratitude to the O.B. team for what she received, telling them, “shukhran,” Arabic for “thank you.”
Operation Blessing’s Brendan O’Leary told us, “It’s just really humbling because of the support that our generous donors have gone to – to give us the opportunity to be instruments of love here in Morocco, but also to share with the people and hear their stories of loss and of devastation and start to bring that hope. It really touches you in your heart.”
The heartbeat of many of these Operation Blessing humanitarian missions is the volunteers, who give their time and effort to bring hope and help to the people in need.
“They’re incredibly important,” O’Leary said. “A lot of them have deeper ties locally than we do. This is my first time in Morocco, so having people who know the culture, who know the people, who know the language, can really help us connect and make those relationships that are really important when you’re out here trying to demonstrate God’s love.”
Volunteers such as Layla and Zouhair Hmami.
“People are in desperate need,” Layla explained. “They really need basic, necessary things like food, water, blankets, tents – and we are very blessed and happy to be able to help.
Layla added, “They are very thankful, very grateful, very blessed and you can feel the blessing is coming into this area.”
Zouhair Hmami agreed, saying, “It’s good to bless some people. It makes them very happy because they need some people to encourage them, because they have shock. They very (much) need people to come – everything, even (a) small sandwich makes (a) big difference with them. Even when you encourage them (with a) word, it makes them very, very happy.”
“We just want to thank everybody who is donating for this special operation here,” Layla Hmami shared.
She continued, “We can see an impact in those lives. We can also see that they have hope. Whenever people come to them with aid, they are seeing a little bit of hope and it makes a huge difference in their lives.”
Through her pain and loss, Fatna concurred. “People feel the joy to receive this aid and it’s an important thing. They feel their life changing through this.”
Originally from Webpage "CBN News"
CCD edited and reprinted with permission