News & Teachings
Hurricane Relief: Maa and Brahmacharis Serving in Everglades City
Due to Hurricane Irma, Everglades City Florida (next to Naples) is experiencing a crisis with massive flooding and health issues. Everglades City is already a very impoverished community and due to this hurricane, this town is experiencing much heartbreak and devastation. You can learn more about this by clicking on the links below.
Maa is heavily involved with supporting Everglades City both financially and by working directly with leaders in the community. Several in our global community are donating to support humanitarian activities.
Three Brahmacharis, Dayananda, Jivananda and Jayendra, have traveled to Everglades City to offer seva. Below is a message from Jivananda about his experience, and you can see photos of him and the others serving in the area, as well as a video of all the debris and items being removed from homes filled with contaminated water (up to 9 feet) and mud. So many have lost their homes and possessions.
“We spent the day going from home to home offering people needed help cleaning up. We spent the morning assisting an older woman pulling sewage soaked items from a downstairs apartment. She shared with us that she had cried and prayed to Jesus the last night for help because she couldn't do this all herself. The downstairs tenant had abandoned all of his belongings, as the flood waters had reached a staggering 9 feet above sea level, which had all been imbued with sewage from the broken treatment plant.
We then moved next door to an elderly man's home and rigged a way to remove his soaked and ruined golf cart, car, washer, dryer, and water heater using pulleys, towing, and sheer will. We laughed often as he stopped us occasionally to share the hope that he would find some money he had forgotten about - and that we would all split if we could find it.
The people here are resilient, faith-driven, and service oriented. It was a true pleasure to be able to serve them in a time of need. As the long, hot (and stinky) day ended, it became more and more clear to us, who had actually been served in our time near Everglades City.”
Dayananda and Jayendra also shared about the two homes that they emptied with Jivananda, and the bacteria in the water (they have to wear boots to avoid contamination – a few individuals had died from infections). You can see in one photo the woman whose house they emptied, a cancer patient, who shared how she had been praying for help since she couldn’t do the work herself. In another photo is an older gentleman John whose house they also emptied.
Links to articles about the impact of Hurricane Irma in Everglades City: