Today’s post is written by Jon Erickson, CAMA’s Global Partner serving in Guinea.

The villagers of Samoukadou woke up to the smells and sights of a brush fire raging in the distance. This was nothing new.

Fires had been burning for months, since the beginning of dry season. The villagers, as usual, went off to their farms to prepare for the coming planting season.

That afternoon the winds picked up. A burning ember dropped into the middle of this small Guinean village igniting a fire that destroyed all 72 huts, impacting 30 families. (In this culture, a man will often have more than one wife and have a hut for each wife or his teenage son will live by himself.)

When a disaster strikes in rural Africa there is no 911, no fire trucks with sirens—not even a barrel of water or sand to be found. There are no social services rushing in to help, not even a newspaper to write of the disaster that devastates some of the earth’s poorest populations.

During the fire, the village collectively lost 76 bags of rice, 47 and a half bags of manioc, 10 bags of corn, and 2 bags of millet. What strikes me is the loss of food not only brings hunger, but also a loss of hope for the coming planting season.

Through the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund, we could meet immediate hunger needs by providing 30 sacks of rice and meet their farming needs with 30 sacks of rice seed. Soon after the distribution, CAMA’s president Mike Sohm had the opportunity to meet village leaders. Hope Clinic too provided used clothes from a container that had arrived from Alaska. I am pretty proud of our teams!

This village without any Christians has now experienced Christ-centered compassion.