Fire in Masi

Devastation after fire

Many missionaries who have visited South Africa would probably be familiar with Masiphumelele (also known as Masi) through our Living Hope Partners. Others would have taken part in the cycle tour through the township. But whether you are familiar with this lively township or not, the events of 23 May 2014 speaks to us all.

On this day a devastating fire broke out in Masiphumuelele. And with many informal houses or shacks being less than an arm length from each other, over 200 houses burnt down. With large families staying in one home, the impact would affect at least a 1000 people. The worst part is this disaster struck in the middle of the coldest months in South Africa, as well as the wettest months in Cape Town. The aftermath has been several displaced families, with nowhere to go, as well as a crèche for local children without any facilities.

Fire-fighters and devastation afterwards

Within the harsh reality and absolute horror, there has been a silver lining. Churches, foundations and government have come together to support these families. Providing temporary shelter, hot meals, baby packs, blankets, clothes, soap and other hygienic products as well as pots and pans and other kitchen utensils. The school’s children were accommodated in small shacks, but at least they have a roof over their heads and are out of the rain.

So within the chaos, the beauty of the drive to support those who lost their homes in Masi lies in the willingness of all kinds of parties to work together. It becomes a beautiful moment of seeing the hands and feet of Jesus at work.

Temporary shelter and donations to be sorted

Cape Town Government has handed out building toolkits in June, and hopefully all those affected would be able to rebuild their homes – and their lives. This will be a long process and we do ask all those who are moved by this event to contact Living Hope to find out how you could contribute to this process.

*Photos courtesy of Emergency Disaster Response

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