MAUI, Hawaii – The death toll now stands at 115 after the raging wildfire on Maui, and hundreds more are still unaccounted for. CBN News traveled back to Lahaina for a firsthand look at how Christians are helping survivors recover.
It’s been nearly three weeks after the devastating wildfires swept through Lahaina and you can still smell the smoke rising from the ashes. For many residents, the tears are still fresh and the nightmare of what they escaped is all too real.
Lahaina fire survivor Eha Aveado tells us, “I came outside and opened the door and there was nothing but black smoke.”
The 41-year-old and his two teenage sons lost everything in the fire, including two small boats and all of their fishing gear which was more than a hobby for Eha.
“I taught my boys how to live off the land,” he explains.
When Operation Blessing learned of Eha’s loss, they stepped in with brand-new fishing poles, spears, fins, masks, and more.
“It gives us a sense of normalcy again,” he says.
Hawaii is hurting. But friends like you are there in #Maui embracing the families of wildfire-devastated Lahaina—people like Warner, who lost his home and his ability to feed his family.
— Operation Blessing (@operationbless) August 25, 2023
Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie walked through the ashes of Lahaina during a recent visit to his Maui church, Harvest Kumulani.
“The church is here for such a time as this,” Pastor Greg says. “And I think there’s hope for the people here, but the hope is in God and you know, hope actually grows in the garden of adversity and I believe that our church reaching out and other Believers living as they should as Christians, we will be able to bring help and hope to the people of Maui.”
Kumulani Chapel members David and Christiane Mello, owners of Round Table Pizza in Lahaina, have been giving out free pizza and prayers since the fire.
“We try to touch everybody who comes in and bless them as they leave,” David says.
For many Mauians, the road to recovery will be a long one, but it’s being made easier, one hug, one prayer, and one pizza at a time.
I walked down front street in what used to be old Lahaina town today. Devastating. So many memories gone. Far worse, so many lives lost. Tragic! We are here on Maui to speak tomorrow at our Church, @KumulaniChapel
Because of your generosity in giving to the Harvest Maui Relief… pic.twitter.com/Cmspj0h4tf
— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) August 27, 2023