11 November 2017 – A massive blaze started by a single candle having gone astray, caused widespread chaos this past weekend at the informal settlement in Clare Estate, Durban.

More than 70 homes were burnt to the ground, resulting in 933 people being displaced; with dozens having been injured and tragically causing the death of a two-year-old child.

Having been alerted to the disaster by a trusted volunteer, CityHope Disaster Relief rallied their troops together and armed with their Hope Kits and a message of encouragement, made their way to the community, who for the better part of 48 hours had been braving the smoke and fiery cinders.

Upon arriving at the scene on Tuesday morning, it was clear to see the enormous impact on this group of people. Smoldering remains continued to burn slowly whilst those who had been most affected tended to their children’s needs as best they could, whilst wading through the ashen debris to find any salvable remains.

As quickly as the fire had destroyed these people’s homes, they had already begun to resurrect their dwellings – clearing rubble, digging holes & fastening poles together. It was inspiring to witness how despite facing adversity, this community were quick to pick up the pieces following such a calamitous event.

Our teams quickly assembled a receiving line and just before the distribution of the relief aid took place, we gave thanks for the opportunity of helping those most vulnerable. A humbling peace presented itself as we bowed our heads in gratitude, with a heart committed to serving others less fortunate.

Dozens of affected families gladly accepted our donations, delighted in the knowledge that, without prejudice, someone cared enough to arrive on scene kitted with goods they so desperately needed.

It’s not about the pack of relief items that we provide. It’s not simply about being there and “showing face”. It’s about the glory of God and giving hope to those who often feel abandoned and lost. What a privilege and honour it was to provide a lasting impression and the most invaluable gift we have to offer…Faith.

Photo credit to Steffin Greyling

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