As you can see from the photo above, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is beautiful but poverty is a very real and chronic problem for its people. The Salvation Army has been in RMI for almost 30 years helping build communities and caring for the physical and spiritual needs of the islanders.
Captain Mioshi Anwot from The Salvation Army’s work at the Laura Corps on the Majuro Atoll recently sent this update to Majors John and Judy Bennett, coordinators of our work in RMI.
We would like to share about how our programs are doing in the community. We are hearing lots of good things!
We take care of a teen who dropped out of school when he was in 6th grade. I saw him alone at the playground and asked him why he was not in school; he told me that no one cared about him. His mother is away and he is staying with her sister but she canâ€™t afford to care for him and her other children. So I worked on his papers and enrolled him in middle school. He passed his entrance test into high school and now he is in ninth grade. Amen.
We also do visitations in our community and help adults who are weak and cannot afford a good, healthy meal. There are lots of them, but we work with those who are in the worst condition and serve them. Some don’t have anyone there to help them, so we take a meal in and ask them for a dish to place the food on. Some people only have dirty old containers, or a piece of foam from the garbage.
When our worker faces this kind of situation, she asks permission to enter and wash anything that is used for serving meals. Last week I bought some plastic plates for an older couple to use. The next time we visited, the plate was gone! Someone in the neighborhood came and took it. This couple lives in fear of neighbors who come in and take their belongings.
Every week at least three of our member families need food assistance. They exchange what they have with us and we buy them soap and food. Every week they come to us and we give what we have; if we have two bags of rice we give it. Sometimes our heart is broken in many pieces about our need and the requests of God’s people. We live in a free land where there is free fishing. We share even if it is the only thing we have.
Please keep us in your prayers!
If you’d like to make a gift that helps our Marshall Islands staff care for their neighbors, please click here and select “HI” from the state dropdown menu and type “Marshall Islands” into the box for city.
* Please check out more of Stefan Lins beautiful photos of the Marshall Islands on his Flickr page.