In 2006 a cholera epidemic swept through the Banwaon tribe. People poured into the village from the surrounding mountains and hamlets. Doctors were brought up and a temporary hospital established in the local school.
Sadly, over 30 people died. During the time there were hundreds of extra people in the village seeking medical help, the Banwaon Christians shared all they had in the way of food and shelter, care and help.
The crisis lasted such a long time that many used up their entire year’s stock of rice from their annual harvest sharing it with the families of the sick ones.
When other Christians around the world heard of the selfless generosity of the Banwaon people, they were deeply moved. People started asking our team “How can we help the Banwaon people who’ve given everything they have?”
Within months, $US10,000 had been donated and we were able to purchase 180 sacks of rice and have it trucked up. This was shared amongst the people here and helped tie them over until their next rice harvest.
One of the village chiefs shared with us –
“When you told us about the gift from our brothers and sisters in Christ, I was truly astounded.
That night as I lay thinking about it, I had to keep shaking myself to believe it was real. In all my life I’ve never heard of anything quite like this happening.
It is truly a wonderful gift and provision from God.”
A similar thing happened on a smaller scale at the end of 2012 when Cyclone Pablu ripped through the area, destroying homes and farms. We were glad to be able to help by flying in sacks of rice and some building supplies.
One retired lady in Australia, just on a pension herself, sent $50 with which we were able to purchase several kilos of nails to give to those who most needed to rebuild houses.