Members Help Fire Victims Rebuild

  Elder Thomas V. Hatch, Africa Southeast Area Public Affairs Director

  • 5 July 2012

Many residents of Diepsloot Township (South Africa) lost everything to a devastating fire in early June.  Members of the Randburg Ward (South Africa) showed love by word and deed as they came to the aid of the fire victims.  On Saturday, June 23, ten vehicles loaded with clothing, food, furniture, and household goods caravanned to the stricken community.

Each household affected by the fire was contacted to find out their specific needs.  Groups of Church members collected items then sorted clothing by size to meet each family’s needs.

The local Rotary Club donated pre-packed boxes of cooking utensils.   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian department supplied boxes of colourful quilts.

On arrival members found corrugated iron not destroyed by the fire had been used again to erect housing.  Black embers and ashes- residue of everything they had owned- were everywhere.  Strong odour of burnt material still permeated the air.

Those who received the goods expressed gratitude and appreciation.  Derek, his wife Samantha Nxumalo and two month old daughter Precious were very grateful for the love and concern of those participating with the delivery.  They expressed a desire to know more about this church that would embrace complete strangers and show love and compassion.

Sister Maletsoane, the sole caregiver for her great grand-daughter, expressed her appreciation through teary eyes to fifteen year old Louie Chater who carried blankets, mealie meal and small toys for the granddaughter to her home some distance away. “God bless you, God bless you” she repeated over and over again.