Bring Hope to Tortola -Marva Smith

Hurricane Irma directly hit the British Virgin Islands, as a category 5, on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017.  This small island community of 30k, located in the Caribbean, is a British overseas territory comprised of 4 main islands and many smaller ones.

The largest of the islands is Tortola, home to the capital, Road Town.  By all accounts, every one of the islands have been devastated by the hurricane with a large percentage of buildings being reduced to rubble. 

Communication throughout the islands, including radio and cell, has been extremely limited- and because many roads are washed out or blocked, there are still many people unaccounted for.  There has been loss of life although the full extent is not yet known.  Many people are still seeking word of there loved one’s safety.  People are stranded in remote areas with no way of communicating.

Our dear friend, Marva Smith, along with her husband, Sylvester, and their two children, a son and a daughter are residents of Road Town, located on Tortola.  They all made it through the storm safely, by the grace of God- but their house is badly damaged and their life, as they’ve known it until now, has been drastically changed over these past days. 

Their home, their schools, and their places of employment have been destroyed.  We don’t have many details beyond that.  Communication is still very limited. 

We are thanking God for that they are alive.  We ask for continued prayer for their safety and for their needs to be met. 

Specifically, we know that food is scarce on the islands right now, as is clean water.  Electricity is still limited.  Basic supplies are lacking.  The airport was badly damaged and is not open for anything but relief flights at the moment (9/12/17). There are many imminent and pressing needs and these islands are currently in a state of emergency. 

The situation is still so bad that a curfew is in effect from 6pm- 6am, indefinitely. Looting, robbery, and prisoners on the loose are a current concern. Some health hazards, from raw sewage and rats, are also a big problem.  A number of people have been evacuated already- or are waiting to be evacuated.

The situation is bad but there are also many reports of neighbors helping neighbors.  The amount of love in this community is inspiring.   Marva’s short message that we received on Sunday mentioned her desire to build again, as well as her appreciation for our prayers.

This beloved and beautiful group of islands might be familiar to you because of Marva .  Marva is an amazing woman who loves the Lord and loves others with depth and resilience.  After losing her father a couple of years ago, she began using her gift to write as a way of honoring her father and sharing the hope of Jesus with the world. Her writing turned into the blog, Sun Sparkle Shine , that has brought encouragement, hope, faith, resilience, and love to many many people. 

Her love for her home is one of the first things you’ll find out about if you have the pleasure of meeting this incredible lady.  She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve met and I can see her in my mind, right now, helping out her friends and neighbors.

I had the honor of spending time with Marva both on the islands and then again here in my home. As our group we fondly refer to as "Deb's Blessing Counters" gathered here in Arizona for a weekend retreat to connect, grow, learn, pray, and laugh, she blessed each and every one of us gathered here in such a big way. 

W e know not everyone can give financially and with heartfelt gratitude we thank you if you can. But you see, Marva is a woman who believes in a good good Father. And she believes in the power of prayer. That is something we can all give. So would you join us in prayers for the safety, rebuilding, and resiliency of Marva, Sylvester, and their two precious children? And would you pray the same for their beautiful island and all those surrounding that are facing this travesty? 

All these funds will go directly to the Smith family to help sustain them, repair what is possible, and rebuild what must start over. 

All of us from The Blessing Counters thank you so very much! 
  • Rosemary Lackey 
    • $75 
    • 46 mos
  • Cheryl Both 
    • $60 
    • 49 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Alisa Nicaud 
    • $87 
    • 49 mos
  • Arabah Joy 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lori Simmons Schumaker 
Gilbert, AZ
Marva Titley-Smith 
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