What in the heck have the Tunnells put on the side of their race car???
Well... it's a long story. And one we're eager to tell.
In November 2007 Patty and I became aware of an extreme need for food, water, shelter, clothing, and hope in a little settlement in Afghanistan called Barek Aub. Stories we've heard from others who have been there have really touched our hearts.
In Dari, the native language of Afghanistan, "Barek Aub" means "broken water." That is the name that has been given to a recently created settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Settlements like this are often referred to as "refugee camps," but the residents of Barek Aub are not refugees from someplace else... they've returned to their homeland after decades of warfare and destruction at the hands of the occupying Soviet Army and then the Taliban. If you've seen the movies Charlie Wilson's War or The Kite Runner you'll have some idea of what's been going on over there for decades.
But the problem with returning home is... there's no "home" to come home to. Their homes, businesses, schools, and clinics have been bombed out... their water supply (what little there was in the first place) has been contaminated or destroyed... their farms and grazing lands have been scattered with thousands of land mines. They have no homes and no way to earn a living.
In short... they have no hope.
The church that Patty and I attend here in Colorado, Flatirons Community Church, working with other international aid organizations, has begun to help with the rebuilding effort. Donations from church members allowed the people of Barek Aub to dig a well so the village now has a supply of fresh water. We have also supplied food and firewood, coats, and gloves to help the villagers survive the harsh winter. (The climate in Barek Aub is similar to Denver's.) Our goal is to work with and train local villagers to rebuild their homes, careers, schools, and clinics... restore hope... rebuild their lives.
Now we are using our race car and racing program to tell their story -- to help generate exposure for the needs in Barek Aub and elsewhere in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Patty and I have made several trips to Afghanistan and witnessed first-hand the utter devastation and bleak realities of life there. But we have also seen progress -- they now have a deep water well, a permanent medical clinic, and several hundred permanent homes. We have also been fortunate to witness the opening of the first school for boys and girls in Barek Aub -- a facility the village elders said was their highest priority. In the near future we are hoping to launch a micro-loan program so the residents can begin to develop small businesses, become truly self sufficient, and reclaim their independence.
This taste of progress has given them hope... for many it's the first hope they've known in their entire lives.
Please follow the links to the left and visit the rest of the site. Also please drop me a note and share your thoughts or ask questions you'd like to know more.
Thank you for checking out BarekAub.com. Please check back often as I'll be posting more information about upcoming trips in 2016 and the ongoing work in Barek Aub.