Within days after a deadly volcanic eruption devastated communities that skirted the volcano called Fuego here in Guatemala, we helped with an initial response of food, water, diapers, and other basic supplies. We teamed up with a group of young adults from various churches in the area and ASELSI to deliver these and other supplies to the affected region. Visiting the shelters where we helped victims on stretchers load onto a bus to be moved to hospital was an eye-opening experience.
The need was urgent, but we quickly discovered that a greater need was for the long-term recovery and re-establishment of families in homes and jobs.
Some of you sent funds to help us continue caring for those impacted by the volcano. Since then, we’ve helped provide more food, housing, transportation, and cooking stoves. In the next few weeks we are teaming up with other ministries to deliver bed mattresses for four families who have newly built but empty homes to move into.
Here are some of their stories:
The Clown without a Home
Anthony was away from home with one of his children on Sunday afternoon when Volcan Fuego erupted sending searing clouds of hot ash and rubble through his village of El Rodeo. His wife and other child escaped with some friends, but they lost all their belongings.
Without a place to live or a job to earn income for his family, Anthony turned to his friends. He had experience acting as a clown and he soon found work and a camper for his family with a traveling circus, but that didn’t last long. Within a matter of weeks, the circus closed down and he was again out of work and a place to live, but God had a plan.
Anthony reached out for help to a church he was part of during a time he spend in the states. Through this church, we connected with Anthony.
Through donations provided by some of you, we were able to help provide food for Anthony and his family of four. This outpouring of love brought them nearly to tears and helped them get through a very difficult time in their lives. Anthony received a gift of a mini bus that had room for his family to live in (think RV sized mini bus), but it was hours away and needed mechanical work. Your donations helped pay for transporting this bus and some of the repairs. Now he and his family are living near his extended family in Escuintla.
We keep in touch with Anthony and pray for a steady job that will help sustain is family and get them established in a house, community, and church they can call home.
Three Stoves and a Load of Beds
Realizing the need for long-term recovery for these families, we teamed up with other ministries that are working with families displaced by the ash and rubble.
With funds you helped provide, we paid for three stoves and three accompanying propane tanks that help families get some of their autonomy back after relying on others at the shelters to prepare their meals. With these stoves they can prepare their own meals and care for their own family needs.
We also found a ministry that built four homes for families that were displaced by the volcano. They finished the homes in mid-September, but they were bare cement. After about two weeks of drying, the houses will be ready to start moving into.
We have a trip planned to deliver a load of beds to these four families and evaluate other needs that we may be able to help with. We will update here when we go so you can see how the bed delivery goes!
Thank You for Reaching Out
Thank you to all who donated to help make these efforts possible. These families are experiencing the love of Christ because you gave. There are still needs and we plan to evaluate what other ways we may be able to help. If you want to be part of helping with the long-term recovery of these families and others like them, you can give on our donation page here.
Please keep praying for these families as they re-establish their lives in new communities, schools, jobs, and churches.