On May 27 the citizens of Guatemala were caught by surprise when volcano erupted in Pacaya, causing sand and ash to rain in Guatemala City. Seven villages around the volcano were damaged as huge rocks and fire destroyed houses. More than 1,924 people had to be evacuated to several shelters across three municipalities.
In addition to the volcano eruption, Storm Agatha, the worst since 1949, caused a landslide on a hillside settlement that killed 162 people and left 103 missing. Another 135,374 people were evacuated from their homes, and 32,000 of those houses were seriously damaged.
Twenty families who had lost all of their possessions sought shelter at Resurrection Lutheran Church and School in Gualan, Zacapa, prompting the help of Lutheran Hour Ministries. LHM—Guatemala’s director, Rebeca de Franco, shared the experience with photos and video of the relief effort.
Preparing the Gifts
Monday, June 7
Our staff and volunteers prepared 100 bags, each with 20lbs corn, 10lbs beans, 10lbs sugar, and 10lbs rice.
We also included booklets in the bag for spiritual guidance, such as "Strength in Hard Times" and "Where is God?"
On the front of each bag was a sticker that read "In hard times, tragedies, pain, and sorrow, you can find new life and hope in Jesus Christ. Receive this, God's gift, from your friends at Cristo Para Todas las Naciones." (CPTLN is the local name for LHM)
We're very thankful for the help of the volunteers; all of them worked hard the whole day, showing their servants' hearts.
Traveling to Gualan
Wednesday, June 9
At 4:30 a.m. we started loading up the donation.
We rented a van and hung our banner on it to let the people know that help had arrived.
We arrived at Resurrection Lutheran Church at 10a.m. The 20 families taking shelter there were waiting for us.
Delivering the Gifts and the Message
I presented the Salvation Message, closing with a Confessional Prayer with all of them.
We also distributed evangelistic bracelets that Concordia Lutheran Church, Pullman, donated on their last visit. We gave them as a reminder of their confessional prayer.
The bags were heavy, but the people were overjoyed to receive them.
To learn more about LHM ministry in Guatemala please visit the CPTLN—Guatemala blog.