I had the opportunity to work with a pastor in one of the affected areas in Northern Peru and saw first-hand how extensive the devastation caused by the flooding was. Whole towns looked like war zones and people everywhere were desperately trying to get their lives back in order.
Fortunately by the time I got there the rains had stopped and the water was finally starting to recede but not without leaving huge deposits of mud and debris in every part of the affected areas. Everyone was trying to salvage whatever they could from the wreckage of their houses but the losses for most families were enormous. Many, many people lost their homes and farms and are still not able to return to their neighborhood because of standing water or because they were moved to tent communities far from their homes issued by the government to help with relief efforts.
|Houses and businesses affected by flooding. Notice the dark water line running across all the buildings.|
|Mud being cleaned out of a house but furniture, appliances, clothing and other household items were destroyed.|
In contacting several disaster relief organizations I learned that many churches have responded greatly to the needs of the people even though they themselves suffered huge losses. The pastor that I worked with, Pastor Walter, was diligent to reach out to as many communities as he could with bags of food, clothing and medical clinics. He told me that in the beginning of the disaster he had about 200 people living in his church/school for refuge while the people in his church were taking shifts to cook 3 meals a day for all of them. When these precious ladies were not cooking at the church they were in their houses trying to clean out the mud that engulfed their property.
|Sharon with Pastor Walter presenting the food bags she helped put together
for the pastor of this community.
|The Pastor of the town (red top in the doorway) handing out food bags to her community|
|Women filling their buckets with water for their families since the city’s water
supply system was damaged.
The tragedy of this magnitude can be so overwhelming because of the quantity of needs that never seems to be met but praise God many churches, ministries and secular organizations across the country of Peru have been contributing to the relief efforts. It will take a long time for people to recover but prayerfully this will be an opportunity for the Church as a whole to seize the moment and respond with the love of Christ to help as much as possible. I want to thank all of you that have stood with me in prayer for this very desperate situation. As time allows I would like to return to this area in the summer to help with reconstruction efforts in any way possible.
Two-Week Trip to the Shishinahua River
Maria and I will be going to the Shishinahua River to bring our 5-day training to the villages of those who were not able to attend when we had it in Yurimaguas. On this trip the leadership of the Assembly of God denomination in Yurimaguas will also be joining us to meet with the village of San Francisco to get to know them and be known by them to further the process of bringing them in as an established church under their leadership. This is truly a momentous event and the community is very excited about this since they have never had a church in their village before. In June a team from the States will be coming to construct a church building for them led by an American missionary in Yurimaguas who was also instrumental in getting the initial steps under way for them to become a church. Would you keep us all in prayer as we travel?
Our dates of travel are:
April 20 – 23 pastors and American missionary will travel with us to San Francisco
April 20 – May 1 Maria and I will be visiting the other communities to bring the 5-day training.
Please pray for:
safety as we travel
open hearts and minds to the Word of God
God bless each of you who pray for this work in every way. Thank you so very much for all you do for the Kingdom.
In Him Always,
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