The Church of the Nazarene in the Northcentral Mesoamerican area continues to work in the communities that were affected by Hurricanes Iota and Eta. In some countries it is still raining which has made recovery efforts difficult and in others, the church has already begun the recovery process. The church has joined together to bring help to those who have lost their homes and all their possessions.
The northern district administration reported that rain continues to fall in some communities. One of these is the community of Jalapa where it rained for 4 consecutive days, causing the loss of many crops.
In the central district, the superintendent Maria Ponce and her NCM and NVA (Nazarene Volunteers in Action) teams have received donations from churches and also received a donation of food, new clothing and shoes from some business owners. The team has been meeting since Wednesday, November 25 to work on the selection process and preparing donation packages. They plan to take them to the community of Bilwi next week.
Also, the NVA team visited the community of Mount Tabor to clear and clean streets, repair drinking water pipes and clean houses. Several local residents assisted them with the work.
In the southern district, superintendent Pedro Castillo said the church came together to bring food and water to the communities of Barrio Nuevo, Salinas, Virgen Morena and El Limon, among other communities.
Relief efforts continue in the south-central eastern district with the church bringing food and clothing to 58 families in affected communities. Rexembrik Aguilar, district NCM coordinator said that in this district one church is completely destroyed and three others are damaged. Also, in the northern district there are 11 damaged churches. A total of 349 Nazarene families were affected in this country.
NCM took mattresses to two shelters, one of which is a Nazarene mission and the other is a Nazarene church that houses 70 people with children.
In Peten, several church members gathered to bring food to the Aposento Alto community. And in the western district of Verapaz, the church distributed drinking water to a community. A team also traveled to bring food and basic necessities to the community of Campur which is almost completely flooded, and where we have two Nazarene churches.
In the Atlantic district there are still communities inaccessible due to flooding and only the National Disaster Commission and members of the country’s military have managed to bring help.
The church continues to prepare and bring food for the shelter located in the Entre Rios Public School in Izabal.
Reverend Nery Medina, superintendent of the Eastern district, visited three communities in his district that were completely flooded. He also reported that in Ixcan Playa Grande, the river caused extensive damage to the entire community including his parents’ house which was washed away.
In the northern Verapaz district the church continues to collect and bring food, medicine and clothing to the affected areas. “We have not stopped. The churches are still actively serving with compassion. Prayer has been more intense in the homes and an authentic Christ-like life has emerged. The Church has never closed, it has always been open. We have three churches closed because they were flooded, but the brothers who are the church of Christ are standing firm”, said Francisco Cho, the district superintendent.
In the northwest district, in the community of Nueva Esperanza there are 177 families who were affected. Some families sought refuge in the community school, however, others ran to the mountains for fear that the school would be flooded as well. In that community there is a Nazarene church pastored by Pastor Leonardo. Pastor Santos Cac and his two sons walked for 9 hours through the mud and floods to reach that community and bring help to Pastor Leonardo and his community. “A true act of love and compassion!” said Damaris Kellogg, NCM Coordinator for the Northcentral Mesoamerica area. Pastor Cac reported on the needs of this community and how weary Pastor Leonardo was, seeing that he is a very respected leader in this community and has been helping people in different ways.
The communities of Chisec, Sayaxche and Franja Transversal are still cut off due to the poor condition of the roads, however, NCM leaders have maintained communication with district superintendents by supporting them from a distance.
Kellogg reported that 32 pastors and their families in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala suffered damage to their homes and lost everything in the floods.
Let us continue to pray for Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, that the Lord will meet the needs of the people and bless the leaders of the ministries as they serve.
If you want to be part of the relief efforts visit: ncm.org/2020stormresponse
Source: Damaris Kellogg, NCM Coordinator for the Northcentral Mesoamerica area