Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,
shade from the sun, shelter from the wind,
For the Compassionate One guides them,
takes them to the best springs. ~Isaiah 49:10
Food insecurity. Political unrest. Climate change threatening the viability of crops...
Imagine all of these things, happening at once. And then, back to back hurricanes arrive.
In November of 2020 two consecutive hurricanes--Eta and Iota-- impacted the same regions of Central America, with Nicaragua experiencing some of the most severe impact. Flooding destroyed the bean crops, contaminated water wells, destroyed latrines, and left thousands of families homeless. People moved to emergency shelters in schools and churches, but thousands didn´t have time to evacuate or preferred not to leave their homes for security reasons or fear of COVID-19.
Isaías 49:10 No tendrán hambre ni sed, ni el calor ni el sol los afligirá; porque el que tiene de ellos misericordia los guiará, y los conducirá a fuentes de aguas vivas.
Inseguridad de tener comida. Disturbios políticos. Los cambios del clima amenazando la viabilidad de las cosechas…
Imagínense todas esas cosas, pasando a la vez. Y entonces, dos huracanes consecutivos llegan.
click for English translation
Varias comunidades de Centroamérica se encuentran entre las afectadas por el huracán Eta, el cual llegó a Nicaragua como tormenta de categoría 4 el 3 de noviembre. Durante los próximos días, una de las más significativas tormentas que ha azotado el área en décadas, extendió su alcance a otras partes de la región. En Guatemala, al menos 50 personas han muerto, aunque ese total podría llegar a 150 personas a medida que continúen las evaluaciones y los esfuerzos de rescate. En Honduras, los días de lluvia devastaron cultivos y dañaron infraestructura como carreteras, puentes y fuentes de agua. Cientos de miles de personas en Centroamérica han sido desplazadas de sus hogares. De ellos, alrededor de 5,500 se encuentran en refugios de emergencia donde trabajan nuestros socios.
Several communities in Central America were among those impacted by Hurricane Eta, which reached Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm on November 3. Over the coming days, the storm--one of the most significant to hit the area in decades-- extended reach to other parts of the region as well. In Guatemala, at least 50 people have died--though that total could reach up to 150 people as assessments and rescue efforts continue. In Honduras, days of rain devastated crops and damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water sources. Hundreds of thousands of people across Central America have been displaced from their homes. Of these, about 5,500 are in emergency shelters where our partners are working.
...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
I am currently traveling, visiting partners in South America, and I heard the most recent news of cruelty and abuse at the U.S./Mexico border. I was surrounded by our local partners when I saw the heartbreaking image of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his young daughter, Angie Valeria. The two of them drowned trying to swim across the Rio Grande and cross into the United States.
Most folks know Week of Compassion as the disaster response ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). When there is a fire, we’re there. When there’s a flood, we’re there. Hurricane, tornado, earthquake: there. We respond to meet immediate needs in the aftermath, and we commit to sustained presence as communities look ahead and rebuild.
Those are important parts of our ministry. But it isn’t the entirety of what we do. Week of Compassion also supports sustainable development projects all over the world. We empower families and communities to better support themselves, using resources that are often already available to them. Sometimes, this type of work does not feel as urgent as the devastation of a natural disaster, especially one that is trending on our local news every day. But this work is every bit as important and lifegiving as the other side of our ministry.
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