We have launched an appeal to raise funds for those who need urgent help in Guatemala due to the devastation caused by Volcano Fuego in June 2018. Our missionaries, Rachel and Oscar Mendoza, who are based in Atigua, Guatemala, sent the following report.
"The eruption of the volcano, Fuego (meaning Fire), really is a national tragedy here in Guatemala. It has devasted communities, there have been 12,000+ people evacuated from their homes and the death toll is currently at 109. The emergency services are still looking for people amongst the ash and debris.
Donate Online Now
Find out more about past ERA appeals
Here in Antigua, we are fine. The worst we had was an ash shower. But after the main clear up of this was done, it has left us feeling shaken and heart broken for the people that live not so far from us, now in shelters with nowhere to go.
We are praying for these people and for peace over the volcano and this land. We trust our wonderful, loving Father to bring beauty from literal ashes. If our heart goes out to them, how much more so does His.
Right now we ask you to please pray for this country and these people. We can tell you whole heartedly that this is a beautiful nation, we have seen the wonderful heart of love that people here have for one another as everyone joins together to look after those touched by this disaster.
Our kids at the Light House have brought us so much happiness and hope this week, although clearly a little frightened by the whole thing they have been laughing and playing and reminding us of the joy in life here even in the midst of tragedy.
Our church, along with many other churches and organisations, have mobilised quickly in collecting funds and food, clothes and medical supplies to be taken to those in the shelters. At the moment about 4000 people are living in the shelters. This is not going to change over night. All these people will need to be rehoused, and they are not people who have the means to do this for themselves. The communities around the volcano are rural, humble communities, many of whom choose to live there out of financial necessity. They will be reliant on finances provided by donations from others, here in Guatemala and from around the world.
There is a beautiful story on the news here of a little boy who works selling sweets and gum on the street - he made 5 quetzales all day (about 50p) which he donated to the victims of the eruption! In response, thee mayor gave him a scholarship to be able to start attending school! This has been a challenging, tough time but we have seen beautiful, hopeful stories of love shining out through it all."
Please give as you feel called.