Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Two bits of news I wrote for our website that you'd probably be interested in. Thanks for your prayers.

Pacaya Eruption

Posted on May 28, 2010

Many of you who monitor this site have visited us in Guatemala and have more than likely hiked the volcano, Pacaya. Yesterday it erupted. So far reports only confirm one death, but several dozen have been injured, the airport has been temporarily closed due to ash falling, and four villages have been evacuated. This event has not directly affected our ministry at all, but it is certainly sobering news for the country and will undoubtedly affect livelihoods depending on that tourist industry.

Tropical Storm Agatha

Posted on June 02, 2010

Following the eruption of Pacaya, tropical storm Agatha rolled in and hit Guatemala. This event has proved more disastrous than the eruption of the volcano, catalyzing landslides and flooding. The estimated death toll is around 150 and rising. Over 125,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Rescue efforts have been complicated as the airport was closed down for five days due to volcanic ash from the eruption, although it has now re-opened.

Our ministry, both facilities and staff members, are safe and intact. The road up to the new construction site has a deep trench in it, but is nothing that cannot be repaired. In Tizate, the river flooded quite severely and the efforts of the municipality several years ago to reinforce it by stacking caged rock along the bank has, by the looks of it, been destroyed. Several homes of students from our school are damaged, and school is out for the week to respond to this need.

The affects on agriculture will be felt and seen in the months to come, with whole crops being destroyed which will result in food shortage. Having come out of a serious drought last summer, the federal government was ill-prepared for the tandem disasters and are now struggling with food supplies.

Thank you for your continued prayers.