Guatemala Disaster Relief Response
We would like to update Wellspring concerning the recent impact of Hurricane Eta on our ministry partner, Hope of Life. As you may know, a tremendous hurricane hit Central America earlier this month and Guatemala experienced rain, in amounts exceeding 30 inches in some areas. The usually minimal river that flows beside the Hope of Life campus was filled beyond capacity and turned into a force that has devastated a good portion of the campus.
The pictures show the usual state of the river and the devastating raging river during the flood.
Two villages that were built to house 75 families, most of whom had lost everything years ago in a mudslide, have been totally lost. Wellspring youth and our first adult group had a hand in building these homes. The church for that community and a newly built medical clinic are heavily damaged but they will be salvaged. The main road into the campus was completely washed away. The agricultural center and the livestock (which have been providing food for those on grounds as well as for the neighboring village during the lockdown) were destroyed.
Hope of Life has already been severely impacted financially due to the lockdown and the loss of income from mission groups, so this blow is even more devastating. They are already showing the resilience they have had for over 25 years of ministry. The demolition/rebuilding has already begun.
I would like to propose that we, as Wellspring, help them in this rebuilding process. So many people at Wellspring have a passion for this ministry. It has impacted the lives of many of our congregation for almost two decades, so we are also investing in ourselves.
Here are ways you can help:
1.) Please keep this ministry in your prayers. The rebuilding process will be long and costly. As I write this, a second hurricane, Iota, is bearing down on Central America following the same path as Eta. Please pray that the effects of this second storm will be minimal.
2.) You can donate directly to www.hopeoflifeintl.org. You also can donate on their Facebook page: Hope of Life International
3.) For more than two years we have been collecting returnable cans and bottles to support the baby rescue portion of this ministry. At this time we are hoping to increase this donation. With many of your help, we have been able to give over $5,000 in the last 16 months. No amount of returnables is too small, they add up quickly. If you wish to donate, you can leave them under the coat rack in the church loft; or contact me, Val Vujs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-841-2738 to arrange a drop off or pick up.
4.) Another unique way you can donate is to purchase a beautiful wooden reindeer from Linda Briggs. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to Hope of Life. I would be happy to get you in touch with her.
Wellspring has already given $1,000 to these relief efforts, and the Missions Team will continue to stay in touch with Hope of Life. We look forward to the first opportunity we will have to send another team to Hope of Life.
Of course our God is already doing amazing things in this process. The 75 families were evacuated safely to a building on campus, and praise God that not one life was lost! Of course this was an emergency placement which was crowded beyond capacity and housing was needed. God then led Hope of Life to a deserted school, the largest school I have ever seen in Guatemala, which will be cleaned and will temporarily house families until a new village can be built. This school is so large that they have been able to assist families in a neighboring village that also lost their homes. It has electricity and running water which is always a bonus in Guatemala. God is so good!!
Val Vujs, Wellspring Missions Team Member and Hope of Life Ambassador