The LORD works righteousness  and justice for all who are oppressed. [He]  is merciful and gracious,  slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  He will not always chide,  nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins,  nor repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth,  so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west,  so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  As a father shows compassion to his children,  so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him (Psalm 103.6-14)
 Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you so much for your calls, emails, messages, and concerns about the flooding in Trujillo. Thanks for your prayers and for the quick response of so many of you to our Facebook posts. Your gifts have enabled us to providing emergency help to many families.

For those who may not have heard, the "El Niño" weather pattern has battered the Peruvian coast and highlands for the past few weeks. This has been especially hard in places like Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Piura in the north where we normally receive only 1/2 inch of rain per year. Over the past 10 days Trujillo has experienced almost daily afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains above the city which have resulted in severe flash flooding, turning virtually every significant avenue and street in the city into a raging river. This has happened not just once, but numerous times, leaving Trujillo looking like a war zone. As bad as it has been in the historic part of the city, however, it has been far worse in the shanty towns and poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. Thousands of homes in areas like Porvenir, El Milagro, Virgin de Socorro, Huanchaco, and Buenos Aires have been destroyed. To complicate things, flooding has taken out bridges and large sections of the Pan American Highway that links together the large coastal cities, leading to major shortages of food. Some of this has been provisionally repaired allowing for a trickle of cars and trucks to get through. The flooding has also taken out a long section of the primary water main descending from the mountains and feeding Trujillo’s water treatment plant. The vast majority of the city has been without running water for a week.
So far we have provided daily meals to families around the church in Parque Industrial (one of the hard hit areas), in addition to water, clothing, milk, and other basic supplies of food such as crackers and tuna. Bethesda is treating patients from these areas at no charge. In addition to the damage in Parque Industrial, several families in the Cristo Rey church have also been wiped out, including two carpenters whose shops were inundated and destroyed along with most of their equipment and supplies. We obviously cannot help everyone we would wish to, but we are focusing our efforts according to the following priorities:
  1. Church members. We have approximately 10 families whose homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.
  2. We have between 90-120 families among our micro-finance clients that have had homes destroyed or seriously damaged (we are still verifying exact numbers here because we are unable to get to many of them so far).
  3. We have several families from Geneva school in the affected areas, but are still trying to verify numbers and the extent of damage.
  4. We have approximately 150 families around the churches whom we expect to continue helping as we are able.
  5. We hope to attend a smaller number of extremely urgent cases as we encounter them and have the resources.
At this point our attempt to estimate the needs is still very inexact. Our leadership team (pastors and various ministry leaders) is meeting daily to coordinate efforts as well as reaching out to other groups providing aid. We expect that our needs in the initial phase, according to the priority list above, will be $20 thousand above the $6 thousand that we have already received. Longer term we expect to provide assistance to church members, micro-finance clients, and Geneva School families to help with basic efforts to rebuild homes and businesses. We don’t have those estimates yet, but assume that they will not be less than the costs of the initial relief efforts. In case funds remain after the next 15-20 days of emergency relief, those would go toward some of the basic rebuilding efforts.

Other difficulties that we face have to do with the effects of this disaster on our ministries like Geneva School, Bethesda Health, and Sinergia Micro-finance. Funding the additional medical services provided by Bethesda to families from the affected areas is taxing Bethesda and will probably cost an additional $2-3 thousand. Geneva School will probably not hold classes for at least a few weeks, and families will be unable to pay tuition perhaps for 2-3 months. During this time however, we still have a payroll of 14 teachers and aids. Likewise, in Sinergia, we are postponing loan payments for 1-3 months depending on the needs of the client, however, with 100 families wiped out (as we fear), chances of recovering these loans are likely to be small. Prospects of recovery will be dramatically increased, however, the more we are able to help these families through the first 2-3 months. That means that we have to find a way to cover Sinergia’s operating budget of a little over $4 thousand/month with little to no income during that period.

As you can imagine. The needs are great. The situation is urgent. But our God's arm is not too short to save. He who created and sustains the heavens and the earth by the Word of His power will not abandon us! Please pray for Peru, and particularly for our efforts to show the compassion of Christ to those who are suffering in Trujillo.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and financial assistance. You may give online by clicking on the "Give" button above. If you prefer to use the postal service you may mail a check to:

Christian Missionary Society
P.O. Box 25912
Greenville, SC, 29616

Yours in Christ,

Wes Baker
for the Peru Mission Team

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