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:
- Church members. We have approximately 10 families whose homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.
- 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).
- We have several families from Geneva school in the affected areas, but are still trying to verify numbers and the extent of damage.
- We have approximately 150 families around the churches whom we expect to continue helping as we are able.
- 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,
for the Peru Mission Team