Flooding in The Jungle
This year the rainy season came heavy in certain tropical regions causing rivers to overflow and flood several communities. Two Baptist churches in the area jumped into action as people scrambled to higher ground, helping families recover their belongings from their homes as water continued to rise. As homes were flooded, families evacuated to local schools for temporary shelter. Here, the churches gathered volunteers to cook meals and coordinate accommodations for the displaced. In collaboration with the Bolivian Baptist Union, CBM further provided emergency food supplies to these families. Together as a global church, we have been able to walk alongside these communities through this uncertain time.
Hail in The Valley
The farming community of Santa Maria, set in a valley, also fell victim to their environment when a hailstorm devastated their crops just before harvest. As subsistence farmers, these families depend on their crops to get them through the coming dry season. The golf-ball-sized hail not only destroyed food stores for them and their animals but also damaged their homes. An hour away, church members in a neighbouring town who were often invited to participate in services in Santa Maria, were distressed at the pain they saw this community going through. They immediately took up a collection to provide some level of relief. They then reached out to us at CBM and together we developed a plan to provide further emergency food supplies in partnership. Church and community leaders evaluated each home and identified the families that were most affected by the hail storm and currently living in a precarious situation. This past week we were able to deliver food supplies to these families.
Speaking with one of the beneficiaries, she shared that "for weeks, you would walk around and see people crying. No one knew what to do. We lost everything. This was the hope that we needed." It was encouraging to watch the church collaborate with community leaders as they assessed the situation and made plans to continue working together. The Santa Maria residents invited us to a church service where we were able to give thanks in song together, provide a message, and send greetings from the many churches in Canada who are praying for them.