Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Flooding in the Rieles

Video UPDATE! Flooding continues to affect the Rieles Community:

The call came in this morning, the Rieles community area was flooding again.  Pastor Gemuel was calling to let us know that between four and five this morning many families awoke to two feet of water in their homes.  The waters were now receding and people were busy trying to salvage their belongings, and cleaning their
homes of the mud and trash that the Camu river had left in its wake.  Unfortunately the skies were still grey at noon, which meant the weather forecast for the rest of the day did not look good.  One mother had brought herself and her baby

early to the church to spend the night.  She had secured one of the seven church mattresses for her child.  Please pray for dry weather. Pray this rainy season not stretch into the summer and the coming hurricane season.
Debbie left in the morning to visit some of the church families that live near the edge of the river.  Later she made a visit to the Civil Defense office nearest our church in the Rieles to ask for help in the form of mattresses and meals. They brought another 8 mattresses and 50 grocery bags.  There were a number of families at the church looking for help. Later in the evening, Debbie took some sandwiches to the folks who were still cleaning their homes out.

Debbie and Pastor Gemuel being Interviewed
Three TV channels were on hand today to report on the sad events in this community.  Debbie and Pastor Gemuel Delgado were both interviewed by local news teams. Debbie and the pastor have worked very hard in this poor community and are highly respected.
The community was in an uproar as they had been promised by the government new housing in a secure area four years earlier and nothing had materialized.  Now they were asking for new embankments to be built, or for the government to follow through and give them the promised new housing.  They organized a sit down strike blocking the main road and refused to move until the governor responded to their complaints. The governor sent word that he would see a delegation at his office tomorrow. The strike was cancelled until further notice.
Sadly, we are still not ready at the Center of Life Church (Iglesia Centro De Vida) to take care of these folks.  In faith (and with credit), we have begun pouring the floor for the addition to the church. This project will probably take two weeks to finish.   It will certainly make a difference when the next emergency occurs.  This addition will have a nice dining area; and be able to accommodate and feed 150 people (without going into the large sanctuary).  The kitchen will have three stoves and two refrigerators, to feed these families, while they get their homes cleaned (usually a day or two).  There are large bathrooms prepared with showers to help them wash off at the end of the day. We have four classrooms that can be used once the floor is finished. In the meantime all we can offer is the sanctuary floor.

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