WOW! It has been quite a week here in Guatemala.
Please be in prayer for Guatemala in these days as there are many, many people in great need. But, there are also many opportunities to share the hope and love of God through the events that have occurred.
It started Thursday, May 27th. We had a little earthquake in the afternoon, then in the evening, Volcán Pacaya had a major eruption. Pacaya is the closest volcano to Guatemala City, only about 15 miles South of the capital. Pacaya has been erupting continuously for over 50 years, but has only sent ash out a few times. This time it actually shot out black sand, same as at the ocean beaches here. It blanketed Guatemala City with up to 3 inches in some areas.
Pacaya at night
We only had about an inch or less at our house, but those a little closer got a lot more.
Black volcanic sand covers everything
The sand is very abrasive and gets into everything! It began raining right after the eruption started which did not help. The sand worked it's way into gaskets so our car leaked all over, seats were wet, puddles on the carpets.
Gutters full of sand which some went into drains and plugged them. That is happening all over town.
You can see why they closed the airport!
Our airport was closed for about 6 days to clean up. One reason for this was that it was not just some rain we had, it began raining Thursday and by Friday it was a tropical depression, then by Saturday morning it was Cyclone Agatha.
It began to rain
Here in the city we had more rain in 12 hours than they had in that amount of time in more than 60 years!
All that rain led to...flooding!
And to slides, this was on the outskirts of Guatemala City
This man in Amatitlan, just outside Guatemala City lost his home
Poorly maintained storm drains are believed to have caused this 100 foot deep sinkhole that swallowed a 3 story building.
The volcano and storm changed plans for many people. Another CAM missionary family here, the Conner's had a team from Oklahoma here when everything changed.
One of their main purposes for coming was to perform an evangelistic drama in many area schools. Due to the storm, the government closed schools for a week, so all of their performances were canceled. Sunday evening the Conner's called and asked if we could help and arrange some other opportunities for them. So, we were able to help with that. We spent all day (like 14 hours) with them both Monday and Tuesday.
The Conner's team
We started by taking them to the national palace and cathedral, and had them perform their drama in Central Park! There were lots of soldiers there that had just finished clearing sand from the park, plus many people just watching.
Performing in Central Park
After that we went to Kairos house where the team helped us clean the house from the sand and rain, they also moved a TON of sand in the streets outside of Kairos.
Cleaning up at Kairos
After we left Kairos we went to The Oasis where they performed for the girls there, then we had some time to play soccer and visit with the girls.
That evening we returned to Kairos where they performed their drama for the folks there and several accepted the Lord!
Tuesday, we took them on a tour of the cemetery (a must see) and an overview of the dump. Then we visited Casita Benjamin where they performed, went over to SETECA for a tour and we also moved a lot of sand there too!
We closed out the day at Las Aldeas children's home where they performed again, then we had a couple hours to do crafts and play soccer and basketball with the kids. It was an awesome time!
God used the turning upside down of their plans for His glory, as we saw over 20 people come to Christ through their performances!
I even helped!
I must admit I'm not as young as I once was, my back is tired! I have cleaned sand at our house, Casita Benjamin, SETECA, Kairos House and also at Las Aldeas!
There are many people suffering greatly, with tens of thousands in shelters throughout the country. They are saying there is more damage than from either Hurricane Mitch or Stan.
We have given a few water filters out, and am hoping to get a lot more out very soon to harder hit rural areas.
If you would like to help with some water filters you can just go to:
Please keep praying for the people here, and also for those serving them.