[Past Contact From Guatemala]
Email #6 - 10/18/05
Today we received word that is very sad and troubling. Around 80 percent of Pastor Lucas' congregation is homeless and they had been staying in another church that had opened its doors for those who had nowhere to live. That church asked everyone to leave today. So, these folks now have no shelter and Pastor Lucas said they also are out of food. Money has been deposited into Pastor Carlos' account to purchase large truckloads of beans, corn, rice, and sugar for the lake area. We are hoping that the food can be delivered this week.
Pastor Luis will be going back to Guatemala on Monday. He is going to take money more money that has been contributed to purchase more food and hopefully some building supplies... whatever the pastors think is the most immediate and greatest need. We are checking into the possibility of purchasing some tents for folks to use until houses can be built. The rainy season should be ending within the next 2 to 3 weeks. Please pray with us that the tropical depression named Wilma will not turn into more rain for Guatemala. Please pray that if it is God's will, this storm will die at sea so that no country will be hit.
Getting the roads repaired and safe enough for the buses to travel and for supplies to be brought in is a must and the sooner the better. Looks like the villagers are pulling together to help accomplish this and that is a good sign.
We have 4 teams that will be going to the lake area on November 13. Originally the main objective was to hold VBS in all the churches. Now, the teams will hold a morning VBS of around 2-3 hours and the rest of the time they will be helping clean-up efforts. I understand from the leaders of at least two teams that there are going to be lots of shoes to distribute for happy feet. What a huge blessing this will be! Please begin praying for these teams now. Pray that they will be kept safe under God's protection and that He will give them the strength and grace they will need for what they will see and also for what they will be doing. Just getting these folks in will be an encouragement for the people in the villages. The teams will be working in San Pablo, San Juan, San Marcos, and San Pedro. If the roads are good enough to get to Santa Maria and Santa Clara, perhaps they will be able to do some work in those villages.
Many of you are asking what can you do, how can you best help the folks in Guatemala, and when will teams start going for construction projects. Teams are going, beginning in January. If you have a team that could go, please let me know so we can start working on getting dates in place and supplies ordered. If you want to go but don't have a team to go with, let me know and I will do my best to hook you up with a team that is going. We know for sure that many homes need to be repaired or rebuilt in San Juan and San Marcos, the two villages hardest hit. There are homes washed away in San Pablo too. The needs are great so please pray how God can use you to help, whether it be prayer support, financial support, or going yourself to work.
The holiday season is coming and we know that more than 90 percent of the families will not be able to afford anything special this year. The majority of them will feel blessed to be alive, together with their family, and, hopefully they will have food. Many of you are going to make getting food in to them possible because of your generosity. We are praying that God will especially bless you for extending your help to His children who are less fortunate than you. There really are no adequate words that fully express our gratitude to you.
Thank you so very much for your prayers and concerns for the pastors and people of Guatemala. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. I can only imagine how hard it must be for them. Every time I look at the pictures I realize more and more how blessed I am and how much more God is calling me to do.
In the love of Christ,
If you feel the Lord leading you to contribute any funds to the relief effort in Guatemala, please send it to the address below:
Luis F. Martinez Spanish Ministries
9690 Shepherds Creek Place
La Plata, MD 20646
(Note in the memo area: Atitlan Relief Efforts.)
[Past Contact From Guatemala]