30,000 evacuate Guatemala’s Fuego region

By September 17, 2012

Guatemala (MNN) — Thousands of villagers and farmers living near Antigua are now returning to their homes. They were evacuated by a volcanic eruption. The eruption of Mt. Fuego took place late last week. The eruption lessened over the weekend. Known as one of the world's most active volcanoes, Fuego's eruption is winding down.

Founder and President of Paradise Bound Ministries Dan Smith says the Antigua side of Fuego isn't affected, but, "On the other side of Fuego lies an entire area where there are just a lot of poor villages on the coastal region of Guatemala. That is the area that seems to be affected the most, as well as one of the villages in which we have been working for the last two years, building homes right on the base of the volcano."

Smith says, "Many of the villages are very, very poor. And everything they own is inside that little shack that they live in, They're fearful to leave because when they come back, or IF they come back to a house at all, perhaps nothing will be there. So, many people are choosing to stay"–which Smith says is also dangerous.

Why? "Many of them are supplying their water for the villages out of streams or springs up on the mountainside, so those will become contaminated most likely, as well."

Smith says Paradise Bound has been cut off from some of the villages where they have discipleship ministry. Teams are trying to make contact with those individuals.

While the eruption was difficult for many, it can also be something God uses to draw people to Himself. Paradise Bound always keeps this in mind. "As we can come in with Christ's love and are able to help them–whether it be with water filters or the medical aspect of it, n everything we do we share the Gospel. They are very open to it."

Paradise Bound provides medical care, pastoral training, discipleship training, rebuilds homes for families, and runs Open Doors Orphanage. It costs $32 a month to sponsor a child there. Click here to help.

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