Believers coalesce to minister in the wake of Paraguay’s national tragedy.

By August 10, 2004

Paraguay (MNN)–Five face manslaughter charges in Paraguay after a market fire killed an estimated 440 people, and injured hundreds more.

According to published news reports, the death toll spiked because the co-owner of a market in Asuncion ordered a security guard to lock the doors in order to keep customers from looting as the fire spread.

Forensic experts were still studying the site trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which some officials speculated may have been started by an exploding gas canister in the store’s food court.

The scope of the tragedy prompted a national mourning period of three days. The people, though, are looking for answers.

Trans World Radio’s Ernst Weischelberger (vikesell-berger) says their ministry teams have been responding to the national mourning as a result of the tragedy. “We offered Christian literature. They are working also on a database to get in contact with as many as possible families, because we think that now, there is lots of helping and giving, but, in the long run, I think the families need someone they can rely on.”

Weischelberger says believers have become more missions-minded. “The churches now, in this area, together with the office of Trans World Radio here, are trying to get these four churches involved, because there is so much to do that our staff cannot do the job all by themselves.”

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