Peru (MNN) — Today, there is still at least one crumbled home for every two or three standing in Chincha, Peru. The earthquake that shook the area in August 2008 killed more than 600 people — mostly children who were at school when the quake began.
Following the disaster, the community of about 90 families came to a standstill. No markets were open, and some people had no access to food. Those who did gathered their resources and started what they call a "community pot" soup kitchen to help those in need. That was
a full three days before Food for the Hungry came to assess the situation. Food for the Hungry worked with the existing volunteers at the soup kitchen by providing training.
The soup kitchen is still operating today. A woman named Marisol helps to plan and
serve the meals and manage the production. She explained that prior to the earthquake, people in the community mostly kept to themselves. Now, they are more community-oriented.
Marisol was also blessed to have her home rebuilt because of her direct involvement in the outreach. She even got her hands in the construction
The help that Food for the Hungry gives is never simply tangible goods or services. They also offer
social and spiritual support. For those who grew up hearing about God, they now have seen what it means to live for God.
The earthquake caused many to reassess what they believe, and Food for the Hungry was there with answers. One woman whose husband is the president of
the community says she believes he has come to embrace the love of God.