Guatemala’s mudslides take a toll on a ministry.

By October 18, 2005

Guatemala (MNN)–Disease now threatens the survivors of Guatemala’s mudslides, the result of Tropical Storm Stan.

Stan’s rains triggered the mudslides as residents in the valley of Panabaj slept. Whole villages were buried, and roads destroyed.

The government last week ceased rescue operations and declared some buried villages mass graves. All told, 1400 are dead, but many more are still missing.

Aid has been slow in getting through, mainly because of the devastation to the area’s infrastructure. 130,000 people have been directly affected by the storm and its impact on the region, estimates Guatemalan President Oscar Berger.

AMG International’s Roger Thomas says they’re still getting damage reports. “We’re fearful that the mudslide has completely covered the town including our project there with the children.”

The bad news didn’t stop there, but it did get better. Thomas went on to add that, “Two of our projects have been completely flooded, and they tell us that they have lost everything. Other of our projects that have fared better actually are being used as shelters for the communities in which they live.”

Ministry is happening even in the crisis, but there are many prayer needs. Their project teams are offering shelter, in keeping with their reputation for Christian response. Consequently, due to their action, Thomas explains, “They’re a lighthouse for the area where people can come and if there (are) any supplies, that’s where they will be.”

But prayer is urgent because, “In many cases, roads are not passable and relief supplies are not getting through yet. Food is a situation in the capital city because its not able to get into town.”

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