Peru (MNN) — Large portions of Peru remain underwater due to severe ongoing flooding. Heavy rains led to the latest deluge in Central Jungle, destroying 123 homes and leaving more than 500 people without shelter.
Juan Carlos Palacios, Senior Manager of Program Support, says 48 families helped by Compassion International are among those in need.
“Some parts of the small houses and small villages fell down, and also several families lost the lands where they grow things to eat and to sell,” he reports.
Seasonal flooding is causing problems for Peruvians throughout the country. Local churches are providing hope and help in partnership with Compassion.
While some weather sources blame El Niño for the flooding’s magnitude, the heavy rainfall is seasonal – occurring each year around this time.
“Sadly, because of the lack of [economic] resources, [affected] families don’t have the possibility to prevent these problems during the rainy season, or to rebuild their houses really fast.”
Impoverished families suffer the most. One in five Peruvians live on just over $100 USD a month. Local churches work with Compassion to help those in need, and the same “process” applies when disaster strikes.
First, local church leaders meet with families in the flood zone. “They do a quick evaluation of all the needs that [families] have and, with the resources that the church has, start helping them,” Palacios explains.
Then, church leaders contact Compassion Peru staff, and the two organizations work together to meet immediate needs. The partnership continues even when flood victims shift from relief to long-term recovery.
“Together with the church, Compassion tries to work in a holistic way in order to help the family.”
When “the family needs to rebuild their house, for example, or children lose things they need to go to school, we work to supply all those things,” Palacios continues. “The church works closely with these families, giving them the Word of God that is their strength in their moment of need.”
Now that you know, what will you do? Peruvians in most of the affected regions have at least one more month of “rainy season” to endure, according to ClimatesToTravel.com. Palacios describes a few ways you can come alongside their ministry in Peru.
Ask the Lord who controls the weather to help His followers endure difficult circumstances. Pray for affected families to receive relief. Pray church and Compassion workers will be strengthened and encouraged.
“They do a hard work sharing the Gospel, going to the communities to share, and also in these emergency times – they’re helping supply basic needs,” Palacios says.
Write a note of encouragement to Peruvian believers here on our Facebook page. We’ll send responses on to our friends at Compassion, who can share them with local church leaders.
“We believe that it would be very good for them and encouraging for them to know that some other churches around the world are praying for them.”
As mentioned earlier, the families helped by Compassion are among Peru’s poorest citizens. They barely have enough money each month to send their children to school, let alone purchase new tools and building supplies.
Compassion’s Child Development Centers (CDCs) are using Compassion Disaster Relief Funds to provide food, water, mattresses, and beds, as needed. They may need to use additional funds to help with temporary shelters, home construction, and repairs.
Header and story images courtesy of Compassion International.