U.S. church helps aid Guatemalans

By June 14, 2010

Guatemala (MNN) — Thousands of people have been displaced by flooding and mudslides in Guatemala. The devastation was the result of record rainfall that caused rivers and streams to overflow their banks. The rainfall also caused mudslides which have caused even more destruction.

A team from the United States just finished helping a small community dig out from it. Michael Shead is the team leader with Resurrection Life Church near Grand Rapids, Michigan. "We are in the mountains of Guatemala, near Chichicastenango–about 5000-7000 feet above sea level and up where Mayan Indians who live here."

Shead says while Guatemala City felt the effects of the storm and the ash, so did small riverside communities outside the city. "A lot of the homes have about a 8-12 inches of mud in them. A lot of people are afraid. This has never happened in their lifetime, and they're concerned whether it would happen again."

Shead says the teams worked in the village "to help clear mud out of the homes and out of a school, a newly-built school. The kids haven't been able to attend school because of all the mud and the water that was in their school."

Shead says this disaster has helped the local church work together in unity.

He says it wasn't just about physical assistance. "We've been able to serve the people — not only by bringing in food and extra hands to help with things, but we've been able to share the Gospel."

Another part of their outreach was at a local hospital providing outreach packets to patients and their caregivers.

Shead says the message he has for us is the message he preaches to himself. "It's not just something that I want to do when I'm in another country, or when I'm in the states, or wherever I am. [I need to say] 'God, I can see how You used me here [in Guatemala]; now I need to make myself available to You wherever I am.'"

Pray for the people of Guatemala as they dig out from the mud. If you'd like to join a team heading to Guatemala, there are many ministries working there including Orphan Outreach, Buckner International, and AMG International. Click here to find more information.

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