CRCNA Responds to Latin America Hurricanes
Hurricane Eta tore across Nicaragua, Honduras, and other countries earlier this month, pummeling remote communities located in some of the poorest areas of Latin America. This week, Hurricane Iota followed in Eta’s wake, bringing more rain and damage to already vulnerable communities.
“We’ve been in touch with Christian Reformed personnel in the affected countries and are happy to report that everyone is safe and accounted for,” said Colin Watson, executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA).
The denomination has many staff, volunteers, and partners in the region who work for World Renew, Resonate Global Mission, and Back to God Ministries International. While CRCNA staff are safe and have been able to wait out the storms in their homes, they see great loss around them.
BTGMI’s Spanish ministry, based largely in Tabasco, Mexico, has 12 partner radio stations in Nicaragua and 19 more in El Salvador.
"I haven't heard anything from our partner stations, but here in Tabasco, we are on high alert," said Rev. Huascar de la Cruz, Spanish ministry leader. He added that “tens of thousands of people have already been forced from their homes due to recent flooding in the area, so we are praying that God will not let another storm go through.”
Resonate Global Mission has 17 missionary units (including individuals and families) in the region, mostly in Nicaragua.
“Hurricane 'geeks' have never seen [two such big storms hit the same area] before, so there is lots of chatter about the unprecedented nature of this,” said Steve Holtrop, Central America and Nicaragua team leader for Resonate. “The bad news is that these areas are not able to handle any rain. The 'good' news is that the rebuilding efforts following Eta have not yet started and folks are still in shelters such as schools and churches.”
World Renew, the CRCNA’s disaster response ministry, is monitoring staff and partner organizations throughout Nicaragua and Honduras.
“Men, women, and children in these communities are now in desperate need of food, water, and hygiene products,” World Renew reported after Eta’s landfall. Their international disaster response team and Latin American ministry team are working through local partners to deliver essential supplies and to ensure that people have shelter.
Donations to World Renew’s hurricane response will be matched 1:1 through their International Disaster Response fund, up to $25,000 USD. All donations will be used to provide essentials such as food, water, shelter, and hygiene kits for families in Latin America affected by this disaster.
“We thank God for all lives spared and for the hope he gives to forge on in the face of disaster,” said Watson. “We ask for your continued prayers and support for people throughout Latin America, that they may feel the strength and hope of God supporting them as they rebuild.”