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Holding on to Faith after Two Hurricanes

May 26, 2021
Photo: AMC/ Rafael García Guzmán

When Martha Figueroa Hernández learned that Hurricane Eta was about to hit Honduras in early November 2020, she prayed that her house would be spared. As firefighters escorted the single mother and her son to the safety of a shelter, she continued to pray.

When Martha and her son returned home they were happy to discover the nearby river had not overflown its banks and their home was intact. Less than two weeks later, when Hurricane Iota pummelled Honduras, the river overflowed.

Though some of their belongings were washed away, their house remained standing. Martha says, “That was enough to thank God for, by praying and lighting candles in order to honour him.”

While Martha and her son felt blessed that their home was secure, they had nothing to eat. Before the hurricanes, Martha had been struggling to put food on the table. She made a living washing her neighbours’ clothes, but with COVID-19 restrictions, her opportunities to work dried up. So with no work and no food, Martha once again turned to God.

Martha says, “One day, to our surprise the leader of the community called us asking for our information because [World Renew and their partners] would help us. It was a great blessing to receive the food that they gave us….God’s grace is always with us.”

Like Martha, Leopoldo Taylor Gendi, a 55-year-old Nicaraguan farmer and community leader, is standing strong in his faith that God will help his community to overcome the setbacks of the two hurricanes. He says, “[This year], trusting in God, we are going to work to recover our crops. We had many losses, but we have to work with God’s help.”

For many like Leopoldo and Martha, God’s help has come through the donations of churches in Canada and the United States.

“The Honduras and Nicaragua team are very grateful to the abundant giving from North American churches,” says Corstiaan van Aalsburg, World Renew’s Latin America Ministry Team leader.

“The two devastating hurricanes did not really get the deserved attention in the media and hence the response from humanitarian agencies was limited. It is so good to see that World Renew is able, not only to assist during the days that the hurricanes lasted, but also show that partnership means to join hands when it comes to recovery!”

Through its local partners in Honduras and Nicaragua, World Renew has been able to use the gifts of the North American churches to provide hygiene kits, food, shelter for the displaced and more.

In Honduras, World Renew reached 3,620 people with emergency food and hygiene supplies that included bars of soap, bleach, dish soap, and toilet paper. World Renew is continuing to respond to the needs of communities in Honduras by providing 1,250 farmers with emergency seeds and other agricultural inputs they need to recover lost crops. In addition, the agency is also working to improve primary healthcare access and health education for 2,185 community members in Olanchito.

In Nicaragua, World Renew reached over 4,000 people to meet their immediate needs with essentials such as food, hygiene kits, and blankets. Right now, World Renew is continuing to provide further food assistance to over 2,000 people, and much-needed relief supplies―such as shelter kits and buckets for storage and cleanup―for 3,900 community members in Waspam who are rebuilding their homes.

Leopoldo voices the gratitude of his community and says, “For your faithful support in these ongoing efforts, we thank you. We are determined and trusting in God…. Thank you for supporting us and coming here to bring us food."

Now that the winds have died down and the water of overflowing rivers have receded, people are slowly rebuilding their lives. After responding to the immediate needs of people impacted by the hurricanes in Honduras and Nicaragua, World Renew and its local partners, AMC and ALFALIT, as well as Fundacion San Lucas (FSL) and Comité de Acción Social Menonita (CASM), are now working to help the people in these regions to find their footing on the road to becoming self-sufficient.

Betty Muller Gomez, another Nicaraguan farmer whose house was damaged and crops destroyed during the hurricanes is optimistic about the future. She says, “AMC has taught us how to get ahead despite the difficulties, this has helped me to move forward, to establish crops for food security.”

But Betty is relying on the generosity of donors with another request. Betty asks, “I would like you to pray that what we sow produces a lot, [that we] recover the crops, so that we can ensure food for [our] family.”

Please join us in praying that the people impacted by these two hurricanes continue to hold on to their faith in our loving God. Pray that they continue to rebuild their lives leaning on God’s goodness and his mercy. Thank you for your generosity and for your prayers.

Donate for relief following hurricanes Eta/Iota