International Ministries

Mexicali Earthquake Update-World Relief

May 25, 2010 Journal
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Mexicali Earthquake
What is the current situation? Tim Long asked me to pass this information on to all of you. He and I have been working on the distribution of funds in cooperation with representatives of the "Convencion Dios Con Nosotros".
In some rural communities to the south and southeast of Mexicali there are still thousands of people whose homes, and in some cases, whole villages, have been condemned.  They are now living in temporary makeshift lodging, have simply moved away, or have moved in with relatives and friends.  Most all are registered now with the Mexican government, awaiting assistance in rebuilding or relocation.  They are in a difficult position as any investment made to rebuild their homes would deny them future government aid, perhaps even go for naught if orders are given to completely vacate. Yet, few believe that their needs will be addressed as promised.    
In addition thousands of families are still out of work. The entire Mexicali Valley is reclaimed desert land and in areas hardest hit by the earthquake, the infrastructure of canals and water pipelines has been destroyed.  Large tracks of fields are no longer viable for planting, some of which have been rendered useless by the brackish water that emerged as a result of the earthquake and polluted fertile areas. These families depended on the crops for livelihood and are now in need of basic provisions. 
The critical period for the families who are out of work is just now beginning.  Since the Easter afternoon earthquake, both government and private agencies have helped with basic provisions.  But now, amidst a continuing need, the flow of provisions is drying up.   
How are we helping?
American Baptist World Relief has donated $5000 to help with our on-going earthquake relief.  Money from the World Relief donation is used to buy basic provisions and these along with food donations from local Mexican churches, is distributed to the most needy families.
The food is gathered and sorted at the Mexicali Seminary where bags are filled with enough basic provisions --beans, rice, vegetable oil, canned meat, vegetables, toilet paper, and the like -- for a family of 6 for a week.  Three seminarians, Evaristo, Rafael and Roberto, who live and minister in the most affected areas, then distribute the bags to the most needy as a ministry of their respective churches or new church starts.  To date 103 families have received basic provisions for a week. 
Some of the World Relief funds will also be used as seed money to repair homes and facilities damaged by the earthquake.  Assessments will be made during the next month to help decide how and where to assist with repairs needed to damaged property.