December 6, 2016 | Timotes, Merida, Venezuela | Yosainy De Colina/IAD Staff
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in West Venezuela provided assistance to hundreds affected by the mudslides and flooding last month, after torrential rain hit communities in Timotes, in the State of Mérida. It was the first time in 30 years that several ravines gave way, causing rocks, mud, and debris to cover homes, streets, and vehicles, local leaders said.
Hours after the rains stopped on Nov. 13, ADRA and its church member volunteers in the region organized to provide clothing, food, water and blankets to those affected by the natural disaster. Master guides, Pathfinders, and Dorcas Society volunteers stepped into action to package and deliver assistance.
David Finol, who oversees the work of ADRA in that region, said he was moved by the faithful work of the church member volunteers. “We praise God because our brothers and sisters care and dedication for the well-being of our affected communities and contributed in offering hope to them.”
The ADRA assistance was covered by local and state radio stations and newspapers.
Staff of the local Adventist radio station in Timotes left the broadcast running with peaceful music and took off to help remove debris and provide assistance.
Pastor Jeyson Hernández, who led the group of volunteers from four area Seventh-day Adventist churches, Mesa Cerrada, Timotes Centro, Chachopo and Los Llanitos, said it meant so much to be part of assisting so many.
“I feel such joy in my heart to know that in these moments I can be the hands and arms of Jesus and reflect the love of God, bringing a smile to those who lost everything and offering words of comfort and hope,” said Hernández.
David Paredes, who works for Adventist Radio Station Vendrá 98.5 in Timotes, and who lives 100 meters from the most affected area, said serving those in need and demonstrating the love of God brought real satisfaction. “This was a great opportunity to testify as a church and build bridges of hope in these communities.”
There is still much to do, said Paredes. “Physical and emotional needs still exist here and the church will continue to pray and embrace those affected.”