General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt has announced that a Wesleyan Emergency Relief Project (WERF) is collecting emergency aid for the Wesleyan Pilgrim Church of Peru, South America.
Blamed on a powerful El Niño effect that has not been seen for decades, half of the country has been placed in a state of emergency by an overwhelming deluge that has lasted for weeks and is continuing. Flash floods have overflowed river banks and raged through city streets. Mudslides have hit hard in the northern Andean region. Over 800 villages and 175 bridges have been destroyed.
According to Rev. Tadeo Jose Blas, Wesleyan national superintendent, millions have been without clean drinking water for many days. Government sources report over 90 people have been killed, but more are missing, and the numbers of displaced are 550,000 and rising. The torrential rains are expected to continue for more weeks. Already more than 10 times the normal amount of rain for an entire year has fallen.
Wesleyan churches across the region have been gathering supplies to help people. (See picture gallery below.) Last Saturday, Wesleyan churches in the Lima area began sending buses filled with people, thousands of meals, water, and other supplies to some of the most affected areas. A massive effort is needed. Even while some churches are badly damaged and they are trying to save others with sandbags, the great concern is for people who have lost everything.
SHOWING CHRIST IN THE STREETS
As National Superintendent Blas said, “What can we do? We must show our good works so people will glorify God. This is the challenge, even though many of us are also victims. It is time to show Christ in the streets. We must provide drinking water, food, clothing, medicine, and whatever we can to help our neighbors in need.”
General Superintendent Wayne Schmidt invites Wesleyans in North America to stand with our Peruvian brothers and sisters by praying for them and giving, to strengthen their hands as they boldly witness to their neighbors with loving deeds.