On Sunday, June 3, Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire (Volcán de Fuego) erupted, engulfing communities in its path and causing thousands of people to be displaced from their homes. A downpour and more volcanic activity to date has made recovery and rescue efforts challenging for responders.
After assessing the situation and reaching out to representatives and partners on the ground about the conditions, World Hope International (WHI) learned that people in the affected region regularly collect drinking water from the rain water. After the eruption, their supplies were contaminated by the volcanic ash and other debris.
WHI was able to coordinate a team of volunteers from Christ Wesleyan Church in Milton, Pennsylvania, to travel in partnership with Airlink and United Airlines to deliver much-needed water filtration kits and solar chargers.
“This was the fastest assembling of a team in our history,” said Arlie Davis, lead pastor at Christ Wesleyan Church. “Our generous congregation mobilized so quickly to give of themselves to help bring relief to these devastated people in Guatemala. We’re blessed with an incredible leadership team and are inspired by this partnership.”
The team of 34 departed for Guatemala on July 13 and has been working on the ground to distribute supplies in villages on the mountain without power, clear debris, work on water pumps and meet with those who have lost loved ones because of the volcano. Recently, the team visited a shelter that has been housing 700-800 people who have lost their homes. The team will remain in Guatemala for a week.
“This partnership between corporations — like United, Katadyn and Peppermint — and mission-focused organizations like us is inspiring,” reflected John Lyon, president and CEO of WHI. “Working together like this when times are tough is critical to reducing suffering and bringing hope in Jesus’ name.”