Disaster Relief – Siguatepeque

Christy and I wanted to let you know what we’ve been up to. As some of you already know, it’s the rainy season right now and there was bad flooding Friday night in Siguatepeque where we’re living. Many people lost everything and a number of homes (shacks) were washed away. Five were killed in mudslides, a family of seven drowned in their home because they couldn’t get out in time and were trapped, and others had to be rescued from their roofs. A number of pictures of the tragedy are attached. We had a few leaks but nothing major. A missionary couple who’s been helping us since we arrived had some water in their home.

I had an opportunity Saturday to help one of the flooded families begin to clean out their flooded home. Two teachers from the language school we will attend lived in one of the houses nearest the flooded river and had four feet of water in their home. Seven women shared the home with at least two children living there. There are no adult males present. A few pictures of this family’s suffering are attached. The images of a layer of mud on everything and kids’ toys, furniture, prized family possessions and such ruined were eerily familiar. I was reminded of when I questioned God why that had to happen to us (twice) AFTER He had told us in prayer NOT to sell our house and buy something elsewhere. I see that was yet another experience we had to endure to prepare us for this work. It isn’t just coincidence that we arrived here in Siguatepeque the day before the worst flooding incident here anyone can remember.

We and other BMDMI missionaries serving in the area met yesterday with a group from a local church to see how we can best meet the needs of those most in need as a result of this tragedy (about 250 families) in the coming weeks. Plans were made to bring in rice, blankets, mattresses, clothes, etc. that BMDMI had available at the Mission Home and the Good Shepherd Children’s Home to begin providing necessities. Cleaning supplies were purchased and brought to the church for distribution to the community.

Today I helped carry away flood debris from homes in the area. Along with four other local missionaries we took 8 truckloads to the city dump (added to the 2 loads another missionary and I took Saturday). If you’ve ever been to “the dump” back home, you probably left there thinking that was one of the most nauseating places on earth. It doesn’t come close to the scene at the Siguatepeque dump with the thousands of vultures lurking everywhere, the flies, the fires burning, and the poor souls scavenging through the trash trying to find something worth pennies to provide food money. The attached pictures fail to adequately convey the multitude of vultures, flies, and, of course, the sweet aroma. We also helped unload the truck containing over 3000 pounds of rice along with blankets, mattresses, pillows, clothes and linens to be distributed to the community surrounding the church.

Please be in prayer for these suffering people, some who lost everything, and pray for our work in helping to relieve their suffering and pointing them to Jesus. Although BMDMI, local churches, other ministries, and local missionaries have donated necessities and funding to begin meeting the immediate needs, much more is needed. Please be in prayer to discern how God might have you contribute to the relief effort. If you feel led to donate, go to www.bmdmi.org, click on “GIVE”, scroll down to “missionaries”, designate “ Eric & Christy Duplantis” and enter “flood relief” in the comment section.

“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” 2 Cor 8:3-5