Search This Blog

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Community of Las Graditas, Jurisdiction of Jayaque

Originally Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is a devastating picture, suffered by the residents of the community of Las Graditas, in the jurisdiction of Jayaque, in the department of La Libertad. Small rivers in the mountainous slopes of the Cordillera del Bálsamo, faced with the quantify of rain water, were increasing their flow until it was too much and they overflowed, carrying all it found in its path: dwellings, the Catholic Church, a school, farms, crops, bridges, trees, etc.

This day, Sunday the 23rd in a visit conducted to shelters in the zone, it was possible to find residents already returning to their homes, in order to repair them and return to their daily lives. Not so the residents of Las Graditas, who will have remain in shelters for a longer time as a result of the destruction of their dwellings.

What remains of the school, now children have nowhere to go to their classes.

In visits conducted to dwellings that had survived, it was found that people were already inhabiting their homes, in spite of the damages suffered, the outlook is grim. Many children now have as a yard to play in the rubble left by the current.

This is the site where the confluence of the two rivers is found.

This is what remains of the Catholic Church, all around it were washed away by the current of water.

Lutheran Bishop Visits Communities in the East

Originally Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011

The communities of Puerto Parada in the department of Usulután in the eastern part of the country and those of Cara Sucia in Ahuachapán, in the west, are the most damaged by the tropical depression this month, October, 2011. Bishop Gómez travelled to the community of La Cañada in Puerto Parada with a delegation of pastors and lay persons that went to visit their brothers in the emergency situation.

In Usulután Pastor Ana Rosa Maravilla and Pastor Julio Chávez were included along with the other brothers. There, some food stuffs were purchased to be taken to the communities, prepared in individual sacks for delivery to families.

Rev. Julio Chávez reported to the bishop that the needs were great, surpassing the local capacity both as a church and as a community. In spite of this, the caravan arrived at the community of La Cañada, where several families were found in the street, in need of help and expressing that until that date no food had been brought to them, "we only see the trucks pass carrying it to other parts," they said.

At that moment, they took advantage of the presence of a member of Civil Security, who delivered a donation so that it could be delivered equally to the victimized families. The bishop took the opportunity to say a prayer to the Lord on behalf of the people gathered in the location, and for all the affected families. He offered with love the small donation, explaining to them that the church doesn't have resources to help when the needs are that great, but that yes, it is working to accomplish unified assistance, not just for the emergency, but also for reconstruction.

The distribution of sacks of food stuffs then proceeded, via a human chain. The discontent of some families who couldn't be reached with the supplies was apparent. The need was seen to organize the population by sector, in order to do a better job of distributing food in a way that would rach the largest number of families.

This delegation was composed of Bishop Medardo Gómez, Abelina de Gómez, Santiago Rodríguez, Efraín Ramos, Flurian, Jorge Castro, Bryn Rude, Laura Herrera and Blanca Irma Rodríguez.

Accompaniment Visit to the Lutheran Communities in Santa Ana During the Emergency

Originally Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011

Here we are already on October 20 and almost ten days of intense rain. The Commission of Community Accompaniment Visits, this time in the city of Santa Ana to support the pastoral work of Pastor Vilma López, pastoral coordinator of the northwestern micro-region.

The members, along with their pastor, Rev. López, received visitors in the community of Lobato. The location of the meeting was in the church. In one early moment, the people comment how they had lived through the situation, speaking the facts. The greates reported losses up until that time in the community of Lobato were damages to the dwellings, including the church, the strong winds causing damage to the roofs of the dwellings.

The commission delivered a small donation of food stuffs sent by the SLS for the community. Later, a tour proceeded to verify the damages and the needs of the people. Fortunately, there were no human losses, and the material damages were proportionally less than in other areas.

There were also damages caused by flooding of the dwellings, caused by the currents coming down from Mount La Antena, which remains in front of this populous sector. Several communities were affected. Up to this moment, the amount of agricultural losses have not been quantified.

This visit was performed with relative tranquility, as it is the first day without rain, and the sun shone for some time. At the end of the tour a prayer was said to the Lord on behalf of the community of Lobato, as well as for the families that suffered total or partial loss of their property, and to give them strong to continue working in spite of all the adversity.

Particiapting in this delegation: Elsy Gabarrete, Laura V. Herrera, Jorge Castro, Rev. Concepción M. Ángel, Rev. Blanca Irma Rodríguez, and Rev. Bryn Rude.

Bishop Gómez Visits Northern Zone to Support Pastoral Work During the Emergency

Today Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gómez visited the northern zone of the country, with the objective of accompanying the pastoral work done by the church in the zone. Rev. José María Saravia, who is also the pastoral coordinator for the northern zone, received the delegation in the community of Las Pampitas. The objective was to take a tour through the different Lutheran communities, but due to the strong storms and floods, this with not possible.

The zone was flooded, in the street that leads to the church building of Las Pampitas, the water was up to just under one's knee. Few families had been reunited as a result of the strong storms that didn't cease during the time the delegation was in that location.

The bishop held a brief meeting with those present to pray to God on behalf of the victimized families, especially for the children and the elderly. He also prayed that God would give strength and hope to this suffering people, suffering from climatic phenomena that had brought so much damage - in the end, the most affected are always the poor.

Rev. Chemita reported that, up until that moment, no human losses had been reported, and that the material losses still had not been quantified. Nonetheless it is known that the farmers lost their entire harvest and now have nothing on which to subsist.

In the end, Bishop Gómez delivered a small donation consisting of food stuffs for the families in the community.

Delegation of visitors: Bishop Medardo Gómez, Rev. Francisco Aguilar, Rev. Abelina de Gómez, Rev. Vilma Rodríguez, Rev. Bryn Rude, Rev. Blanca Irma Rodríguez, sister Laura Verónica Herrera y brother Jorge Castro.

Bishop Gómez Visits Affected Communities

Originally Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today, Tuesday (October) the 18th, since the early hours of the morning, Bishop Medardo Gómez, along with an accompaniment team, visited some of the communities affected by the tropical depression that is going on its eighth day of doing damage across the country.

The tour began in the community of Opico in the department of La Libertad, here in the colony of El Milagro of the canton of Agua Escondida, located at the high point of the Palio bridge, on the highway leading from San Salvador to the city of Opico. In the location of "Los Encuentros," the Palio River and the Sucio River come together, and due to the torrential rains, the channels of both rivers overflowed their banks and flooded everything in their path, including some 60 dwellings.

The following was delivered to these families: fortified rice and powdered potatoes with nutritional supplements. Pastor Inez Martínez and sister Maurita Ramos of the “Fe y Amor” Lutheran Church were in charge of facilitating delivery to these families.

Later, they visited the communities of Jayaque, where several shelters have been functioning since last Sunday. Almost all the shelters are located in public schools. The largest of them is in Curazao with 35 families and some 100 people, where there are people sheltered from the communities of Las Graditas, Las Minas, Valle Verde, Curazao, El Dorado, and other communities in the sector.


The Lutheran Church, through local pastor Rev. Blanca Irma Rodríguez together with her family, have been accompanying and supporting these families, giving spiritual and moral support, and a small amount of material assistance. During his visit, Bishop Gómez encouraged us to keep the faith and hope in God, the situation will pass soon. At the end a prayer of comfort and hope was said with every one of the groups visited.

In each of these locations, statistical data and needs are already being recorded, in order to be able to support the impending reconstruction. Thanks to the generous support of Rev. Brian Rude, who has facilitated transportation for the mobilization of some of the visits. The visiting delegation was made up of: Bishop Medardo Gómez, Rev. Francisco Aguilar, Rev. Blanca Irma Rodríguez, Rev. Brian Rude and brother José, Pastors Margarita Moreno, Inés Martínez, sisters Laura Verónica Herrera and Maurita Ramos, deacon Efraín Ramos, in charge of communications.


Originally Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

 The storm situation continues, and the number of people in refugee centers increases. Several families that remained scattered across the countryside have little by little been evacuated as they have no way to survive and have approached the shelters in search of help.

It is impossible to see the pass via the highway to Sonsonate, as the Tamanique River, the same river that passes through the community of Dos de Mayo, caused the bridge to collapse. Now to get to Jayaque, Zacacoyo, Tepecoyo and other locations in the area, one can only take the alternate route of the El Tránsito farm, or walk, making a transfer at the bridge on the road that from Sonsonate leads to San Salvador.

Road out at Altura de Ateos from a collapsed bridge.

The Lutheran Church delivered boxes of food containing enriched rice and enriched potatoes for children to some of the refugee centers located in the lower part of the mountain: Curazao, Dos de Mayo and La Labor. But more foodstuffs, children’s clothing, mattresses, blankets, etc. are needed.

On this day, Monday, October 17, the shelter of the Curazao school collapsed as a result of over-population and, as a result, work has already begun to open a new shelter in another of the nearby schools.

On Wednesday, Bishop Medardo Gómez will be visiting the communities of Jayaque and Opico to verify on site the damages caused by the rains and to bring a work of encouragement to the victims.

The rains in some locations have already ceased, but the authorities have made the call to not depend on it because rains can resume from one moment to the next. It is hoped that this situation will continue until the following Wednesday, but we are hopeful that it will disappear before then. Thanks to a fraternal solidarity, we can now assist our brothers and sisters that have been affected.