VALLEY FORGE, PA (11/24/20)—Two back-to-back category 4 hurricanes, with 120-mph to 140-mph wind gusts, hit Central America in November. Hurricane Eta struck the northern coast of Nicaragua on November 3. Two weeks later, Hurricane Iota made landfall near Haulover, Nicaragua, only 15 miles south of where Eta had come ashore. This is the first time in nearly 170 years of record-keeping that two Category 4 hurricanes have struck within 15 miles of one another in a period of only two weeks.
This unprecedented occurrence has caused massive devastation in Nicaragua, Honduras, and other parts of Central America in the form of landslides, floods, roadway collapses, power outages, communication interruptions, crop destruction and significant loss of life. For communities already struggling to respond to the economic and health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to remain safe and socially-distant when seeking refuge with family or at shelters increases vulnerability. The World Food Program expects that continued flooding will impact the incoming harvest, severely strain subsistence farmers, and extend the emergency into mid-2020.
IM’S PRESENCE AND RESPONSE
International Ministries (IM) has released initial One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief grants totaling $8,500 to partners in Honduras and Nicaragua who are responding with food, clothing, blankets, water filters, medicines and other needed supplies. Additional relief funds will be released as contributions are received for OGHS-Central America Relief.
IM Global Servants Dilia Zelaya (Honduras), Ingrid Roldán-Román (Panama), and Ricardo Mayol-Bracero (Guatemala) are safe, and are checking in with families that are served by IM partners in the affected region.
Please join us in prayer for the children, families, and IM global servants and partners in Central America who have been impacted by these devastating hurricanes. We know that God is near to the brokenhearted and through Christ we can find peace that surpasses understanding.
HOW YOU CAN STAY INFORMED AND HELP
More information about Hurricanes Eta and Iota can be found on the websites for United Nations News, New York Times, Washington Post, and other major media outlets. IM’s home office is in continuous contact with IM global servants and international partners in Southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia. Together, with your prayer and financial support, we are working to identify needs and opportunities to help the most vulnerable communities in areas affected by these devastating hurricanes.
Persons wishing to support relief efforts can do so through their American Baptist church, or through giving online, or by sending checks directly to International Ministries. Please designate your contributions “OGHS–Central America Relief” in the memo line of your check.
Checks sent directly to International Ministries should be made payable to International Ministries and mailed to:
Attn: Gifts Processing
1003 W 9th Avenue, Ste A
King of Prussia, PA 19406
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing the distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.