Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
Tropical Storm Nate slammed into Nicaragua on October 5. It was not an actual hurricane, but it felt like a category 3 to us. We’ve been through a few hurricanes in North Carolina, but back then our house had windows that closed completely. This time we could feel the rain and wind on our faces throughout the entire storm. The sound of the rain on the tin roof was deafening and it wouldn’t stop. Everyone who lived in the shadow of tall palms watched them sway ominously and prayed their coconuts wouldn’t fall.
It was intense, but we are so thankful that the damage in our
area was minimal. Cory and Caleb went out in the worst
of the storm to check on some of our church members. One had his house blown apart and was sleeping under a tent made from black plastic. One area was in serious danger of flooding, so they recruited some more guys to help them dig a trench and redirect the water. Everyone was drenched, shivering, and standing in mud past their ankles in the pitch black, but the flooding was avoided.
The next morning we cautiously emerged to check out the damage. One of our church members had a tree fall and just barely miss their house. The tree was over 100 feet tall and about 3 feet across. They couldn’t understand it because the way that wind was blowing meant that tree should have fallen directly on their house, but it fell the opposite way into an empty field. God’s hand was protecting them without a doubt.
There were several elderly families in our church who couldn’t get out to buy food for the way because of the flooded roads. Those who had extra food gathered it together and delivered it to their homes. This church really knows how to care for one another in a time of crisis.
We were the most worried about our church in El Menco. This community lies on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Nicaragua. This are of the country was said to have received the worst of the storm. There was no electricity or phone signal after the storm so we couldn’t contact the people there. We got word that the dam at the Ochomogo River broke and the road to El Menco would be impassible for several days.
Finally, we made into El Menco the following Sunday with the help of 4 wheel drive on the truck. The people there were shaken up, but everyone was ok. They told us that the water rose and rose on each side of the peninsula until it covered everything except right up to where they live. They all came together and prayed that God would help them and the water didn’t rise any further. We sat and spoke with one farmer who said this, “If they will praise God when the sun shines and the crops grow, then they will also praise God when the rains come and the crops are lost. He is in control of everything.” I think that everyone’s faith was increased that day. There was not any structural damage to any of the houses there either. We saw huge trees down everywhere and the old community meeting place fell, but the houses and new church were spared.
The farmers of El Menco lost all of their crops (watermelon, corn, plantains, and papaya). They live off of what they grow each season. One of the women, a single mom of 3, gave us 2 papayas before we left to say thank you. This broke my heart because she really has nothing left. The next few months will be very difficult for them to survive, which brings me to our challenge for you…we would like to give a month’s food supply to each of the 10 farmers in El Menco. We are looking for people who would buy a food basket at a value of $100 each. This will feed an entire family for a month and sustain them until they can plant again. You can contribute through CTEN for a tax deduction or go to this GOFUNDME site.
We took a large group of youth (as many as could possibly fit in the back of our pickup truck) to help the people clean up their fields from the storm. We also held a special church service to thank God for his protection during the storm. Please continue to pray for these humble farmers and our small church in El Menco.
Mark Famorca is visiting us from The Summit Church and has been a huge help with the youth and the carpentry shop.
We need your help!
We travel back to the United States December 1 with Caleb, Eunice, and Timoteo Urbina. We will be in North Carolina for 2-3 weeks and need a large vehicle or 2 smaller vehicles to borrow. We also need to use a car seat for a 2 year old while we are there. Winter coats (or warm sweaters) in size 3/4T, men’s size large, and women’s size medium are also needed.