Many of you have seen the news about massive flooding and mudslides in Peru, which has taken 72 lives and caused 70,000 people to lose their homes. Many hospitals and businesses have been affected as well. Livestock have been lost and roads and bridges have been washed out.
Rev. Rosanna Panizo-Valladares, a North Carolina Conference clergy member who has been serving as the Academic Dean at Seminario Teológico Wesleyano, and GBGM Missionary Dora Canales Nunez have been contacted and report that personally they are okay. Naturally they are concerned for the citizens of their country. Rev. Panizo-Valladares says, “Some churches have been affected but most all members of churches and the population in general that live near river basins have lost everything.” Many residents are without electricity, clean water, food, diapers and other basic human needs. Schools systems across the country, which typically run from March through December, have been suspended.
News agencies report, “Highly unusual rains have followed a series of storms along Peru’s northern coast after a period of severe drought. There has been an unusual warming of sea surface temperatures off Peru’s northern coast by five to six degrees up to 29 degrees Centigrade (84 degrees Fahrenheit.) The rains have caused many rivers in Peru to overflow and triggered mudslides on the steep Andean hillsides. The weather forecast is for more rain in the coming days and weeks.”
Rev. Jack Amick, Senior Director, UMCOR Disaster Response writes, “UMCOR will be assisting in this disaster. As we work out those plans, we will make them public. If your conference wishes to donate, please note that funds for this work will come from the International Disaster Response Advance, #982450, which is used to provide response and preparedness to disasters outside the US.”
Please give generously as you are able. Checks can be made out to your local congregation, or to the NCCUMC, with a note in the memo line for Peru Disaster.