The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in West Venezuela provided assistance to hundreds affected by mudslides and flooding last month, after torrential rain hit communities in Timotes, in the State of Mérida. Local leaders say it was the first time in 30 years that several ravines gave way, causing rocks, mud and debris to cover homes, streets and vehicles.
Hours after the rain stopped, volunteers from ADRA and local churches in the region organized to provide clothing, food, water and blankets to those affected by the disaster. Master guides, Pathfinders and Dorcas Society volunteers stepped into action to package and deliver assistance.
David Finol, who oversees the work of ADRA in the region, said he was moved by the faithful work of the volunteers. “We praise God because our brothers and sisters care and dedication for the well-being of our affected communities and contributed in offering hope to them.”
The ADRA assistance in Timotes was covered by local and state radio stations and newspapers.Jeyson Hernández, who led the group of volunteers from four area Seventh-day Adventist churches, Mesa Cerrada, Timotes Centro, Chachopo and Los Llanitos, said it was fulfilling to be part of the relief effort.
“I feel such joy in my heart to know that in these moments I can be the hands and arms of Jesus and reflect the love of God, bringing a smile to those who lost everything and offering words of comfort and hope,” said Hernández.
Staff of the local Adventist radio station in Timotes scheduled peaceful music to air throughout the day so they could take the day off to help remove debris and provide aid.
David Paredes, who works for Adventist radio station Vendrá 98.5 in Timotes, and who lives 100 meters (328 feet) from the most affected area, said serving those in need and demonstrating the love of God brought real satisfaction. “This was a great opportunity to testify as a church and build bridges of hope in these communities.”
“Physical and emotional needs still exist here and the church will continue to pray and embrace those affected,” said Paredes. “There is still much to do.”