Natural Disasters

Earthquake in El Salvador

Last night we experienced a 7.4 earthquake in El Salvador. We are used to tremors but this one felt a lot bigger! I felt like the whole floor was rolling back and forth. We were fine, and in San Salvador there was no major damage reported. East of us was much closer to the epicenter and local news is reporting three deaths as well as power outages and approximately 20 collapsed homes. Please pray for those affected, and thank you for continually keeping our family in your prayers! You can read about the earthquake here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/world/americas/central-america-earthquake/index.html  

Hiking the Santa Ana Volcano

This past weekend, we did some new, fun stuff in El Salvador. We went to see the national soccer team play (a first for the kids and I), and I will post more on that later. We also finally (finally!) took the time to hike the Santa Ana Volcano. In the native language, it is known as Illamatepec. Jon has done it before but the kids and I haven’t and I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. I wish I had taken more pictures on the climb up, because it was an absolutely spectacular day. However I got a few and you can see the flowers in full bloom. The flowers and trees slowly gave way to a desolate landscape. Santa Ana last erupted in 2005 so […]

Tornadoes on Volcanoes

Here is a special post for all you weather geeks out there! Yesterday evening as Ian and I pulled into our driveway, he pointed at a crazily spinning cloud just down the hill from our house. The clouds whirled around each other and a small funnel cloud began to fall down from the cloud. We called to Jon and Tori and soon we were all watching the birth of a tornado. From our vantage point, we could watch the clouds spinning apart, then together, until a definite tornado was visible. It was a wisp of a twister that we could see right through until it moved down the volcano and out of sight.  I’ve never seen a tornado before, so even this tiny one was a big thrill! Thankfully it did […]

Relief Still Needed in El Salvador!

The rains have stopped in El Salvador, but the need continues. Thousands are still in shelters where sicknesses are spreading. Up to 75% of staple crops are lost in many communities. There are many in need of relief in El Salvador! We are continuing to collect donations for the relief effort. A little donation can go a long way! A donation of $25 can buy 600 individual waters. A donation of $37.50 can buy 100 pounds of sugar. A donation of $42 can buy 100 pounds of rice . A donation of $60 can buy 100 pounds of beans. You can donate by visiting the HomePage of this website and indicating that your gift is for Emergency Relief. Thank you for your support for El Salvador!

Aid Distribution – Río Lempa

I am just getting home from a long day bringing relief to people who are in desperate need. I am super exhausted, but feel like I cannot compare to the people I met today! They are living in water and most have lost everything! We delivered these supplies to a shelter near Río Lempa, an area where the river flooded and was the cause of many deaths. There were 225 people in this shelter including an 8 day old newborn! (What a rough first 8 days of life!) The people there were very thankful and the donations of 200lbs of rice, 200lbs of beans, 200lbs of suger, 800 bread rolls, 625 bags of water, a pickup truck full of DRY clothes, a few bags of medical supplies and some bags of toiletry items […]

Aid Distribution – Community on San Vicente

Yesterday Jon and the team spent the morning in a community on the San Vicente volcano where 50 families have been displaced and 80 people were in critical need of food, drinking water, and medicines. The people are packed into a semi-dry building that is serving as a shelter. Most of their homes are filled with mud, and several outhouse toilets have just collapsed into the ground. It was an unbelievable sight to see all the mud and water filling the homes and covering the belongings of the residents of this community. But there were many smiles, and laughter, and gratitude to all who came bringing supplies. We are thrilled to be partnering with another non-profit in the States called Friends of El Salvador that has close ties with this community.  Here […]

Aid Distribution – Usulután

The last few days have been a whirlwind of collecting supplies, organizing donations, and distributing them to communities in need. Jon has come home exhausted every night from running all over the country! Our staff has been to Usulután, some devastated communities on the San Vicente volcano, out by the coast to La Libertad, and to a shelter in Illopango. Tonight we’ll be feeding the homeless in San Salvador who have had nowhere to go during this week and a half of rain. El Salvador is getting pounded today with a second storm, and the rain hasn’t let up.  The newspaper is reporting 32 dead with up to 576 landslides around the country. Thousands are homeless and living in shelters where conditions are not great with many coming down with […]

Emergency Relief Needed Now

After a week of rain, the situation in El Salvador is not looking good. There have been dozens of floods and mudslides around the country leaving thousands of people displaced and many dead. Local news sources are reporting that up to 60% of staple crops like rice, beans, and corn have been lost. It is also expected that the coffee industry will face losses.  Hundreds of livestock have been drowned. Many people have lost their homes, and everything they own. Yesterday, Jon went with a group from the YWAM base to take relief into Usulutan, one of the areas cut off by flood waters. They had to take a boat in order to help the 100 families in need in that community. Today, there are many more communities that we […]

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

  Photo credit : La Prensa Grafica El Salvador has been pounded by rain the last few days, due to a tropical depression sitting at a virtual standstill over Central America. Heavy rains put El Salvador in a very vulnerable position.  We are in the final weeks of the rainy season, so rivers were high before the rains. Now, they are overflowing and flooding communities around the country. The rains have also triggered numerous landslides causing damage to roads and homes. Thousands have been evacuated and there have been deaths in El Salvador, and the other Central American countries. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Irwin is headed this way too. Please pray for the people of El Salvador and the rest of Central America!

The Calm Before The Storm

Today is first official day of hurricane season. Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans we could be dealing with up to 18 hurricanes.  But you would never know we are in storm season by glancing into my backyard. There is a cool breeze, sunshine, and blue skies. The kids are playing in the garden and everything is calm and peaceful for the moment. But I am bracing myself because we are entering into the “insanity” season as I like to call it. Our schedule (and I use the term “schedule” very loosely) involves quite a lot of hecticness in the months of the North American summer. The insanity comes with all of the short-term mission teams. We LOVE having the teams and also the individual volunteers that come. It’s a treat […]