Friday, July 9, 2010
We've had a dramatic week in Monterrey this week. On the 1st of July, Hurricane Alex struck, dumping about 600mm of rain on our area in 24 hours. As a result, there was much flooding, destruction, homelessness etc. We were without power for 3 days and without water for 5. But our problems were pretty minimal compared to those living in neighbourhoods close to us.
And here's where the impressive actions of a little local church come in.
The pastor of this church (not our church, but a friend) lives in a house on the river which he moved into a month ago. On the night of the hurricane he had a foot of water and mud running through his downstairs rooms. That's all gone now, and has been replaced by a small army of people providing food for people in the area who have lost everything.
Three times a day, people from church gather to cook and then distribute hot meals around the neighbourhood - door to do. Kind of like meals on wheels, but its actually meals on gumboots - there is so much mud. When I joined the team last night, we walked carry meals through mud, twisted cars, rubbish and stormwater to reach people sitting in wrecked houses with no power and no water. What's more, it was pouring with rain and the river was starting to rise again - people were pretty tense.
The group from church has been doing this for a week or so, and they will continue to. I asked where the food comes from and he answered 'people just bring it.' Others in the area have realised what is going on and are dropping off bags of rice and other food. Its really quite amazing.
What they are doing is so valuable, because the infrastructure for helping people in relief centres or whatever doesn't really exist here - so its up to groups of individuals to make things happen. Its a great way for the local church to be taking an active, caring role in the community.