This past Sunday, one of our Deacons of Mercy, John Buffington, shared about an opportunity we have as a church to care for people experiencing great need in Venezuela. Read his words below. If you feel led to help, click here for additional information.
You are likely aware that the country of Venezuela is experiencing a major economic and humanitarian crisis. Nearly 9 in 10 Venezuelans live in poverty. The country’s economy has tanked so extensively that inflation has reached an astronomical 10 million percent this year putting necessities like bread essentially out of reach for the majority of the population. Hunger is pervasive. Health care has become very difficult to access, and to make matters worse, infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria are spreading rapidly. Access to water and sanitation is worsening. And as Venezuela unravels, crime rates have soared and women and children have become highly vulnerable to human trafficking.
The crisis in Venezuela hits very close to home for a number of folks in our congregation. In particular, Pedro and Celia who have been attending KingsWay for several months. They will be returning to Venezuela in February when their visa expires. Pedro wrote the following:
‘Have you ever wondered what it means to live in need? Imagine getting up one day to go to work. You want to turn on the lights but there is no electricity. You go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and when you turn on the water the only thing that comes out of the tap is a bit of mud followed by a whistle. You look for the toothpaste but realize that your spouse or one of your children just finished the last bit of toothpaste that was left. Resigned, you go the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and go to the salary of a month represented in a box of thirty eggs, of which only three remain and you have to make breakfast for four. You pray, asking the Lord that what little they can eat will be multiplied in their stomachs because it is very likely that until that night you won’t have another bite to eat.’
So how can we help? We can purchase basic necessities that can be used to fill boxes that will make their way to Venezuela. We are partnering together with an organization that uses containers, ships, and trucks in order to get these needed goods to Venezuela. Once the containers make it to the city of El Vigía, they will be received by various mercy ministries. One of our members here at KingsWay, Alicia, has a sister who will be receiving these boxes for distribution to different groups, churches, schools, etc. These boxes have a long journey ahead of them, but they are making it to Venezuela.
A shipping container is arriving in Richmond on October 27 to pick up the boxes that we put together. The last day we can accept items for these boxes is Thursday, October 24. The deacons of mercy hope that this is a cause that we can to embrace as an entire body.
“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
And satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
Then your light will rise in the darkness,
And your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
And will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
Like a spring whose waters never fail.”
– Isaiah 58
If you feel led to help, please click here for a list of items needed, box prices, and other shipment information. All donations must be received at KingsWay by Thursday, October 24th at 5:00 pm.