“The dog ate our homework” has been replaced by an equally unlikely excuse; two earthquakes in the last two weeks knocked out our internet and electricity, even our cell phone service. So much for cyber school!
I was actually on my way to an English class when the second earthquake rocked Mexico City on Tuesday at 1:14 p.m., exactly 22 years after the fateful 1985 quake that destroyed a large swath of the city. It was crazy. Click HERE to see Mayra’s reaction, as potted plants toppled, the ground roiling, and Mayra praying to God! I have never felt anything like it in my 20+ years here. But we are safe. Thanks for all your prayers and concern.
Right now I’m watching on live TV the attempted rescue of a 12 year old girl named Frida, buried under a mountain of rubble when her Jr. Hi school collapsed. There are many such stories these days; stories of heroism and tragedy. Mexico City has come together as I haven’t ever experienced before, unified in the face of loss. Statistics are inconsistent, but most agree that 44-48 buildings fell in Mexico City on Tuesday, and somewhere around 200 people lost their lives. A fly-over of the city revealed dust from fallen buildings and smoke from fires.
This afternoon we began in earnest to attempt to respond to the huge needs all around us. As a church we prefer to focus on needs nearby, and if possible, to be personally involved in distributing any help that we can offer. So today we followed a lead the one of the young people in the JM church mentioned…a fellow student who lived in a small village in the State of Mexico, near the Puebla and Morelos state lines. Close to the epicenter of the last quake.
A timely communication from a supporting church let us know that some money was on the way to help our post-quake outreach efforts. So we mobilized the troops…and loaded the van with everything from canned tuna to Corn Flakes. Oh, and Mexican Abuelita chocolate. (Everyone should have an Astro Van!)
The JM church had already mobilized, collecting foodstuffs and other items to donate. We were ready to roll! On the way we saw signs of the quake. Although we did not see whole rows of buildings demolished, we did witness many structures with either a roof or a wall damaged.
Once in the municipality of Ecatzingo, we were able to distribute Christian literature, Laura was able to hand out a couple Bibles, and we distributed both the sandwiches and food that the church brought as well as the rice, beans, milk and cereal, diapers and more that we were able to distribute. You can check out a short video on co-worker Jim Cottrill’s blog HERE.
Our son Daniel will be coming down in a few days to help us continue to reach out to our community during these difficult days.