Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tropical Storm Agatha
















Life can change in an instant. Here we are standing with Dr. Tun on the top of what used to be his relative's homes. You can see in the background the top of another home. I wish you could see the landslide. It looks ominous even now. And now that there are no trees holding the soil in place, with the next downpour, it can only get worse. Only a few blocks down an entire family was buried alive with only their 16 yr. old daughter surviving. We are hoping the church can contact her and we can provide a home for her. The next picture above is one of many 'derrumbes' (landslides) in the street to San Lucas where we volunteer. Again, it's not hard to predict the continuing downpour of not only rain but soil that will erode as we begin the rainy season here. One blessing is that the people now have wood to cut. There are trees in the streets for miles. The next picture is a town close to San Lucas. The landscape is horrendous now. It was once a finca, or coffee plantation. That was then. Now it looks like another planet. Only gigantic boulders and rocks which tumbled down from the volcano Toliman with the gushing rainwater and leveled the homes where the workers lived. Veronica lost her grandmother and grandfather in the landslide. This finca is gone forever and the jobs and the homes of their workers. The force of nature can be terrible. The government promises that the people will receive land for rebuilding their homes. And where will that land be?????Next to another mountain? That's the only type of land around here. Who knows if we end up having to construct more buildings for future use. Will and I have already planned in the past to store food for our neighbors should the roads cut us off from getting to the stores. We have been supplying water to the people in Agua Escondida. They lost their pipes in the storm. Infact, three villages close-by have no potable water. Our friend in a town below us said that his hotel is now a refuge for those that lost their homes. And they are cut off from the surrounding areas because of the landslides. So now we are watching and listening to see how we can help others..........





14 comments:

wjhbrook said...

This is unbelievable, but then again, all too predictable. We can't imagine what it's like for you to be in the midst of it all. We are praying for you and will consider at John group tomorrow morning something more concrete to do in response.
Blessings and love,
Wes

Sue said...

Such distressing devastation! In the midst of these critical needs, we know you will be seeking to faithfully discern how to respond. You have such beautiful hearts for God. Take care, dear ones. We hold you in Love.

Marilyn said...

Hi,Will and Diane, You are often on my mind and in my prayer. Thank you for sharing about your life in Guatemala. I am saddened to hear how Agatha has left a path of death and destruction. I am encouraged by your prayerful presence seeking to respond to the great need in whatever way you are led. You are a powerful ongoing witness to how God is present in all things. Know that you are held in prayer by your John's Gospel community. Praying with and for you as you respond to the pain and suffering that surrounds you. God is with you, as am I. Love, Marilyn

Liz said...

Know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many people in Western Washington.

e maupin said...

Life does indeed change in an instant! We were all thinking of you at the Thursday John's Gospel Bible study group, and feeling a bit helpless. I do know of an Issaquah group that is trying to get started in disaster response housing. Perhaps they can be of some help. Write to the Rev. Eddy Fowler-Lindner at responseabilitybuilders@yahoo.com. He is in Haiti right now, I think, but does get email. He is quite good at designing simple structures created from available materials which can be assembled by volunteers.
With love and prayers, Elizabeth Maupin

Tom Hayden said...

Diane & Will and all our brothers and sisters you are serving in Guatemala - Just want to let you know that you are very much in our thoughts during these days of particular challenge for your community. Yesterday at our Catholic Engaged Encounter community gathering we all prayed for you. Love, Tom & Elaine

Elaine said...

Will and Diane: The photos that Will sent are so wild! I'm so sad for Veronica's loss, and the losses of so many others. On a happier note, I'm really enjoying sharing with others about my visit to Guatemala and Opal House. Our Engaged Encounter community had many questions yesterday, and I wrote a short article about my trip for our parish newsletter. The insights continue to unfold for me. Thank you so much for your love and hospitality.

Jean said...

Hi Will & Diane, I wish I could be with you to help. I'm sure there's plenty of work that even I could do. So instead I'll just continue praying and asking others to join in prayer. I know that God will be your biggest helper. Love and blessings Jean
Remember sometimes you have to take 2 steps back to get 3 steps ahead or in your case, slide 2 steps back.

Ginny said...

Will and Diane, Since hearing about Agatha I've had you in my prayers. Now that I've seen the pictures you've posted I see there is much destruction. I have Veronica in my prayers, too, as I'm sure she is grieving losing her grandparents. You and the people you are with daily will remain in my prayers. Love and blessings of our Lord, Ginny

Andrea said...

Thinking of you and your neighbors a lot and sending prayers your way. St Jude remembered the People of Guatemala today in the Prayers of the Faithful.
So glad that you are there to be with your neighbors in this difficult time. Have you heard any more about the 16-year-old girl? I hope she finds her way to you!
Keep us updated. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you both!

SUE HEALEY said...

Dear Will and Diane,
I am praying for you and your neighbors. The photos you sent were so sad. It must be overwhelming to know where to start. I am sure that you must be learning "One minute at a time". (That is a reoccuring theme for me as well.)
Sending a hug,
Sue Healey

Beate said...

Even though I am late to post it:
You are in my thought and prayers.
Hope to get to see you at the OpAL House BBQ.
With Love and Blessings
Beate

Jan Smith said...

Elaine&Judy have shared their excitement from their recent trip.I appreciate this thread of connection to people different from me.It makes the world smaller.But I know our God is not, our God having an enormous love, enough for all of Guatemala and us.I am happy to remind you that you are loved.

Liz said...

Always thinking of you, Will and Diane. I'm happy to leave a comment here at this post from June 2, but know that your friends and community here are eager to read how and what you are doing. Yesterday I talked with our young Mayan friend who was born in Guatemala; of course it made me think of you.