December 21, 2019
/ Apartadó, Antioquía, Colombia
/ Daniela Arrieta/IAD News Staff
After heavy rains caused the San José River in the municipal district of Apartadó, in Antioquía, North Colombia, to overflow Seventh-day Adventists moved quickly to provide shelter and gather relief supplies to help dozens of families affected.
“It was a very difficult experience for us,” said Jhon Jairo, one of those affected by the flooding. “Before we knew it, the river overflowed and swept away everything that we had. The community was left with nothing. My ranch came all down.”
Church leaders, along with church member volunteers, moved quickly to open two Adventist churches to shelter 110 affected families. “We began working with a food center thanks to the donations of relief goods sent in from other Adventist churches,” said Rafael Paez, leader in the Apartadó Adventist Church. “Praise God and thanks to them we were able to offer food to those affected.”
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Colombia’s director, Jair Florez, soon met with the mayor’s office and officials of emergency disaster response of the district to support and evaluate the needs of those affected.
“We worked closely with the response officials to assist in the aftermath,” said Florez. According to the official figures, 2,656 families were affected totaling more than 9,000 people. Florez said there were 29 Adventist families.
ADRA Colombia and the West Central Colombian Conference distributed mattresses, stoves, nonperishable food, clothes and cleaning kits to dozens of families.
“From the moment that we found out about the situation, the Nueva Sión and the Renacer Adventist Churches opened their doors to provide refuge,” said Manuel Mogollón, district leader in Apartadó. The church also opened its school as a shelter. “We provided breakfast, lunch and dinners and provided clothes and food for many persons affected during that week.”