Alma Isabel and her son Bryan hid under a bed as a tornado swept through their home in the city of Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. When the storm stopped, only one cement block from their home and taco business remained standing.
A search team dug the mother and son up from the rubble. Isabel survived with back injuries and bruises. Bryan suffered gashes to his head.
The mother and son are safe now, but the city lies in ruins.
Isabel and her son are just one example of the hundreds of people churches in America are helping after the Class 4 tornado hit on Monday. The twister killed 14 people, injured about 300 more, and damaged 4,000 homes.
Five miles across the border, in the sister-city of Del Rio, Texas, churches are responding.
Pastors and neighbors are gathering goods like diapers, bread, milk, and water to send across the border. Grace Community Church, Trinity House of Worship, Victory Baptist Church and Baruch HaShem Messianic Jewish Congregation are a few of the many congregations participating.
“Considering the circumstances, people are rushing,” Samuel Garcia, pastor of Trinity House, said.
Garcia explained the church feels a duty to help its neighbors.
“One of the things that you see across the Bible is the benevolence of God. … I believe when the church assists, it’s not so much looking at whether they are American citizens. It’s about one person helping another human person,” Garcia said.
Instead of driving the five miles across the border to Acuna, Garcia’s church is donating all supplies collected to the Red Cross.
“We were having difficulties getting individuals to cross over, so to expedite the process we went ahead and donated to the Red Cross instead of delaying it,” Garcia said.
A few people from his congregation work for the Red Cross and are currently located in the center of where the Tornado hit. Garcia felt confident that supplies would make it to the right people.
Grace Community Church took a different approach. They are searching for a partner church in Mexico to ensure their package is delivered to honest hands. Due to the corruption in Mexico, they are nervous about sending it through a third party.
Bulldozers cleared off the rubble on Tuesday to allow families to retreive any salvageable possessions. Isabel found only her stepfather’s wallet and a pair of mismatched shoes. These are the only possessions the family has left.
“I don’t have papers, I don’t have anything. There are a lot of people who lost everything,” said Perla Isabel Aguinaja. “We have no place to live.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service. Used with permission.
Publication date: June 3, 2015