I am sure that that many of you heard some news on Hurricane Karl. We are fine in Veracruz. My understanding is that some believers suffered some material damage to goods and to parts of their homes. We have been in touch with believers and our understanding is that that they are ok. Much of the city of Veracruz and Boca del Rio is still without water and some areas without electricity. Our home is without water.
All access roads entering Veracruz had been closed since Saturday am because of water and water damage. We left Pachuca Conference about 12 noon on Saturday (trip normally takes 4 1/2 hours). As we got closer to VC on our way home we discovered that the highway was closed. Rather than wait in a long line of cars on the highway we waited in a 24hr PemEx Gas plaza well lit, plenty of parking, 24 store, washrooms etc.. for about 15 hours until a businessman gave us directions of the only way into Veracruz that had been opened. It took 3 1/2 hours to reach Veracruz and we passed by many landslidesbefore delivering the believers to their respective homes.
Hurricane Karl a Category, 4 hurricane with sustained winds at 240km hour (with wind gusts of 280) landed just north of Veracruz city. Veracruz recieved the rainfall in 24hrs what all of Mexico gets in a half a year. People located near rivers in the state of Vercruz suffered because the rivers swelled and overflowed. Cotaxtla where we have been working was devastated by a river that runs throught it. It happened at around 2am early Saturday morning and there was no warning and the electrivcity was out. The water from the river rose up so high it buried half the town in a raging torrent. The river rose 12 meters in 2 hours.Water even reached the third floor of houses and swept people looking for higher ground off into the torrent, townspeople say..
I was there yesterday and the need is overwhelming of the people. The only way of access to Cotaxtla is rather formidable, crossing difficult terrain and low running water. The trip took 10 hours round trip which would otherwise have taken about 2 hrs (round trip total). Martha Mendoza from Cotaxtla had gone with us to Pachuca Conference. The hardware store owned by the Mendozas was buried in the raging current. There is alot of information that I do not have including the state of the hall and the whereabouts of some christians, families of children meeting students in Cotaxtla, etc..We need more information.
As of last night the people have no water, electricity, telephone or medicine. It could be a worse crisis anytime because the town has extremely limited access. My understanding is that President Calderon will be visiting us here in the port and the town of Cotaxtla.
Here is a report that Lucio Mendoza gave (Marthas brother). Lucio Mendoza has attendend meetings with his family in Veracruz and in Cotaxtla. Martha attendend Pachuca Conference with us. The information below is in Spanish from El Universal (the leading national newspaper)
(The video below is in Spanish from El Universal (the leading national newspaper) It will give an idea to some who have been there of the damage.)
We are deeply burdened for the physical need of the people in Cotaxtla. Our deepest desire is that through this tragedy the gospel will prosper with hearts being opened in this needy and spiritually dark town to God’s love and saving power. We value greatly your prayers and care for the believers and all people affected by this powerful storm. Supplies are limited in the city but we are planning to assemble what we can of immediately needed items (water, clothes, food items, blankets etc…) and travel into Cotaxtla tomorrow God willing. We just learned that the highway may be open to Cotaxtla which should make access to the town easier.