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SEPTEMBER 21 UPDATE FROM GIFFORDS:
Dear friends, family members and supporters
As most of you know, Mexico City and the states of Puebla and Morelos were hit by a devastating earthquake. Blanca and I want to update you on how this affects us and our ministry.
1) We want to encourage you with the good news: our son Daniel is safe. Our colleagues from Resonate, Pablo and Sheryl Canche are also safe, and our friends are all safe. Many of them have been helping in the rescue efforts. And we are on home service in Michigan, wishing we could be there helping, too. And our home was not affected. We live in an area built on sturdy volcanic rock, in contrast to the affected areas built on an old lakebed. Phone and electricity were restored early yesterday to our home and many others.
2) We ask you to pray: for rescue efforts - there are still children and others trapped under buildings. For those who have lost loved ones and homes and possessions. For those who are living in shelters because their homes our apartment buildings collapsed or are still considered structurally unsafe to return to. For Christian witness - we are grateful to see the solidarity shown my all kinds of people in Mexico - digging people out of rubble, providing food and supplies, supporting rescue personnel, donating blood, praying, and much more. May our Presbyterian and other Christian brothers and sisters not neglect their responsibility to their neighbors but that they might serve and show the love of Jesus to those around them.
3) We ask you to consider giving. Resonate does not focus on disaster relief. World Renew to my knowledge does not have anything in place for relief to this particular earthquake. And we Giffords personally are not allowed to be channels for informal giving beyond our Resonate budget. But there are already plenty of alternatives. See here for some: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/reader-center/donate-mexico-earthquake-.html?mcubz=0&_r=0 Topos Mexico in particular is doing a great job and could use the help.
4) We ask you to consider future help: a few of our churches have mentioned to us since we arrived on home service that they are interested in sending us teams. Well, here is a good opportunity that could use several teams: Jojutla, Morelos, was one of the hardest hit parts of Mexico. Many homes were destroyed. And the Reformed Presbyterian Church building collapsed completely. The RPC is a denomination we work with, and I have spoken in that church. See a video of the damage here: https://www.facebook.com/abarcauriostegui/videos/vb.100001022396686/1677928625584534/?type=2&theater
Would any of our supporting churches, be open to organizing construction teams to help rebuild this church? I don't have an idea of time frames, budgets or details at this early stage - we are on home service until late January of next year - but we would be interested in hearing your ideas. Please email us if you are game to help.
Thank you for your prayers and consideration. Blessings to you all in Christ,
Dave and Blanca Gifford
Christian Reformed World Missions, Mexico City
Resonate Global Mission
Engaging People. Embracing Christ.
A Ministry of the Christian Reformed Church