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Sharing space and saltines, Cozumel church helps Wilma’s victims

As Hurricane Wilma pounded Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, more than 130 people huddled inside the Cozumel church building, with little food and supplies. “It seemed she would never move off of us,” said Nancy Gardner, who oversees Ciudad de Angeles, a Christian home for orphaned, abandoned and abused children in Cozumel. “We had extraordinarily strong winds from the late hours of Thursday night until the late hours of Saturday night — almost nonstop.”

By Erik Tryggestad
The Christian Chronicle

December 1, 2005

As the late Octoberstorm lingered and the floodwaters rose, firefighters brought more people tothe church building. Minister Eliseo Ferryera knew the situation could becomedesperate. But he and the church members decided that they couldn’t turn peopleaway, so they made room.

The firefightersreturned and asked for food. They had been working for two days with nothing toeat. There was almost nothing left, but church members shared a package of saltinecrackers.

It wasn’t much, butFerryera said that it brought expressions of relief, delight and gratitude tothe faces of the weary firefighters.

Phil Waldron, aformer missionary to Mexico and member of the Campus View church, Athens, Ga.,saw the damage firsthand as he led a team to the affected areas of Mexico inearly November.

“Overall thesituation seemed to be stabilized,” Waldron said. The government is addressingpeople’s immediate needs, but church members in Cancun and Playa del Carmen toldWaldron that “the real need would be in the near future when the subsidies ranout.”

That could be as soonas two weeks, he said.

Churchmembers in Atlanta are collecting funds for relief, and Nashville, Tenn.-basedHealing Hands International also is assisting victims.

Filed under: International

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