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COCAL AID RELIEF 

COVID/ Hurricane Eta/Iota

HURRICANE ETA

COCAL GRACIAS is committed to provide for families in need in the wake of Hurricane Eta.  We are assisting churches that are housing homeless, and also helping neighbors around the ministry.  Honduras is now being threatened by Hurricane Iota.  Please keep us in your prayers!  

Cocal Relief Funds, provide food, bedding, and  hygiene products to those affected by the storms.

See Photos of Our COVID lockdown response.  Cocal Gracias Supplied food to over 1000 needy families.  

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A Call to Action from our Executive Director

The past week has been nerve racking as we have watched video after video sent from family and friends about the devastation from Hurricane Eta.  COCAL GRACIAS is not a disaster relief organization, but how can we not do something?  This takes precedence over anything else we can do.  There is so much need in Honduras right now.  We thought the lockdown was bad, when families were stuck inside their homes without food.  Now families have no home and are living in churches and schools.  Whole houses destroyed, cattle and crops lost, San Pedro Sula under water.  We are still trying to communicate with some family members we have not been able to locate.  We Thank you for your unwaivering support through this chaotic year.  Thank you Cocal Gracias and God bless!  

 

-Brian Ruark 

Executive Director

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COCAL HURRICANE UPDATE

         Tuesday night, hurricane Eta smashed into Nicaragua and began dumping millions of gallons of water on Central America.  In Honduras, there was no warning.  Within hours Honduras started to flood.  There has been damage and deaths reported in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

In Puerto Cortes, the peninsula that we call downtown flooded.  La Esperanza, the neighborhood where MLV is located, also flooded.  By Wednesday night we had received phone calls and photos from family and friends.  Then the rain really started and the flooding got worse!  Don Will and his extended family, Mario, Dona Mari and her grandson all came to the Ministry for shelter.  Will’s house is under three feet of water, and Mari’s house is under more.  Thankfully they are all well.  We have communicated with our whole staff and everyone is alright.  Wet and flooded in some cases, but ok.  There are however 53 families sheltered in the La Esperanza public school and many more in other schools.  While most of their houses are safe or have suffered flooding of a foot or two Some people have lost everything.  All their possessions have been swept away or damaged.  Until today, La Esperanza was completely cut off from Puerto Cortes.  Our Neighborhood is also cut off.  Roads have become raging rivers!  A neighbor sent us a video of the road below our road, and the water was up four feet and strong enough to sweep cars away.  The river in Agua Caliente flooded and I believe they have no power, because Pastor Juan lost communication with me.   Fortunately, while there is a lot of flooding, in Puerto Cortes the water dissipates rapidly after the rain stops.  We are praying that it stops soon.  However, this is not true for the rest of the country. San Pedro is much worse.

          We have seen shocking and horrifying videos of San Pedro Sula and La Lima just an hour and an hour and a half South of Puerto Cortes.  The Sula valley is one of the most important areas of the country.  It holds major agricultural farms and is home to the second largest city in the nation.  It also sits low, surrounded by mountains.  In San Pedro and La Lima, many neighborhoods flooded with water covering houses completely.  People have been stranded for a 3 days on the tops of roofs, waiting for evacuation.  Unfortunately, there are few boats, mostly manned by civilians that are able to help.  We have seen several videos on Facebook with people telling their locations and begging for help.  Pastor Hugo tells me that several families he knows were on roofs all last night, and it was still raining.  The airport is underwater and highways are gone.  Whole bridges have washed away.  It is a crisis like I have never seen.  Thousands of homes, entire neighborhoods are gone.  Pastor Hugo tells me that they have families living also in the church there and in his school.  Herds of cattle and other livestock have also drowned, unable to find ground to stand on and too tired to keep swimming. 

          Since Tuesday night,  there has been no electric service anywhere in the North Coast.  In many places, cell phone towers are down, and no one has water.  My teachers tell me that they are collecting rain water in buckets.  As I write this, it is 11 pm in Honduras and Pastor Hugo tells me that there are still hundreds of people on roof tops still waiting to be helped.  Fishermen from Puerto Cortes and Omoa are trucking their boats to San Pedro to help with the rescue, but it all takes time. Many people are worried because they cannot communicate with family in other parts of the country.  Many people are lost and unaccounted for.  They say it is worse than Hurricane Mitch that destroyed Honduras in 1998.

We woke up to a news clip of Rina’s cousin in San Pedro,  a flooded neighborhood behind her, and she herself standing in the water,  crying and begging someone to go back into the flood and rescue the people that were still trapped, of which there are children and elderly who cannot cross the deep waters.

          We still have some funds from our food drive back in August that we will be sending to help feed the people that are now homeless and sheltered in the churches.  They urgently need water and clothing as well.  I have asked Kimberly to make an assessment of the families most affected around our Ministry, to see how we can help them, and Pastor Hugo in San Pedro is helping me do the same there.  Cocal Gracias would like to help in any way we can and will be accepting donations on behalf of Honduras over the next month.  Please consider giving.  I have seen the generosity of this group in the past and we need it once more.  God bless.

 

$25 Provides food for a week

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