As the Venezuela crisis becomes worse and the government continues to refuse aid, churches are mobilizing to help the poverty-stricken nation.
With Venezuela’s economic meltdown, which is considered as the worst financial crisis in its history, the country’s president Nicolás Maduro stubbornly refuses aid even as things are projected to get worse.
Many children in Venezuela are no longer able to enjoy three meals a day. According to a recent study conducted by research firm More Consulting, half of them eat only one or two meals a day, which affects their school attendance and their mental health.
“The situation in Venezuela is of a scarcity and desperation. There are no food supplies or basic items for cooking in the stores, so even if you have money, it’s not available to buy,” Rosa Contreias Hart, Latin American area director for nonprofit organization Christian Aid Mission, said.
In October, Venezuela and Colombia have agreed to a “provisional” opening of the border to allow Venezuelans to buy food, medicines and other necessities in Colombia. People cross the river border weekly to look for food supplies.
To provide help in the food crisis, Christian Aid Mission has partnered with a ministry in Colombia that provides rice, flour, clothes and most importantly, the Word of God to Venezuelans who cross the border in search of food. The ministry has three churches along the border.
“So in the midst of this scarcity and need, the church has organized themselves to be able to provide these supplies,” Contreias Hart said, adding that the three churches had been “strategically located in these border cities so they can reach the people who are coming to buy supplies for them to take back to their home in Venezuela.”
And as the churches help in providing for the people’s physical needs, they help them with their spiritual needs as well by cultivating relationships with them and sharing the love of God to them. As a result, “many of these families are crossing the border to the church on Sundays and worshipping with the church … basically becoming members of the congregation.”
As aid has been hindered from entering Venezuela, God made a way for the people to access help and opened the door for them to know the gospel.
Contreias Hart asked for prayers for the work of Christian Aid Mission.
“We ask for your prayers for the Venezuelan people in this time of need and desperate situation, that through the church’s outreach they will get the food and medicine supplies they need, and also that by talking to the ministry leaders and church and missionaries, they will share the cup of Christ with them and that they will have their spiritual needs met as well,” she said.