Lutherans are responding with aid and assessments of how to most effectively help after an Aug. 15 magnitude-8 earthquake in Peru left more than 500 people dead, 1,000 more injured, and at least that many homeless.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care immediately began contacting Synod partner churches and agencies in Latin America to determine the best ways it could help, and its relief partner Lutheran World Relief (LWR) committed $30,000 toward immediate response efforts to provide food and psychological support.
Strong aftershocks continued for several days after the massive quake struck.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care Disaster Response Director Glenn F. Merritt said in late August that representatives of the Synod mercy arm were making final preparations to conduct assessments of earthquake-affected areas in Peru.
He said he received word from Olga Groh, LCMS World Mission and World Relief and Human Care project management director for Latin America and the Caribbean, that she expected to be on the ground in Peru Aug. 28 to begin such an assessment.
“LCMS World Relief and Human Care stands ready to help in any way we possibly can those whose lives have been so tragically disrupted by this devastating earthquake,” Merrit said in a telephone interview.
Baltimore-based LWR is concentrating efforts through the interfaith agency Action by Churches Together.
Information on LWR’s Web site, www.lwr.org, states that its response will focus on the rural provinces of Castrovirreyna and Huaytara in Huancavelica, where LWR concentrates development work in Peru.
LWR is a cooperative relief partnership of the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, individuals, and congregations.
To help earthquake survivors in South America, earmark checks “Peru Earthquake Relief,” payable to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, and send them to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-9810. Or, call the credit-card gift line at (888) 930-4438, or make gifts securely online at www.givenowlcms.org.
To learn more about LCMS World Relief and Human Care, visit http://worldrelief.lcms.org, or call (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1380.
Updated Aug. 29, 2007