Sunday here in the City, it looked like it was going to rain, but then it didn't. I didn't think anything of it until I left for dinner and there was dirt on everything - it took me a second to figure out it was ash. Volcán de Fuego didn't spew any lava, but what it did do was send extremely hot ash tumbling down the volcano in waves that ultimately took more than 65 lives, displaced thousands of people, and affected over 1.5 million people. Many people ran for their lives with only the clothes on their backs.
What I have seen is an outpouring of solidarity from Guatemalans. Every post on Facebook from my Guatemalan friends are filled with news articles, posts on how to donate, and prayers for their brothers and sisters affected by the volcano. Local businesses like Genba (the best bakery in Guatemala) have made their delivery guys available to collect donations, even if you don't buy any bread. The outpouring of generosity in this country is overwhelming, but not actually very surprising. Guatemalans are so loyal and take care of their people.
For Example...Iglesia Reforma has been asking for any and all leads to ways they can help. Larry Key (second from the right), one of the TEAM missionaries here, is involved in orphan care and so organized a team of to visit an orphanage and sweep ash off their roofs and sidewalks. There was 11 buildings and a nice layer of ash, but we had 25 people armed with brooms, masks, dustpans, and buckets and we managed to clear off all the roofs and the majority of the sidewalks before rain came in the afternoon. At one point we had to go buy more brooms because the guys on the roofs broke about 10 broom handles from working so hard!
As we were leaving, we got news that another eruption was happening right then. Thankfully we were fairly far away and on the opposite side of the majorly affected areas. On our way back, we listened to the radio as updates as to road closings and evacuation orders were given. I didn't understand everything, especially since I wasn't familiar with the names of the roads and towns in that area,