Two months after Hurricane Otis slammed the area surrounding Acapulco, Baptists in Mexico – with help from Texas Baptists – continue to rebuild damaged church buildings, provide financial support for pastors and supply food to families in need.
Hurricane Otis made landfall at 1:25 a.m. on Oct. 25 near Acapulco as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph. It claimed at least 50 lives and caused more than $10 billion in property damage – including significant damage to churches in the state of Guerrero.
Baptists in areas of Mexico unaffected by the hurricane responded quickly to meet needs in hard-hit communities.
Regional Baptist conventions – the equivalent of associations of churches in the United States – worked with the National Baptist Convention of Mexico to mobilize volunteers and provide aid.
Baptists throughout Mexico supplied food for people in need and began helping churches rebuild damaged facilities. The Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) provided financial assistance.
David Hernandez Nuño, legal counsel for the National Baptist Convention of Mexico, wrote a Dec. 20 letter to Josué Valerio, director of the BGCT’s Center for Missional Engagement, expressing appreciation and reporting plans for the immediate future.
“The offering you have sent has been invaluable in the supply of provisions like a community feeding center, materials and tools needed to rebuild church buildings, and financial aid for pastors whose income has been greatly impacted by the natural disaster. Your offerings have been a blessing for our brothers and sisters in Guerrero,” he wrote.
Baptists in Mexico viewed the gifts from Texas Baptists as coming “from the goodness of God’s hand,” he continued.
“Your generosity is a living testimony of love and the solidarity that characterizes our communities of faith, and it is an encouragement to us to continue collaborating, so that in every difficult circumstance God’s love is manifested,” he wrote.
Over the next three months, the National Baptist Convention of Mexico will provide financial aid to 19 pastors in communities affected by Hurricane Otis, he reported. The Mexican Baptist convention also will supply food for community feeding centers.
“Baptist regional conventions in Mexico are helping in this effort of provision and rebuilding,” he wrote.
“On behalf of all the members of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico, we express our sincere gratitude to Texas Baptists for your generosity and love. May God’s grace guide your efforts and that we’ll continue to collaborate in the work that has been entrusted to us.”