Sometimes, all it takes is the openness of one person to make a difference. In one Colombian community which was devastated by recent flooding, help came in the form of a pastor whose faithfulness produced change.
In June, a community in northwest Columbia was hit with flooding that damaged every home. Thankfully Erbin, a local pastor, had already been preparing for their response. His church had built parts of its stage on elevated platforms so their most valuable equipment wouldn’t be damaged.
Even when water levels reached above Erbin’s head, their church recovered and was ready to serve others.
Partnering with Convoy of Hope, he communicated with the neighborhood through messaging apps to figure out what they needed. The largest need quickly came to light — mattresses. So Convoy provided 160 mattresses, providing a safe place for people to get much-needed sleep.
“After organizing the distribution, the pastor’s phone was blowing up with gratitude and people sending him pictures of their new mattresses,” said Convoy’s Brian Correia, adding that the pastor had the vision and took strategic steps to plan ahead.
Erbin’s leadership and the church’s heart are still changing their community. Shortly after their flood response, Convoy helped them start a Children’s Feeding program. They’re currently feeding 80 children five days a week, and they expect that number to grow.
Pastor Erbin has been intentional about helping with the needs of the church for some time. He doesn’t hesitate to humble himself for the sake of others. He will dig through the trash, which is considered “lowly” to do for someone in his position, so he can sell the recyclables he finds. He then uses those funds for the church’s programming. During the flood in June, he lost all his personal possessions — but still served with everything he had.
His church recognized this, and members helped with recovery. Venezuelans whom the church had been helping pitched in to recover from the flooding, even though they were staying as refugees.
“The church just has a huge heart for service,” Brian said.
Thank you for your generous support. You are helping Convoy teams respond to disasters and grow communities after the initial response. Because of you, Erbin can see change happen in a community he cares deeply about.
To help church’s partner with Convoy to provide relief to their communities, visit convoy.org/donate.