Relief for Colombian flood victims

20 Jan, 2011 | Colombia
OM International
Flooded houses in Gambote, Colombia. Many parts along the Colombian coast, including the village Gambote, have been affected by the worst flooding in the country in fourty years. OM representative Martha Ardila in Colombia offers relief, together with an initiave called S.O.S. Gambote.
“There is nothing left”, says Martha Ardila. “Everything is destroyed. Their homes, the school, the church and the grocery store.”

A recent visit to the village Gambote confronted the representative of OM in Colombia with the results of the terrible flooding in her country. Gambote is only about a thirty minute drive from Cartagena, the city where she lives.

The fishing village had never seen anything like this. On 13 December at 10pm, the inhabitants experienced the horror of the worst flooding in its history. The water came up above their waistline and in some places to the neck. “Only a few belongings could be saved”, says Martha. “Since that night, most of the 800 families that make up this fishing village fled to hide in shelters in the Arjona area or found refuge with relatives in Cartagena.”

For Christmas Martha asked her family to give an offering for the victims of the flood. Many others did the same. She joined an initiative called “S.O.S. Gambote”. With the money collected, the group bought mattresses, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, pillows, cloths, water and food. On the 10th of January, they took the supplies to Gambote. “We were able to help 63 families and 300 children affected by the flood.”

Torrential rains

Nearly two million people have been affected by the recent flooding in Colombia. The torrential rains that hit the country in the past few months caused its worst flooding in 40 years. Over 240 people have died and many had to leave their homes behind, especially along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

There is a lot of work to do, says Martha. With S.O.S. Gambote, she’s planning to go back this weekend to the destroyed village near her hometown. She sees the relief work as a good opportunity to show the love of Jesus in a practical way, especially since OM is just starting the work in Colombia. “I would love to take this opportunity to bring these people some material and spiritual relief.”

OM Colombia would love to receive donations for the relief work in Gambote. There are still many supplies needed, like crutches for disabled people, tents, gas cylinders, pots, medicine, mosquito nets and more mattresses. “Please consider collecting a love offering to help the people of Gambote who are affected by the flood. Help us to help them!”

For more information, please contact OM Colombia through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To give, contact your local OM office and designate your gift to: “Andean Region – relief work flooding Colombia” (OM fund 22).

Credit: OM International · © 2011 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

OM’s role in the Church is to mobilise people to share the knowledge of Jesus and His love with every generation in every nation. OM pioneers and leads initiatives to redeem lives, rebuild communities and restore hope in over 110 countries.

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