ADRA Colombia

Adventist Church and ADRA Colombia assist avalanche in Viotá, Cundinamarca with 48 food supplies and message of hope

May 10, 2022 | ADRA Colombia Press.

After the natural phenomenon occurred on April 22nd in Viotá, Cundinamarca, Victor Vásquez, leader of the Adventist Church in the Tequendama district, conducted a census of the affected people in the area to report to the Colombian South Union, South Colombian Association, and ADRA Colombia in order to carry out the management of humanitarian aid. During the census, Vásquez identified 48 affected families, a number that coincided with national news reports.

In this way, the South Colombian Association began the task of seeking resources to bring food to the site of the avalanche. The Colombian South Union, ADRA Colombia, and the South Colombian Association provided financial contributions to travel to Viotá, Cundinamarca, make the purchase of food supplies, and finally personally visit each home to deliver the supplies along with the 2022 mission book, ‘Ultimate Hope.’

[Photograph: ADRA Colombia]

On Thursday, April 27th, the association’s administration, including Pastor Willard Cano, Pastor Luis Rodrigo Peña, Mario Ariza (president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively), and departmental pastor Angel Ramírez, embarked on the journey with the ADRA Colombia team to personally manage and speak, pray, and embrace those families affected by the natural phenomenon.

Pastor Germán Guiza and Pastor Carlos Perche, director and associate of the Tequendama District, respectively (the district to which Viotá, Cundinamarca belongs), were in charge of guiding the distribution in the affected territory along with the church community.

The food supplies were purchased and organized in Tequendama. As the journey began, Mario Ariza, treasurer of the association, assured that it was a challenging trip with many obstacles and difficulties that delayed them. They had to make last-minute decisions such as changing the route, which was full of mud and stones.

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[Photograph: ADRA Colombia]

“Finally, God allowed us to reach the place where all the brothers and the affected community were waiting for us with great joy.”

Upon arrival, the smiles of those families made the challenging journey worthwhile. The team visited each home to deliver the food supplies, which met the standards set by the government and ADRA Colombia for such occasions. The supplies included:

“Vegetable oil, panela (unrefined cane sugar), rolled oats, rice, lentils, green and dry peas, chickpeas, beans, cornmeal for arepas, spaghetti, soup pasta, iodized salt, canned tuna, and chocolate.”

          – Mario Ariza, treasurer of the South Colombian Association.

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[Photograph: ADRA Colombia]

Additionally, the 2022 mission book “Ultimate Hope” was also delivered. Each family made comments full of excitement and gratitude. “There were even many speeches from some of the beneficiaries,” said Ariza.

Jair Florez, director of ADRA Colombia, analyzed the issues that led Viotá, Cundinamarca to experience this natural phenomenon during the visit to the area:

“It was observed that the drought prior to this rainy season significantly affected the terrain in the area, leading to the ‘water mattress’ effect and phenomenon. The land can no longer hold and experiences landslides. This is one of the major problems we are seeing: the poor land management and how the natural phenomenon collapses and follows its natural course.

There was also a need for food security, which we, along with the UCS, the local field, and ADRA Colombia, tried to address by providing food supplies to the affected families in Viotá, Cundinamarca.”

       – Jair Florez, Director of ADRA Colombia.

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[Photograph: ADRA Colombia]

Furthermore, Florez explained the importance of the church’s involvement with ADRA Colombia in order to reach more people throughout the national territory:

“It is very important for the church to participate in the collection processes we carry out annually. Each of these emergencies, whether natural or social, is addressed through ADRA Colombia. That is why the participation of our donors and volunteers is crucial, as together we provide the response to each of the needs that arise in Colombian territory.”

       – Jair Florez, Director of ADRA Colombia.

Thus, the Adventist Church and ADRA Colombia work together to reach territories affected by “food security, economic development, primary health care, disaster preparedness and response, and basic education” in Colombia.

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[Photograph: ADRA Colombia]

The treasurer of the South Colombian Association calls upon the Adventist Church in the South of Colombia:

The invitation is for the entire church to actively participate in the annual collection activities and also to support with their time and resources to address the needs of all the people who require assistance. Cases like this avalanche and others, such as families lacking food and people who have lost their homes due to rain or fires.

      – Mario Ariza, treasurer of the South Colombian Association.

Finally, Jair Florez commented:

Currently, ADRA Colombia is leading a project with funding from ADRA International in two major sectors, namely health and food security, for our Venezuelan migrants settled in the humanitarian corridor between Cúcuta and Bucaramanga and in the city of Bucaramanga.

We remain committed to seeking alliances with other institutions besides ADRA to continue benefiting the different vulnerable populations we have in Colombia, always focusing on justice, compassion, and love to build a socially connected Colombia.

      – Jair Florez, director of ADRA Colombia.