GCHope received wonderful pictures from Michele Loyo’s trip to Peru back in late May. Michele and other members of Refuge Ministries International distributed LifeStraws to the victims of the Amazon River flooding in Loreto, Peru. The LifeStraws provided flood victims safe drinking water and we asked Michele to give us a recap of her trip:
GCHope: How did you hear about Giving Children Hope?
Michele: I’ve volunteered there on a couple occasions through Saddleback Church.
GCHope: Tell us what you did in Peru and what your experience was like.
Michele: I’ve been going to Peru (Amazon) for years now ministering to villages and people living along the Amazon and it’s tributaries. When we went this past time to help during the floods, I was shocked to see the devastation. 250,000 people displaced and five times that in farmland flooded. People had set up camps on any dry land they could find. Our goal was to hand out the LifeStraws to the people who were still out on the river, provide food and clean drinking water as much as we could. We ended up distributing the LifeStraws to two villages. And, on our property, which is a half mile from a “camp” of 350 displaced people, we distributed food and clean water to anyone who needed it.
GCHope: What did people in Peru think of the LifeStraws?
Michele: Nobody had seen anything like them (including my group). They were absolutely blown away that they could drink directly from them … and out of the river. The Amazon River is a “muddy” river. It’s brown but for many that’s the only water source. A water source they know that makes them sick. Now, with the LifeStraws they can drink from the river if they have too. It took them a bit of time before they would try it. We had to do it first to show them that even the Americans can drink from their water and we won’t get sick.
GCHope: Are you planning to go back to Peru or anywhere else for missions?
Michele: Peru is where my heart is and where God has me ministering. I go to the Amazon part of Peru a couple of times every year. My next trip will be in August to follow up with the people we gave the LifeStraws to, and to also set up a water purifying system on our property where we will be able to provide clean water to the surrounding area on a regular basis.
GCHope: Any other comments you would like to add?
Michele: We would love to get more LifeStraws! News travels fast in the Amazon and our church partner there has been bombarded with requests from more remote villages for some LifeStraws … We are looking for someone who may want to partner with us to be able to take another shipment of them in August. So far, we haven’t found anyone but with God’s help, someone will step forward. We do our part, He’ll do His :). We are also looking for someone to sponsor the two cisterns we need for the water purification system, which again, will bring a permanent clean water drinking solution to the area and will serve approximately 200 people on a regular basis. That cost is $600.
Thank you to GCH for all you do and for your donation to us thus far! We couldn’t have made the impact we did without your help and I look forward to working with you again and again in the future.
GCHope’s staff would like to thank our donors and partners for extending a helping hand to ease the troubles of our brothers and sisters in Peru. If you would like to become a sponsor or make a donation for LifeStraws, please contact Janet Valencia for more information.
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