Christian Love Amid Disasters in Mexico
A MEXICO CITY newspaper reported: “During the last 20 days, natural phenomena—hurricanes and an earthquake—have swept over the Mexican coasts leaving behind a wake of death and destruction.”—El Financiero, October 17, 1995.
The Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco were severely mauled by Hurricane Opal in early October. Almost 200 were killed, more than 150 were injured, 500,000 suffered losses, and thousands of homes were damaged or completely destroyed.
As soon as the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mexico heard of the damage, someone was sent to find out how the Witnesses in the affected areas were doing. It was learned that more than 2,500 of them had been forced to leave their houses. These were kindly received into the homes of fellow Witnesses.
Relief centers were organized. Food, clothing, and money were provided for those in need. After the waters of the floods receded, the Witnesses began to rebuild the homes of their Christian brothers.
On October 9, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale damaged the Mexican states of Colima and Jalisco. Eight Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses were severely damaged. Twelve of their houses collapsed, and about 65 were damaged. Again, a relief committee was organized, and assistance was provided.
Then, on October 20, another earthquake struck, shaking the state of Chiapas. The houses of an additional 88 Witnesses were destroyed, and 38 were severely damaged. Two Kingdom Halls were completely ruined, and four others were badly damaged. Almost at the same time, floods associated with Hurricane Roxanne damaged the homes of about 80 Witnesses in the state of Veracruz. Four houses were completely destroyed. A relief fund established by Jehovah’s Witnesses also provided for these victims quickly.
Although some Witnesses suffered bruises and broken bones, no one died in these natural disasters. Altogether, some 24 tons of food and 4 tons of clothing were sent to those in need. Many observers expressed admiration of the relief work. A lady in Colima said: “I had only heard that Jehovah’s Witnesses are very united, but now I can see it with my own eyes.”
Frequently people noted regarding the Witnesses and their relief work: “These really are brothers.” “They are the better organized group.” Some were even heard to say: “If all the relief groups that came to help worked like Jehovah’s Witnesses, the entire town would already be clean.”
Now over 440,000 Witnesses are sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom with their fellow Mexicans. The love they manifested for one another during these recent natural disasters provided a powerful witness.—John 13:34, 35.