THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS
As many of you are aware on April 6th an earthquake hit the city of L´Aquila, Italy at 3:30 in the morning. On April 8th, Convoy of Hope Europe connected with the local Assembly of God church in L´Aquila.
This was my first time being able to join Convoy of Hope Europe on a disaster relief trip. Our main objective was to connect with the local church there and assess the needs. It´s Convoy´s mission to raise the arms of the local church through physical support, financial aide, food and clothing and any other way that can help the church be a light in their community during these desperate times the city is facing.
The first night that we were there we met with the General Secretary of the Italian Assemblies of God, Eliseo Cardarelli. Eliseo told us that the Assemblies of God reacted so quickly with their tent that they were actually one of the first to setup in this sport stadium to house those who were fleeing the city.
During a tour of the facilities the under secretary of the Ministry of Defense for Italy questioned why the church had the central spot in the camp and why it hadn´t been moved yet. The Camp Director proceeded to share that the Assemblies of God were one of the first to respond with aide to those of the city and were currently taking care of two men with Alzheimers and helping so many more.
The inside of the city was heavily guarded at the main entrances to make sure that people weren´t venturing into the city while the tremors were still very imminent. Our team was able to walk down a few streets that were empty to take some photographs. I must admit I was very nervous as many of the buildings were hanging by threads and any tremors would of easily given the last push they needed before completely falling.
We tried to find the church in the city, but to no avail. Thankfully Eliseo was able to take a few pictures of what is left of the church. The roof had collapsed and the the outside walls were leaning in opposite directions. It´s hard to see in the pictures but you can see cracks running everywhere showing that the structure has been completely worn.
The pastors have been told that they might not be able to rebuild in their current location. The history of the church there dates back 400 years and the city may restore it to it´s original state. Which leads to…
There are 3 phases that the church is going to be taking that will range from an immediate effect to a long term plan.
Continue to meet the immediate needs at the tent city. To find a location to hold meetings on Sundays.
The immediate goal is to move members of the church who are living in tents to a more stable living area and outside the current location they are in now. They are looking at pre-fabricated housing to move families into.
This will be the reconstruction of the church and church members homes which are salvageable. As of this week there is no estimated time as to when the church can begin reconstruction. But what is known is that it will be a complete reconstruction from the ground up.
Convoy of Hope Europe is currently raising funds and teams to send to L´Aquila to help in all of these phases.
One of the jobs I was assigned was to make a video that we could send out. Click the image below. It will take you to see the video and hear the Pastor of the church´s experience the night the earthquake hit as well as Central Italy’s Superintendent, Eliseo Fragnito who is the head point person for all these phases.
CLICK BELOW TO VIEW VIDEO
Click image to view video.