Missions

Venezuela Ministry

How could anyone imagine that a chance encounter between two men at Home Depot would develop into a plan to feed hungry people in Venezuela? But that’s just the kind of event our God arranges for his people who are seeking opportunities to do good.

My husband, Steve Watson, retired from preaching after 54 years and we moved to a community near our sons’ families in Nashville. He has continued to practice Spanish which he began to learn after several medical mission trips to Guatemala. Often, to keep up, he will “profile” men who looked like possible practice “victims.” This is how he met Cristian who was also shopping at Home Depot. He usually just walks up to someone and says, “Necesito practicar mi español contigo ?” Cristian’s response was, “Yes, if you can help me with my English.” The friendship began.

What followed was an invitation to their apartment for a typical Venezuelan meal. Armed for protection from Americans with other Venezuelan friends, Cristian and his wife, Anjelica welcomed us to a delightful evening. Promises of help with English followed the meal. After many Bible studies, and a baptism, we made a heartfelt commitment to these people and the desperate plight of their family and friends in Venezuela.

This ministry started slowly. Being current with news events in Venezuela and interested in their story, we asked if we could help. Anjelica and Cristian had already been sending a box of food and other needed items to their families every other month. We began by helping them send a box every month. Cristian and Anjelica never asked us for help, we just began to consider what we would need most if we had nothing to eat. As you probably know, hyperinflation (2000%) is one of the reasons they cannot buy food. Their currency is of little value. A week’s salary will not buy enough food for a family for even a day. Anjelica said God gave Venezuela the mango tree which is how people are surviving. Hardest hit, of course, are children, who cannot get milk or protein.

Steve and I organized a team that met with Cristian and Anjelica. After a slide presentation to the church, we now have a room dedicated to storage and packing. We send boxes monthly through a shipping company that guarantees door to door delivery. We received the most heartwarming pictures of our deliveries, and our people there are generous in sharing with others. More names of friends who need help keep coming, and we keep adding boxes. Since June, we have sent 115 Lowes heavy duty ​medium moving boxes to Venezuela, packed with food, medical supplies, clothing, school supplies and personal care items. We now are consistently sending 20+ boxes each month to various sites.

Nearby in Charlotte, TN, is Country View Market where bulk food is sold. Their generous help supplies oats, flour, sugar and powdered milk which are staples of our shipments. The Pegram church secretary orders many items from different places, working to get the best prices. A volunteer organizes everything which makes our packing easier. We have many people who donate food and any items we request. A ladies group makes receiving blankets for babies. We usually send 36 cartons of baby formula to 4 hospitals for mothers who are not getting enough food. At present we are sending four hospital boxes which include wound care supplies and over the counter medical sypplies. We’ve just added several boxes to doctor who serves 150+ children in the mountain areas. Pedialite is a critical need.

We also send clothes. Parents in Venezuela have to decide if their meager funds can buy food or clothes, and the need is so great. School supplies are in short supply.

How is all this possible? An average box costs at least $250 to fill and ship. Steve is constantly raising money. So many friends, family and churches where we have served are generous. Many individuals and businesses in the area also donate. If you would like to support this ministry financially, make your check to the Pegram Church of Christ, with tabbed Venezuela Support, and send to PO Box 439, Pegram, TN, 37143. If you need more information please call Steve (706-207-9513).

Praise God for his goodness.

Jane Watson

 
Mission Fact of the Day
3,678 people groups in South Asia are least-reached, totaling 1,705,000,000 individuals.
Mission Fact of the Day
3,678 people groups in South Asia are least-reached, totaling 1,705,000,000 individuals.
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