Nathan Arce Newsletter
How Hard Is It In Venezuela Right Now?
Having been missionaries there for the past 11 years, we have laid our hearts bare for you in every prayer letter as we share all the miracles and blessings God has done for the ministry. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are no struggles we have to deal with, but it definitely means that God’s hand carries us through every struggle!
We have to be extremely cautious in what we share about Venezuela because, even though I grew up there, as an American citizen I am considered an immigrant.
How Hard Has It Been? We can only explain it through the reality that we have experienced there. With the aggressive hyperinflation the past year, the average worker’s monthly earnings are enough to buy a carton of eggs and some bread—that is, if one gets in line early enough to purchase them before supplies run out.
It was the norm for us to have about 30 people in our home for at least two of our daily meals in the months before we came to the US on furlough. Marllorys’ brother, who is carrying on the pastoral duties while we are away, is still daily using our house to feed and serve not only our church families, but those from the community as well.
A common occurrence, day or night, was having people knock on our door, asking for a ride to the hospital because of no available personal or public transportation, or no money to pay someone else to transport them. Countless times people would knock on our door pleading for medication to break a child’s fever or alleviate someone’s pain, even if all we could give them was aspirin. Medications prescribed from the hospital are either not available in the pharmacies or too expensive whenever found. We have church members who, even though they are teachers, engineers, farmers, secretaries, etc., barely eat twice a day.
The power outages are taking their toll on everyone. What little good food they can refrigerate is spoiled when power is cut off for days at a time. Extra food can’t be bought, since without power, grocery stores are unable to make electronic transactions and banks aren’t giving cash.
In spite of this, each weekend our church miraculously serves about 400 plates of food! Furthermore, our ladies go once a week to the hospital to donate food to patients, nurses, and doctors (yes, the lack of food affects everyone equally). This prayer letter is very different from our usual one, but this is the hard reality with which our people have to deal. Consequently, we are writing to inform you of the extreme difficulties in Venezuela at this time.
However, we also write to let you rejoice in the fact that God is still moving in the lives of His people there! Pastor Julio reported 27 baptized just two weeks ago.
Even though the church bus is broken down, our faithful, God-given pickup truck is bringing more people to church than ever! We are asking you to prayerfully consider as a church, as a family, or as an individual, to give towards the ministry of feeding the children through the church in Sanare, Venezuela. Also, especially consider collecting and shipping non-perishable and desperately needed items that will help us be a blessing in providing some of the physical needs our people now have.
We have information on how you may help in this matter. Special thanks to all those who have already donated and sent supplies! May God bless you richly for your love and concern for the Venezuelan people!
Click on the link below to learn more about how you can help.