LU Send Now takes the Gospel and aid to Mexico to help earthquake relief
- Send Now team heads to little-aided Mexican state of Morelos to help victims of the Sept. 19 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
- The team is partnering with an Impact Youth Worldwide and hopes to bring encouragement and the Gospel to those impacted by the earthquake.
A Liberty University Send Now team left for Morelos, Mexico Saturday, Sept. 30 to provide disaster relief to those devastated by a powerful earthquake that hit central Mexico Sept. 19.
Luis Felipe Puente, the coordinator of Mexico’s Civil Protection agency, reported on Twitter Sept. 29 that the death toll had reached 358 from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said economic damages could be worth as much as $2 billion.
Amid this mass destruction, LU Send Now deployed a team of 10 students and two leaders to help clear areas and provide supplies to those affected by the earthquake.
For team leader and LU Shepherd Carla Nava, this trip struck a more personal chord. Nava was born in the state of Morelos and lived there until she was 10 years old. Nava said she knows it will be hard to see devastation in the area, but she is still looking forward to serving in her home.
“I have a friend there right now, and she just told me it’s looking rough,” Nava said. “You’re talking about people’s houses, businesses, and people losing what they’ve worked their whole lives for. It will definitely be hard, but Mexicans are fighters.”
The epicenter of the earthquake was in the middle of Morelos, which is about an hour outside of Mexico City. NPR reported that even though the earthquake hit Morelos’ towns harder than the capital city, the region of Morelos has received less relief and attention.
Despite the state of the region, Nava said she knows the students will bring energy and hope to victims of the earthquake. The team will be partnering with an Impact Youth Worldwide camp in Morelos started by the Rawlings Foundation.
“That joy of the Lord is just so evident as the students are willing to help,” Nava said. “I think we impact through encouragement and joy. Then we are impacted by giants of the faith that we encounter in the midst of devastation.”
Although this is sophomore Zach Fenlason’s first Send Now trip, he has experience doing disaster relief work in the Philippines and knows the difficulties of serving victims of natural disaster.
“We just aren’t going to understand at all what they’re going through because a lot of us have not gone through losing a house or losing businesses or even losing friends,” Fenlason said. “So I think the hardest part is going to be keeping the entire focus on listening to them and hearing them out.”
Nava, who has been on several Send Now trips to places like Michigan, Mississippi and South Carolina, has seen the impact these trips have on students.
“We’ll most likely run into someone who can look at us and say, ‘I’ve lost everything, but I’m okay because of Jesus,’” Nava said. “And I think that will shake you because it makes you put things in perspective.”
Nava described the Send Now trips as the culmination of evangelism to those the team serves and discipleship within the team.
“For us, the biggest prayer is that when we go down there, they won’t necessarily remember us, but they’ll remember that Jesus tangibly showed up in the time of hardship and trials,” Nava said.