Concord Baptist Church members David and Christine Jeyachandran work with university students in Arequipa, Peru.
Finding himself unable to go into the universities because only those doing essential work are allowed a work permit, David is helping with SIM‘s Disaster Relief project in Arequipa. Christine and their three children remain locked down except for the very recent approval for children to be allowed out for thirty minutes exercise a day.
With a curfew and quarantine of all non-essential workers, the coronavirus has created a desperate situation for many Peruvians, especially for Venezuelan refugees, who number more than 12,000 in Arequipa and have no access to government help or any family support. They’d normally make their living selling on the streets or cleaning windscreens, but since the streets are empty they have no source of income.
To support this most vulnerable group of people through this critical time, SIM Peru has launched a relief project to provide emergency food relief to this most vulnerable group of people as well as to some Peruvians in extreme need.
In the first week of the project, the team distributed 150 packages but this has increased to 800 and the list is still growing. A food bag costs about 40 to 45 soles ($18-20) and contains:
– two kg potatoes,
– two kg rice,
– one kg spaghetti,
– one kg lentils,
– one kg oatmeal,
– 500 gr beans,
– 500 gr sugar,
– three cans of milk,
– two cans of tuna, and
– a bar of soap.
The team also inserts a copy of John’s Gospel, Christian literature and sometimes a handwritten note of encouragement.
Where possible, workers look for conversations with the Venezuelans, many of whom are open to the gospel. SIM Peru is now planning how best to stay in contact with the refugees after the crisis.
SIM Peru project – 91155 COVID-19 Emergency Relief if you’d like to donate.