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A letter from Katie Griffin in Argentina

April 13, 2012

Dear Friends,

We had a very difficult Holy Week, and because of that an especially joyful celebration for Resurrection Sunday!

Our part of the western suburbs of the city of Buenos Aires was hit by a tremendous windstorm on Wednesday, April 4. There has been much debate as to whether it was a tornado or not, and the news here has not been clear in their coverage of the loss caused by the storm. I am sure that you all know of folks in Alabama who suffered from the tornadoes that swept through parts of the southern Midwest not too long ago.

Fortunately, no one in my family or in my church community suffered injury or damage to person or property. Many were without power until yesterday, and since we all use well water, if there is no power, we cannot get the water pumped from the wells into the houses. The water shortage was the most frustrating part of the storm for my immediate faith community.

I was at work in the city when the storm hit. Actually, I was just about to leave for my commute home. Fortunately, where I was we had a brief hailstorm that delayed me. I waited about half an hour more after the weather conditions started to improve before I got into my car. However, communication with home was immediately cut off and I had no way of explaining that I would be leaving work late. I finally got home after 10:30 pm only to find my two children extremely distressed because they thought I had died. We had never been so glad to see each other again!

There are still many parts of town that are without power, and in some of the neighborhoods there has been a tremendous amount of rioting and looting. The government response has been slow and the media coverage extremely limited.

If you would, please pray especially for my town, Ituzaingó, and the two neighboring towns, Merlo and Padua. These three towns were the hardest hit by the windstorm, and all three include areas where housing is extremely precarious and many families are exposed to the social violence that has arisen as a consequence of the storm.

Our worship service on Resurrection Sunday was so joyful because we were able to have contact for the first time after the storm with the entire church community. The church that my husband pastors has a very important ministry with children, including a community clothing closet and hot meals and Bible school on Saturdays. These ministries are in high demand now since so many families with young children have suffered for loss of protection.

We especially appreciate your prayers in these days of trial.

With love and in the hope of the Gospel,

Katie Griffin

The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 26

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