Help Venezuela Now
April 20, 2018
By Jared Lathem, Associate Pastor of The Gathering
Venezuela is in the worst humanitarian crisis in this Hemisphere. People are starving and medical care is almost non-existent. It wasn’t always like this. Venezuela was once the wealthiest country in South America and has the greatest natural resources, including the largest oil reserves in the world. But due to massive government corruption, a failed economic system, and incompetence, the country has become a nightmare for her residents. Now it is time for us to help. Through our partnership with Venezuela Now, we will be shipping two crates of medical supplies and food to Venezuela.
Venezuela Now began out of tragedy in 1996. Ray Lathem (Pastor Jared Lathem’s older brother), Rev. Carlos Gonzales, and Roger and Dana Lane (all members of Pastor Jared’s father’s church) were killed in the 1996 ValuJet plane crash while returning from Venezuela. However, out of that tragedy God bought great triumph. Dr. R. Warren Lathem helped start the Methodist Church of Venezuela and began both the Wesleyan Seminary of Venezuela and the Wesley Medical Clinic. The Seminary has been called the finest Christian education in the country, and the Methodist church is exploding. What began as simply a ministry to equip and train pastors has now begun to include supplying basic needs.
The crates we will be sending will be addressing some of these basic needs. Since most pharmacies and hospitals lack the most basic needs, we are collecting acetaminophen, ibuprofen, all types of vitamins, infant Tylenol and Advil, and infant powdered formula. But it’s not just medical needs that are difficult to find. It has become almost impossible to find food.
The average monthly minimum salary in Venezuela $5.00 (US). It costs $150.00 to buy a dozen eggs. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear of children starving to death in the streets. Children have begun carrying around machetes in order to fight off other children in the garbage heaps. All for some food. Because of this, we are asking you to also provide canned chicken, canned tuna, rice, and dried beans.
You can help Venezuela today. Our church has determined that we will make a difference. In partnership with Venezuela Now, Inc., we are collecting food and medicine to ship to Venezuela. These resources will be deployed through the Wesley Medical Center on the Campus of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela.
Will you help? For the next two Sundays, we will be collecting donations in the CAC. You can also volunteer to help at the packing party after church, or write a check to Venezuela Now, Inc. to help purchase prescription drugs to include in the shipment. Through other US non-profits, antibiotics and other medicines cost pennies on the dollar.
Visit our website for more information on what is needed.