What Happens When…

What happens when a hurricane hits the U.S.?

Telethons. Thousands donated.

FEMA. Thousands housed.

Hospitals. Thousands healed.

Insurance. Thousands rebuild.

What happens when a hurricane hits a house made of mud?


When earth by the ton gives way and slides through a neighborhood?


When beds, clothes, and families are swallowed up by flood waters and mud?


What happens when all this happens in a small village in the smallest nation in Central America? With almost no government resources? Without insurance and a hospital nearby or a car to visit it? What happens then?

The Church happens.

We drove and drove today to Santa Maria Ostuma, a small village where Compassion International cares for about 200 children through one Compassion project.

I wish Compassion International didn’t use the word “project” so often. I prefer the word “church.” Every Compassion project around the world is a local church. Compassion ministers to children and their families through churches because churches know and are trusted by their neighbors, they’re everywhere, and only churches – only Jesus – can meet both physical and spiritual needs. Compassion is about equipping churches to do just that.

Never has that kind of dual care been more needed than it was today in Santa Maria. Santa Maria’s residents grow their own fruits and vegetables and raise their own animals to eat. When hurricane Ida ripped through the country a few days ago, it’s estimated that 90% of crops were wiped out and almost every animal drowned in Santa Maria. The people now have no source of income, no food, and no transportation to visit a market in the big city. To make matters worse, every resident is without water and electricity too.

When we arrived at the project church this afternoon, dozens of families were waiting to receive bags of food and water. Before caring for their bodies, however, Israel, the pastor of the Compassion church asked if he could feed their spirits first. He read from Hebrews 13.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”

Then he told them that a life built on the rock of Jesus cannot be shaken no matter what floods come. And all the people said “Amen.”

Then we held each other as Israel prayed for God’s help to come. And it did.


Families formed a line and, one by one, received God’s help: clean water and groceries and prayer.



“I am without hope,” Rosa told me in Spanish, her arms full of groceries. “Please pray for us. God is our only way. Pray for me now, please. Please pray for me!”


We cried together, two strangers turned into family. We pleaded with God to rescue her from hunger and homelessness. We asked God to provide all that she needs. We begged him to show Himself. We asked Him to resurrect Santa Maria with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. We thanked Him for food and water and for the church. And we asked Him to make every one of you compassionate.

Yes, we prayed for you.

What happens when thousands of blog readers give? Rosa’s prayers get answered.

Visit http://compassion.com/ESflood to give Santa Maria and the rest of El Salvador the life they are praying for. Your money will allow local churches all over the nation to rebuild homes and hearts in Jesus’ name.