Venezuela Relief Fund

Autumn 2022
Written by Sidney Turkington - Venezuela

This report details what the Venezuelan Relief Fund tried to accomplish in 2021 with the Lord's help. They continue in 2022 to do the same as the Lord provides.

The Venezuelan Relief Fund VRF activity continued concentrating on purchasing and shipping nonperishable food, over-the-counter medicine and clothing and toiletries, as well as providing much-needed help in purchasing medications, medical support, and growing crops in the country and Nursing Homes Assistance. The prolonged and significant economic contraction, chronic inflation with episodes of hyperinflation, political polarization and localized violence remain key drivers of humanitarian needs in Venezuela.

The political situation in Venezuela remains unchanged. The socialist/communist government led by President Maduro continues in complete control of all government institutions, leaving no possibility or hope for a change in leadership. Local elections, held for state governors at the end of 2021, gave the government control in 20 of 23 states and shattered any hopes of the opposition gaining ground.

The COVID pandemic and the severe shortage of fuel made it near impossible for those working in the informal economy (more than 50% of the population) to get transport. The relaxed exchange controls made it easier for those with access to US funds to bring supplies into the country, including food but the "high cost" made it impossible for the great majority of the population to purchase.

The Christians in Venezuela continue to receive food sent from the USA. Many continue to be hungry and are tearfully grateful when they receive 1 kg of rice and beans. At the beginning of 2021, research on possibly purchasing all food in Venezuela was performed, in order to reduce cost and efficiency. However, the number indicated food purchased in the USA, transported by maritime shipping, and distributed directly to each state is still cheaper and of better quality than the food purchased in Venezuela. However, for a few states and places it has been decided to buy local products, because of the remoteness of these states makes it impossible to send a shipment or distribution

The crop growing effort that started in 2020 continued in 2021. Extreme shortages of fuel, fertilizers and seeds hampered the efforts in 2021. However, the Lord blessed the production in these two areas, and it was distributed amongst the assemblies in the states of Cojedes, Barinas, Portuguesa, Yaracuy, Aragua, Carabobo, Falcon, Lara, Miranda and the Metropolitan area of Caracas. The states further away from the centre were supplied with shipments from the USA

Medical Assistance
Worldwide the year 2021 was difficult as we all lived through the pandemic. Unfortunately for the dear Christians in Venezuela, the situation was especially rough as they have the added problem of economic issues, inflation and unemployment.

Nursing Homes
The Assemblies in Venezuela have been responsible for Two Nursing Homes in the country. A larger older one is located in Puerto Cabello, and a smaller one is in La Mata. Due to the ongoing economic crisis, many assemblies do not have the means to support these Homes, and the lack of fellowship has become very noticeable.

Puerto Cabello
In June 2021, an assembly in Canada had the exercise to specifically help the Nursing Home in Puerto Cabello. The offering was channelled through the VRF trust and a much-needed project started. Two main projects began. Two main problems the home had were ongoing electrical power issues for many years and the lack of water. Therefore, the money provided was used to dig a water well and set up new transformers, poles, and electrical connections according to their needs. Both projects were completed.

La Mata
As for the Nursing Home in La Mata, the VRF has managed to assist them in purchasing a new electrical kitchen, water tank and constant water trucks to try and meet their needs. This home is in serious degrading conditions making the care for the elderly an immense daily challenge. Based on the grave structural problems, lack of water, propane, difficult transport, and absence of essential services, there is the intention and purpose to move this nursing home to a more desirable location where the helpers may have the essential means of taking care of the elderly saints. Ongoing prayer for this is being raised daily.

International Outreach
The assemblies in Venezuela have sent Missionaries to different places, these have begun new works in other countries, and the Venezuela Relief Fund has had fellowship with them also.

Continued prayers are appreciated for the Lord to provide His judgement to the team in all the Venezuela Relief Fund as to how to administrate the funds provided for his people in Venezuela. The team is constantly humbled by the provision of the King of Glory!

Nursing Home in Puerto Cabello

Autumn 2022
Written by Sidney Turkington - Venezuela