The amount of solidarity is moving, as is the widespread manner in which the mudslides have affected life here: it seems that every single person knows someone who has died or has lost a relative or materials things in the mudslides. The saddest story is of a young woman of the parish, recently married and expecting a baby, whose husband died from falling debris as he tried to save his little godson.
And then there is our friend Father Renato, returned recently from Rome, who is now the pastor of a remote village church which is still unreachable. He spoke in tears with our nephew today saying his church building has become a survivors' shelter but he had no food to give them. We all purchased goods they are needing for donations, and driving towards to the drop point we saw huge trucks coming back filled with dripping, brown mud, and countless civil police volunteers riding back in truckbeds, covered in mud, exhausted.
May God have mercy on us! Please pray for the victims, for the survivors, for the ones still missing, and for the rescue workers.