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Rising from the Rubble of an Earthquake

Field Report by Dina Sleiman

PERU – Anita’s life was already falling to pieces. Her husband of 20 years who had always supported their family, even when ill, had recently died of stomach cancer. Although his passing was expected, it still left Anita in the difficult position of supporting her four school-aged children and her elderly father.

She did her best, working domestic jobs and selling products at the local market. Then, a few months later, the unthinkable happened. “We were sleeping that night,” Anita said, “and suddenly everything started shaking and making loud noises. We were terrified at the thought of the house falling with us inside so we just ran outside in the middle of the darkness.” There they felt the ground trembling beneath their feet. Then, to their shock and dismay, their house crumbled before their eyes.

An Earthquake Destroyed their Home, Possessions, and Finances

An 8.0 magnitude earthquake had struck their area of Peru, causing much damage to homes and infrastructures, as well as two fatalities. For Anita and her family, it meant their home and possessions now lay completely in rubble.

Thankfully, neighbors invited all six of the family members to stay at their home. Although Anita struggled with discouragement, she’d been raised to keep moving forward in difficult situations. So she spent much time in prayer, and hope still welled in her heart.

New home for a family in Peru after and earthquake.

Your Support of Operation Blessing Helped Provide Her With a Home and Groceries

That’s when Operation Blessing heard about Anita’s situation. Your compassion provided Anita’s family with a brand new sturdy home. You also sent furnishings and groceries for the family, along with a good dose of encouragement.

Anita said, “I want to thank God and Operation Blessing for this gift, for such a pretty and safe home. For all the help we have received, my children and I are very happy and grateful.”

Your Partnership with Operation Blessing Helped Anita Start a Small Business to Support Her Family

But the blessings didn’t stop there! You gave even more to Anita and her children. To make sure that they have plenty of income long into the future, you sent them a new small business opportunity too. The OB staff helped Anita set up an open air shop on a busy street and provided all the supplies for her to open a food vending stand. Your financial support took her from being destitute to the hope that comes from being a small business owner.

Happy boys after their family received a new home and business in Peru.

From Financial Ruin to Small Business Owner

She will be selling groceries, refreshments, and hot meals like fried fish, chicken and rice. This business and the new home have given Anita’s family a strong start as they rise from the rubble of the earthquake and all that they’ve lost.

Your Compassion Transformed a Poor Family From Despair to a Successful Microenterprise

“Thank God for sending you guys to help me with my family,” she said.  “This business will help me very much to keep supporting my children.” Her hope and prayers were not in vain. Because of your compassion, Anita and her children now have big smiles as they move forward into a brighter future as small business owners.

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