The current Venezuelan economic crisis is resulting in hundreds of thousands of people leaving the country due to a serious lack of basic needs. Unlike refugees from the Middle East such as Syria or Iraq, these Venezuelans are not escaping from wars but from deprivation of access to food and basic medicine. People are hungry, starving and children are especially exposed to mass starvation.
Several churches in Venezuela sent letters that describe the desperate situations that people face and requested prayers for Lord’s intervening grace to improve the reality.
Amid numerous trials and issues, OA Venezuelan church leaders and members showed unwavering faith in the Lord who works for the best outcome in impossible situations. In the city of Caracas, the pastor pointed to the verses in Exodus 3: 1- 5 and spoke to congregants, “to understand how to distinguish between the sacred and the common.” In spite of chaotic situations of the country, believers are called not to lose the heart of reverence in the Lord until He reveals His complete plan in His saving work.
Another church with the same name, Emmanuel, located in the city of Puerto Ordaz, also delivered a strong message to highlight God’s grace that never stops overflowing. Samuel Diaz, one longtime church member, said, “In days I ask God for His help as I was going through so many tribulations. Today, the Lord spoke to me powerfully that He has a control of everything, being the Lord of His ship.”
Even though there are much turmoil and disarray in the background, OA Venezuela church members steadily gather for all services and keep their faith that God will fulfill a greater work for the country and their life.
The recent situations of Venezuelan churches called for more attention in OA North America to lay out cooperative projects to aid and help congregations. Prayer teams in the organization constantly pray for the safety and well-being of member churches as well as for a brighter future. More efforts are being made to find practical pathways to support OA Venezuelan churches by sending more staff and launching new business teams.
The pastor of Emmanuel in Los Teques, Venezuela, addressed, “It is not just a time of sorrow but a time of reassurance to realize what Paul the apostle meant, I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for everyone who believes.”