Helping Venezuelan Migrant Families in Colombia Make a New Start

December 4, 2020 • Colombia

By providing help and hope in Jesus’ Name, Samaritan’s Purse is showing families like Petra’s that they are loved and not forgotten by God.

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Petra said that she left her home in Venezuela because “prices kept rising and rising, and it was too expensive.” Massive inflation from an economic crisis in the South American country has led to the influx of nearly 2 million Venezuelan migrants into Colombia over the past few years.

Petra, 52, has found it challenging to start over but is determined to find a way to improve her circumstances. When she and other family members couldn’t find jobs, they worked together to turn the most basic of elements into a small source of income.

Her family mixed dirt and grass to make bricks to fashion into an oven. Petra molds and bakes clay to produce cups and bowls. The family also sells the clay bricks in their community.

Necessity has been the mother of invention for this grandmother whose name means earth.

Exuding a creative, enterprising spirit, Petra sees herself as an active participant in helping not only her family but also her new community. The family collects discarded cans, bottles, and cardboard in their neighborhood to not only help keep it free of debris but also as another source of income because they recycle the materials. Petra also has taken up knitting small items and hopes that she can sell them locally.

The Hands and Feet of Jesus

Through local church partners, Samaritan’s Purse is providing families like Petra’s with food, hygiene items, and other assistance as they navigate their new environment.

“They also brought us the Word of God,” Petra said. “You offer us a friendly hand, and you encourage us spiritually, physically, economically. God has not abandoned us. Jesus has been with us. We are the creation of our Almighty Father God.”

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

Please pray for Petra and her family as they, like thousands of other Venezuelan migrant families, make a new start away from home. Lift up the local churches who are reaching out a helping hand to them in Jesus’ Name in partnership with our ministry staff in Colombia.

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A young girl has a hearty meal at our shelter in Bucaramanga.
Help Venezuelans in Crisis Five million Venezuelans have fled their homeland over the past several years. Hunger, a collapsing healthcare system, and violence drive them to leave. Since 2018, Samaritan's Purse has provided relief to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants seeking a new life in Colombia. This may be the largest migrant crisis in Latin American history, and we're offering relief from multiple locations—providing food, shelter, and medical care among other services. As we minister, we are pointing people, young and old, to the eternal hope found only in Jesus Christ.

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