On Sunday the 4th of November, 76 children from the San Juan de Dios community went with their 15 leaders up into the mountains near their club. It was to fulfill one of the club activities. While they were out it started to rain then poured, then hail started to fall. Most Indians do not seek shelter from moderate rains. They were high up the mountain but found a shelter/refuge building and took shelter there. While there, a bolt of lightning hit very close to where they were. The ground was wet and the lightning exploded in all directions. All 76 children and the 15 leaders were burned by the lightening. Four of them were hospitalized but released after a week. The Red Cross and a local Hospital formed a medical rescue/brigade and went to help and aided in getting first aid and treatment for those involved. The Red cross is providing medicines and treatment. Several people show signs of burn, and many are still in a stupor.
This club is a church plant by another church. There is no church in this area. The pastor Guillermo Agualsaca (Awal- saka) indicated that people from nearby communities where some of the children came from were very unhappy and went away shouting that this is God's punishment for reading the Bible. In Catholic areas, reading the Bible is considered a sin. The people were very upset. Two other communities where new churches are being established using Awana, Shobolpamba and Shobolllinglling the people are blaming the children who went for bringing down this "judgment" of God.
This week there was a meeting of the community people along with the Red Cross. parents and people from the community were there. The Red cross people said that it is unusual that they were not all "carbonized" as when lightning strikes this way, that is the normal result. When they finished several of the clubbers spoke. Seven of them indicated that they were saved by two very large men who were dressed in white who protected them from most of the lightning. Then the asked our Awana missionary, Rodrigo Andachi to speak. He shared from God's Word that this is not a punishment from God, and that God loves them. He shared the gospel with them and it was received peacefully. This is a real answer to prayer. They are seeing the miraculous protection given to the children. Pray that this will bring much Glory to God and help establish the church there.
Rodrigo will be visiting this Thursday again. He is encouraging them to keep sending the children. He will report the results after that.
I understand that someone was filming all of this including the lightning strike and some of the rescue. I am trying to get a copy of the film.