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Dina Cuadrado, a Designer with Marshall Moya, is pictured here on a mission trip to Mocoa, first row, second from left. This is her story of that trip.
As a missionary for the Eco Familiar church in Bogota, Colombia, I have had the opportunity to visit distinct places to deliver provisions, clothing, and medicine, as well as create activities for children and adults, build physical structures, and provide other services. Despite all of these experiences, I never had to confront one of the worst natural disasters in the history of my country.
But on the first of April the unrelenting rain flooded three rivers that surrounded the city of Mocoa, causing an avalanche that destroyed homes, people, animals, dreams and efforts. My church quickly prepared a mission, that as soon as I knew about, I wanted to join.
Honestly, I did not know where Mocoa was located, the trip lasted two long days via highway. We arrived Monday, April 10 during the night and as soon as I got out of the car, I heard the story of a woman who had to choose between her sick father in a wheel chair and her husband, also sick – the avalanche did not allow for time to help them both. It all happened in seconds and she ended up choosing her husband, leaving her father behind. Her tragedy did not end there, as the strong water current that was arriving with rocks, tree trunks, and debris, tore from her hands her two sons of 8 and 9. At that moment the only thing I could do was listen, I did not know what to say. It was so impactful to hear her story and see the absolute sadness reflected on her face – I could not contain my tears.
Like this story, I heard several other ones about loss, frustration, bewilderment, guilt, miracles, mercy, appreciation, and from my end, what people heard the most, was that God had the purpose of delivering a new opportunity of life with every person he saved. For me, it was personally one of the best experiences of my life because on top of counseling, encouraging, hugging, learning and loving, I arrived at the conclusion that we must all take advantage of every day, every person, every opportunity, every gift God gives us, because every night I was there felt like it could be my last night, seeing as they said that if it rained one more hour, a new avalanche could happen. I was there one week, and there was not a night that it did not rain.
Avalanches can come in many forms, physical such as the one that happened to the people of Mocoa or they can appear in family life, at work, in relationships, in health and for that reason I want to take advantage of every day, enjoy every person that I have around me, continue dreaming and pursue those dreams, continue helping more people, and travel my country and maybe the whole world carrying with me a voice of life.