Fairfield church helps Guatemalan villagers after volcano eruption

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 18:53:17-04

FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- More than 100 people have been killed and many more are believed to be buried weeks after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted.

Relief efforts have poured in, including 12 people from the Fairfield West Baptist Church. They've been down for close to a week, helping people in need.

Missionaries spoke with a reporter via FaceTime from Guatemala. Jeff Kenworthy said the group from the Fairfield church had already planned a mission trip to the country before the eruption.

"As we got down here, got around, we realized there was some need in the volcano area, and we took advantage of that and went up there," Kenworthy said.

The missionaries spent the past week helping people who were cut off from their village by  a lava flow. It wasn't easy to get there. Kenworthy said going the long way around to reach the village was an 85-mile journey, including about 20 miles on dirt roads and crossing rivers.

"We had an idea of what we were going to, we had no idea how we were going to get there, what was in store," said David Smith, another missionary. "It was just an adventure every step of the way."

Kenworthy said he believes they were the first people the locals saw since the eruption. They brought in much-needed supplies.

They "just came in and hugged us, grateful that we just got them the things that they need," he said.

Pastor Rob Rosenbalm said he couldn't be more proud.

"It's been unique for us ... people right here in Cincinnati were able to reach a group of villagers who had no help at all," he said.

The group is leaving Guatemala Friday.