Chipley missionaries assist in clean up efforts after volcano eruption in Guatemala

Published: Jun. 10, 2018 at 8:58 PM CDT
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Dozens of people have died from the Fuego Volcano eruption in Guatemala. The natural disaster also left several families displaced, but one group of missionaries from the First Baptist Church in Chipley say they were there at the right place, at the right time.

"It was my first mission trip, my first airplane trip, my first trip out of the country," Hannah Strickland, who went on the mission trip, said.

"We actually took a picture in the morning with the smoke coming off, having no idea that in just a couple of hours, it would erupt," Stephanie Orr, who also went on the mission trip, said.

Orr, who's also on the board of One More Child, the organization who planned the mission trip, says at one point, she and the others were covered in ash.

"We were in an ash storm, I mean we literally were covered in ash from head to toe. Our clothes, our backpacks, hats, I mean everything. We were covered in it, not realizing the impact it had on the other side of the volcano. We didn't have any idea of the destruction that had taken place, but we were just seeing ash everywhere. The cars were covered, I mean it was just an unbelievable time," she said.

While the group went to serve malnourished children, they also ended up serving first responders.

"Our hotel that we got, the firefighters were staying there that were helping over there and we actually got to do some care packages and give them snacks and stuff like that to be able just to thank them for their service for that too," Orr said.

Cleaning up ash at a daycare and malnutrition center was also added to their itinerary.

"We were able to sweep up any ash that was left behind," Strickland said.

Group members say they're thankful to be safe, but more thankful to have been able to lend a helping hand.

The group has also sent mission teams to Uganda, Bolivia, Romania and the Philippines.