Earthquake Recovery Plan newsletter
September 30, 2017 newsletter

We share with you this reportage of the UMC.org about Mexico's earthquake:



September 25, 2017

Dear Ones,

We are so grateful for God's mercy and your concern, love and prayers for the people who experienced the three earthquakes (Sept. 7 th , Sept. 19 th & Sept.23 rd ) in south-central Mexico. There are now over 400 deaths but over the past week more than 70 survivors have been pulled from the rubble. We thank the Lord for the miracle of these lives and pray that those who have lost loved ones and homes may be comforted and given strength for the journey of healing before them. There are also those struggling with the aftermath of the hurricanes in Houston and other Texas towns as well as in the state of Florida, Puerto Rico and other Islands. Fortunately, the world is responding to this suffering and all of our prayers are needed as recovery will take time, energy and resources.

Many of you have asked how GYTTE's “Tree of Life” Training Center faired. No lives were lost and no one was injured, Praise God, but being that the Center is just a few miles from the epicenter of the Sept. 19 th quake, most of the structures were damaged inside and out. Photos of the dorms, staff homes, office, classroom, etc. are now posted on the GYTTE.org web site. Click on “Mexico Earthquake, September 19, 2017,” to view the state of the Training Center. As you might imagine, there is plenty of work for the GYTTE staff and the work team volunteers who will serve in Tlancualpican over the next 12 – 18 months, not only at the Center, but at the Methodist Churches in the area and with our village neighbors whose homes are damaged as well.

You asked how you can help….

•  Join the GYTTE program staff in this next phase of ministry.
•  Pray for Mexico, the Methodist Church of Mexico and the “Give Ye Them To Eat” staff as needs are addressed.
•  Send a donation through the Advance with the General Board of Global Ministries for “Give Ye Them To Eat,” so the most urgent repairs can be started, making it possible to host training events and work teams.
•  Recruit a team of volunteers to help in the reconstruction of the “Tree of Life” Training Center so the GYTTE staff can begin to assist families in repairing or rebuilding their homes in ways that are safe and sustainable.
•  Visit the GYTTE program web page often for updates, articles and photos.
•  Participate , and make a difference!

Our love is with all of you in Christ Jesus,

Terry and Muriel Henderson
Retired GBGM Missionaries

How to give



Adobe Staff House


Guest Cottage





Cob Storage Room


Livestock Area


Multi-Purpose Building


New Dorms


Straw Bale Staff House




Straw Bale Work Shop



September 20, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Since yesterday at 1:14 p.m., many of you have sent messages asking about the situation in Mexico and the safety of your friends and staff of the “Give Ye Them To Eat” ministry. Yesterday, September 19 th , a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck south-central Mexico. This occurred on the 32 nd anniversary of the earthquake that took more than 20,000 lives in the Mexico City area back in 1985. Yesterday's quake left much material damage in the cities, towns and villages of six states of the Republic of Mexico: Puebla, Morelos, Guerrero, Mexico, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala as well as the Federal District which is Mexico City. There are approximately 225 deaths documented thus far from the various states but the number is expected to rise as teams of workers and volunteers clear the rubble from collapsed multi-story buildings and homes.

The epicenter is thought to have been in or near Axochiapan, Morelos, which is a town 15 minutes northwest of the village of Tlancualpican where the “Tree of Life” Training Center for the “Give Ye Them To Eat” ministry is located. We are grateful to report that all GYTTE program staff in Tlancualpican and the City of Puebla are safe as are their families. At the Training Center the tile roofs of several structures are down and walls and plaster are cracked in most of the buildings. The same is true for the homes of the village staff and their neighbors and many other homes and small stores in the neighboring villages have collapsed. Although the GYTTE office staff is working in Puebla there is some damage to the office building. An architect is going to evaluate the situation and make a determination on what needs to be done.

Churches have been affected in a five-state area. Some very old Catholic churches have been badly damaged and we know of several Methodist churches that will be out of service until they can be repaired and are once again safe to occupy. School has been suspended in the above mentioned states as well as in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca where a drastically fatal earthquake struck last week. This is necessary until the academic facilities can be inspected to determine if they are safe for the students to return to classes. Many highways and roads are damaged also making it difficult to know the extent of destruction in numerous communities.

We apologize for not communicating sooner but electricity and phone service were out in so many places that it has been difficult to get a true picture of the situation in the outlying areas. Thank you for your concern and prayers for Mexico and her people.

In His grasp,

Terry & Muriel Henderson
Retired GBGM Missionaries
and the GYTTE Staff


Rev. Raquel Balbuena, Superintendent of the Tlaxcala District of the Southeast Annual Conference of the Methodist Church of Mexico.

Rev. Balbuena has received reports from the pastors in her district regarding the churches that are damaged. The photographs here were sent in by various clergy members of the Tlaxcala District. Church members are removing the piles of rubble and making sure no more walls crumble onto the sidewalks and street. Soon Pastor Raquel and Contractor and Pastor Uzi Castañeda will visit each of the churches to evaluate the damages and make a plan for repairs and/or reconstruction.

There are churches in the other two districts of the Southeast Annual Conference with damages also with the Divine Savior Methodist Church in Atlixco and the Methodist Church in Izucar de Matamoros being two of the worst affected. In the state of Morelos, which is part of the Mexico Annual Conference, there has been loss of life among the church families of several congregations as well as damage to church properties. All six Annual Conferences in the country of Mexico are gathering food and financial offerings to assist the affected areas and congregations.


Bethel Methodist Church, Tepetitla, Tlaxcala, Mexico