(BNC) By Hawatthia Jones and Byron and Snezana Benitez – On Sunday, June 3, the Volcán de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” erupted violently, sending lava, smoke, and ash into the air. Sadly, the closest villages near the crater were completely or partially destroyed and the number of people affected continues to grow. Originally, the report was that there were 25 deaths. Now, that number has grown to 65 people.

Because this eruption was the largest since 1974, it has deserved a place in the international news. However, we are thankful to report that the brethren are safe, as far as we have been able to ascertain. We have checked with our contacts in various parts of Guatemala, and we are not aware of any Christians who were hurt or that lost their lives because of this eruption.

Nevertheless, we ask you to please keep the situation in your prayers, as we foresee it getting worse, not because we predict stronger eruptions (though that may happen), but because we know that there are still many people missing and the number of deaths will likely be much higher than is currently being reported.

We are currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visiting Snezana’s mom and family because of the death of Snezana’s father. We are scheduled to return this week. However, we may be delayed a day or more because the airport in Guatemala was closed briefly, but thankfully opened again this morning. They are also predicting additional eruptions, so this may affect our travels also.

This report came through the WEI teachers daily email from Jan Towell.