On April 16, 2016, a massive 7.8 earthquake took place off the coast of Ecuador affecting the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas. 655 people were killed, 1,100 buildings were destroyed and over 29,000 people are living in shelters. Hundreds of aftershocks have left the Ecuadorian people traumatized and afraid.
The WorldVenture Ecuador field (Calvas, Foldens and Messicks), in partnership with the Semilla de Mostaza (the Mustard Seed) church in Loja, other local churches, and missionaries from the province of Loja are working together on behalf of Christians from this region to provide relief to the affected area.
Immediate aid is a priority, and the local body of believers in Loja continues to collect and deliver supplies to people in need through Samaritans Purse. This will be an ongoing need for some time as more than 50,000 people are without day to day necessities.
The next priority will be to help with rebuilding. The WorldVenture Ecuador field working with Semilla de Mostaza want to partner with a church in a small community affected by the earthquake in order to assist in rebuilding efforts. Our desire is to use the expertise that exists both within the team and the church to help rebuild several small houses or churches while strengthening the gospel presence in the community. This will be an ongoing relationship with several work teams travelling to the region over the next months, coupled with planned outreach in the community during this time (counseling, evangelism), and in the future (a VBS in the community)
A small team will travel to the coast May 2,2016 to assess the need and identify a community where we can best help. The first work team is planned for May 15-21.
Thank you for your financial support of the crisis relief and rebuilding efforts in Ecuador. May God be glorified as the local church reaches out in Jesus’ name.