Ecuador: after the earthquake

The devastating earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16 has resulted in significant damage, thousands of people injured and hundreds of lives lost.

According to the latest government report, the official number of those injured in the earthquake is 4,605. Thirty-three people are still missing and the death toll remains at 660. Over 30,000 people remain in shelters. Electricity has been reactivated in many towns, but clean water and electricity continue to be an issue in rural areas.

We serve more than 13,000 children in the affected area. At this point, we know that 4,268 children’s homes have been damaged or destroyed. Our staff and church partners are still working tirelessly to assess the full extent of the situation.

Sadly, we know three children in our program have died, another child is seriously injured and twelve family members of students in our program have lost their lives.

Will you bow your heads in prayer with us right now to lift up these precious children, their families and loved ones? Let’s pray that the God of comfort will be with them as they mourn.

Be assured that if the child you sponsor is affected by the earthquake, we will update you regarding his or her safety and wellbeing as soon as more information becomes available.

To assist our church partners during this time, Compassion Ecuador staff and other church partners from around the country have come to their aid. They have been working as a beautiful example of when the Church unites to take care of one another. Here are a few highlights of the ongoing relief efforts:

1,820 survival kits have been packaged and delivered to the families of students at 24 of our church partners in Manabí. In addition to these kits, church partners from Chimborazo in the highlands of Ecuador, sent food and water they had collected for students and their families in Manabí.

Compassion Ecuador staff continue to support the pastors and staff of our church partners with kits of non-perishable food, hygiene items and water containers. For the churches in Manabí, they have provided 309 families of pastors and staff with supplies that will support up to seven family members for 15 days.

A water tank at one of the child development centres affected by the earthquake has already been repaired and is now providing clean water to other church partners and communities nearby.

Emotional and spiritual recovery is also a priority. Last week a group of 12 pastors and psychologists from church partners in Manabí began offering group therapy services to all pastors and staff of church partners in the area, who have been extremely grateful for the support.

Please continue to pray for the victims and Compassion Ecuador as they continue to assess damage and meet the needs of the children, churches and families.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:1-3,7)

 

Written by: Aveleen Schinkel

Aveleen is Compassion Canada's Multimedia Storyteller. Her passions include videography and photography, spending time outdoors and sampling tea from every country she travels to.