Pastor Julio Martinez distributing supplies and aids.
In the past April, Ecuador was struck by 7.8 and 6 magnitude earthquakes, leading to high death tolls and the urgent need for emergency shelters. The local reconstruction work has continued without cease since the earthquake, yet it takes time to have the situation resumed to what it was before the disaster.
CEDAR’s partner Peace and Hope, together with Tearfund UK, a fellow member institution of Integral Alliance (IA*) joined the relief work after the earthquake. After visiting the quake-affected regions to better assess the needs of the victims, they then distributed food and water to remedy victims’ pressing needs. The first stage of relief work has been completed earlier, let’s hear from the quake-affected victims’ sharing. Bahia de Caraquez, where Luciana, Theofanis and Susana live, was one of the severely hit regions. They lost all they have in the earthquake, yet with a grateful heart, they hope to share the grace and the peace they received by cooking and distributing food packs to others Being a part of the Missionary Alliance Church, they hope other people can receive more than only the tangible packs but also the love and care in them.
Every evening, the three ladies helped the relief organization – Peace and Hope, and Tearfund to distribute food packs to victims. Their church building was also badly damaged in the quake, however, this never stops it from being the hub for collection and distribution of food, water and power supply.
On top of that, Pastor Julio Martinez, from Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Portoviejo, Manabi in Ecuador, also contributed his effort to the post-quake relief work. The quake wreaked havoc across his city and over 40% of it was destroyed. The churches and families are facing harsh challenges and difficulties, yet they stay in solidarity to help people in need.
Martinez has been reflecting on the same question over and over again, “Why did God allow the earthquake to happen?” Instead of receiving a direct answer to his question, he realized this is the chance for church to be mobilized and to act. He takes the lead to act – never does he view himself, a pastor, as too superior to conduct relief work with other people. Collaborating with villages nearby, Martinez sent ambulance teams and supplies such as water filters, food and hygiene kits to victims.
As the first stage comes to an end, the second stage tightly follows. We are grateful for your support which allows us to be a part of the relief work. Our partners are striving hard to achieve the following to enhance the resilience of both the victims and communities as a whole:
- To set up psycho-educational groups for children and adolescents focusing on post-traumatic stress, including the threat of sexual violence;
- To provide workshops on entrepreneurial strategies and self-employment skills, especially for female-headed families, to rebuild their livelihoods; To train leaders of shelters to establish and enforce Child Protection Policy so as to ensure the children in the shelters are under appropriate protection;
- To help ten churches and ten communities to develop disaster response plans, in order to improve their ability to respond to disasters.
Please continue to pray for Ecuador:
- For the local relief and reconstruction work. Pray that victims and the communities can resume to normal lives as soon as possible;
- For the strengthening of the faith of local Christians that they can wholeheartedly rely on God and follow His will even in times of crisis;
- For Christians and Christian organizations across the globe to have unity in Christ and to watch over one another.
*Integral Alliance is a global alliance of 23 Christian relief and development agencies, working together to present a more effective response to poverty worldwide.