On the evening of April 16, 2016 a severe 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador. There have been over 1000 aftershocks. The official death toll has surpassed 650 though local estimates are closer to 2000. There is extensive damage in Pedernales (the most affected area). There was only minor damage in Quininde, where Word & Deed’s sponsorship program is, and in Quito, where Fred and Arlene Jonkman live.
Word & Deed is evaluating opportunities to help in the rebuilding process. A committee from Iglesia Reformada del Ecuador (the Jonkman’s church) is assessing the need and proposing how Word & Deed can help. Members of this committee visited the affected area a few times and gave relief including distribution of fresh fruit.
Pastor Jesùs Cagua ministers to the church in Pedernales and is in contact with Fred & Arlene. By God’s amazing grace and providence, none of the members of the congregation lost their lives, but 30 of the 40 families in the church completely lost their homes and are now living in tent cities. Pray for Pastor Jesùs. Besides the loss of his home, he also bears the burden of caring for his congregation. Their church building was destroyed.
Word & Deed recently sent $10,000 US for initial relief. We will inform you of further opportunities to help once rebuilding proposals are complete. Please pray for the people of Ecuador. As Fred and Arlene note, “There is also an urgent need for the gospel to be preached to the lost; it is the only true balm for the souls of all the hurting people.”
A damaged building in Pedernales
The empty lot where Pastor Jesùs Cagua's church once stood.
A damaged building. Ironically a sign out front says "Apartments for Rent"
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