Ecuador earthquake disaster relief: One month later

By John Woldhuis | Ecuador in South America

Sami's house was nearly done by the time we met with the community president at the end of the week. Days earlier we had arrived in the small town of Coaque, Ecuador with the intent to help earthquake victims.

We ended up at a small plot of land and with 25 volunteers from three mission organizations and multiple local churches, Sami's new home went up quickly.

During the week we were there we held church meetings in the evenings. Nearly 60 adults and children attended every night to hear the preaching and a number came to faith. During the day volunteers led outreach ministries to women and children that were well attended.

So with Sami's house nearly completed, we were finally able to sit down with the community president and ask him how we could help long term. We were envisioning future building and water projects and more. The president's invitation was surprising.

"After seeing all that you've done in our community this week, what we really need is a church," he said. "I've seen you build this week, giving bricks and cement to many people who needed it. However each night as the community has gathered together to hear you preach and watch the movies I can see our community needs Jesus, that's what we really need."

God is at work, even through the aftermath of the destructive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck coastal Ecuador on April 16. More than 70,000 people are displaced countrywide and the situation is still critical for many. We are thankful we could do this work in partnership with a local church, and we hope to maintain these relationships with the Coaque community. SIM Ecuador is planning another work trip to this community in early August.

How you can help

Pray for those affected by the earthquake and those responding to the devastation. Partner financially with SIM in our response to the Ecuador earthquake.

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