“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” James 1:27
How long do memories last?
I had forgotten that back in 1998, when the phenomenon of the El Niño hit the coast of Ecuador, my family lost our house. We had to move to a refuge shelter; a school close to my house, here in block 10 of Bastión, that was adequate to host around 50 families, including mine.
I remember the night we ran from our house because the flood was coming. We lost our house and a few other things.
Was it traumatic?
Sure it was. My brother had to go to the hospital for a long time with a physical problem; my father still had to leave for work every morning; my mom had to take turns in the common kitchen to cook for all the families hosted at the shelter.
I was a young man, fourteen years old, enjoying the whole thing, feeling like I was on vacation.
I had the chance to live in the same room with all my friends. I had them so close I could sleep and wake up every morning around them, eat with them, and play with them.
But, surely my parents were worried. Surely they did not think it was a vacation as I felt it. Right now I cannot understand how they could handle it. How my dad and mom had strength to start all over again, to build a new house, to go to work every morning.
I believe it was love alone.
Why am I telling you this?
Ecuador is suffering right now from the effects of 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the coast of the country last Saturday, April 16. Manabí, a province on the pacific coast, was the most affected.
Hundreds of people have died, thousands have been injured, and around 30.000 are in schools that are being used as refuges shelters.
Last Saturday, the 23, I had the opportunity to go to one of these places in a small community called Jaramijó, in Manabí.
21 families living in a small school.
70 people living in a closed space, including children.
They do not have a house to go back to.
Most of them do not have a job.
Yet, in that morning, they offered, to a friend and I, breakfast. They have little, yet they shared what it had been given to them. For sure they are worried, sure they are sad.
How can they do it? I ask myself.
It is love alone.
What to do?
On Friday, April 22, a group of us sat down to talk and pray.
Members of the board of directors of Lighthouse of Hope, in an extended meeting with close friends related to the Mission, talked about how to help the families affected by the quake in an organic, honest and sustainable way.
As the need is so big, we want to focus our work in a small community.
So far we are praying for guidance, for a light to find the best way to help the people in need.
And we want to invite you to join us to pray. And yes, to donate.
I believe God will show us the path in which we are going to walk. Maybe we will support a refugee shelter, maybe a community, maybe an extended family, maybe one single person.
When that time comes, we will need lots of help, because the need is big. We are going to need doctors, psychologists, farmers, artists, nurses, engineers, to help in all the ways possible.
The people from these areas need physical, emotional and spiritual restoration.
We aim to extend help in a holistic way.
We are aiming to show the gospel message in a tangible way.
We must work alongside them, to build shelter, to grow food, grieving with them for their loss, and laughing with them as they become able to again.
We will have a more concrete plan in the weeks ahead, also, with God’s guidance, a place we can work alongside the people.
We will keep you informed, for now I invited you to pray.
- For all the families, kids, young and adults, that are suffering from the earthquake
- For us while we search for God’s provision and guidance
- For our country as it is already facing an economical hard year
- For recourses to maintain our camp facilities
- Help us pray as we seek God’s guidance about how to help people in a sustainable way.
Help us fund this effort, and donate to camp so that we have the resources for this work. The information about how to do it on the Help the ministry section.
God is good!