Posted 4/22/16 (4:00 PM)
CAMA Response to Earthquake in Ecuador: CAMA’s director of Global Disaster Response, Gary Fairchild, will be heading to Ecuador next Saturday. He will meet the Ecuador Alliance Church president, David Muthre, and Pastor Victor Herrera of the Puembo Church in Quito. Together they are coordinating a network of C&MA urban churches to assist with disaster relief efforts on the coast. We have heard word that one Alliance church has been completely destroyed. One report is that as many as 20 Alliance churches have been affected.
CAMA will be sending $25,000 in the next couple of days, but more donations are greatly needed. Pastor Victor is concerned for what will happen when the immediate crisis is over and people must restart their livelihoods. Help during this phase of the recovery will be critical. There are still very few eyewitness accounts from the rural areas.
Alliance churches and the Alliance Academy have opened their doors for donations such as rice, oil, beans, sugar, diapers, baby formula, water, tents, blankets, tarps, and mosquito nets. Donations to the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund will go to both purchasing more emergency supplies and to future rebuilding of homes and churches.
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Posted 4/22/16 (12:55 PM)
Ecuador Earthquake Update: Continue to pray for the people of Ecuador, which is still reeling from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed 587 people and left many injured April 16.
Another powerful quake, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, struck April 22. Its epicenter was 62 miles north-northwest of Portoviejo. There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warnings.
The pastor of the Alliance church in Pedernales, the epicenter of the previous quake, will conduct a funeral today or tomorrow for families that lost loved ones.
In Portoviejo, two survivors were pulled from the rubble in the last few days, along with many who had perished. Please pray for any remaining survivors to be found quickly, as time is running out.
The theme of an annual C&MA youth leaders’ conference, May 13–14, will focus on the crisis and opportunities to demonstrate Christ’s love. It is hoped that the Pedernales pastor will speak. Also, experts in trauma healing will conduct training during the event to minister emotional healing to survivors.
Scholarships will be provided to 500 pastors and leaders to attend the conference so they will be better equipped to minister to their communities.
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Posted 4/18/16 (9:30 AM)
On Saturday, April 16, a massive, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Ecuador, causing widespread destruction, injury, and loss of life. Although the quake was felt throughout the entire country, its largest city, Guayaquil, suffered the most devastation.
As David Muthre, president of the C&MA in Ecuador, writes, “El Universo, the newspaper of Guayaquil, reports that as of this morning there are 277 deaths. There are thousands who have been injured and hundreds who are still missing. As of this morning there have been 214 aftershocks.
“I ask that in all of our churches of the Ecuador C&MA we join together in prayer today at 10 p.m.—that we remain in humbleness, that in all of our services we dedicate ourselves to cry out to God. What has happened to our country is very sad and painful. We are humbled and are praying and collecting funds for those who have lost everything.”
The C&MA in Ecuador has 152 churches, 167 unorganized fellowships, 145 ordained pastors, and an inclusive Alliance membership of 47,300. The Alliance Academy (international school) is located in Quito, and FATELA, the Alliance Bible seminary, is located in Guayaquil. Roberto Ferber, FATELA’s national administrator writes:
We are fine. Out of fright, a half hour blackout that started at the beginning of the earthquake I have to wait outside but not much happened. However, the earthquake was felt very strong. But it has been terrible in the rest of the country. This has been the worst experience in my life. I do not remember anything like this in Ecuador; the most affected area was the coast.
In Guayaquil, the Overpass of the Americas has collapsed . . . , opposite the headquarters’ building. Two cars were crushed, and a driver was killed. Many houses have collapsed, and there is severe damage to shopping malls and supermarkets. There [is] debris everywhere. One of the balconies at the condo building in Avenue October 9 collapsed, and many houses were detached.
The worst was in Pedernales, the epicenter of the earthquake. The town was devastated. There we have a FATELA student, but so far he is not responding to phone [calls]. We pray that he is OK. Portoviejo has suffered a catastrophe. There are several buildings and many houses that have collapsed, many dead, and infrastructures severely damaged. Whole buildings have succumbed such as the Bank of Manabí, a unit of the IESS, part of the El Paseo shopping center. The city of Manta also reported extensive damage. Bahia de Caráquez also suffered collapses of houses.
Please pray for our country. [Damage is] still being assessed. The death toll continues to increase. There are thousands of injured and homeless. Many people are still trapped under collapsed buildings. We are receiving news and images by bits and pieces, and that is how we are piecing together an image of the actual disaster.
- For those who have lost family and suffered devastation
- For healing of the injured
- For the safety of those involved in rescue and recovery efforts
- For Alliance churches as they help those around them who have been affected by the quake
More updates will be posted as word is received from field and church leaders.