MEJIA, ECUADOR (September 21, 2016) – Five months after a major earthquake shook this region on April 16, killing more than 2,000 people and destroying much of entire communities, members of the Covenant Church of Ecuador (Iglesia del Pacto Evangelico del Ecuador) and other volunteers have helped construct new homes and nurture families in the long process of recovery.
Among them are a widow and her five children who have moved into a newly constructed home. An elderly couple still recovering from injuries incurred when their house collapsed are seeing new walls and windows erected. A young family just poured the foundation and the framing is complete for their home. Bricks for the walls are drying and will soon be put in place by volunteer labor.
“We were inspired by the sacrificial and strategic ways that the church is coming alongside those who have suffered,” said Curt Peterson, former executive minister of the Serve Globally mission priority who just returned from the area. “They have responded with compassion in tireless efforts.”
The church is working with homeowners who for various reasons have received no government assistance. The process includes participation by the owners, most of whom provide resources and labor to lay the new home’s foundation.
A local church partner provides the steel framing material for the new homes. Partners from the Ecuador Covenant Church, Covenant World Relief, and the Uniting Church (formerly the Swedish Mission Covenant Church) help with bricks, mortar, rebar, and roofing.
“God is shining light in this devastated community,” Peterson said.
Donations are still needed to help fund the ongoing recovery, and donors can contribute online here. Also, checks designated for Ecuador earthquake relief can be mailed to: Covenant World Relief, 8303 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631.