It’s been two weeks since the Ecuadorian community experienced moments of anguish, terror and desolation. The ground shook hard for less than one minute, but for the entire population it seemed an eternity.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Ecuador, with its epicenter striking two small towns on the coast: Pedernales in the province of Manabi and Muisne in the province of Esmeraldas. However, almost every person felt this earthquake which shook the country of Ecuador its entire length and breadth.
The evening of April 16 turned into a night of
terror and outright tragedy for the entire population, but especially for the people directly affected, nearly 1,500,000 inhabitants. A labyrinth of no escape and a time of confusion as multiple aftershocks continued the shaking even until now as I write this article. Entire families continue sleeping outside because they are afraid to be trapped inside their houses or because some of their houses simply fell to the ground and were left in ruins.
As of today, the official number of causalities is over
650 and 30,000 persons have received medical attention. These statistics truly touch the hearts of the Ecuadorian people, but it is really terrible for the families of the victims. However, in the midst of so much pain, we rejoice to know that more than 22,000 are safe in shelters and 113 were rescued from the debris.
The entire nation has mobilized in order to help our brothers and sisters who have been affected by this
natural disaster. National and international friend organizations, the media, and neighboring countries as well as far-distant countries have all been present during this time of tears and desolation. Famous people and well-known organizations have come but there have also been many anonymous heroes.
Consequently, today I want to share about Juan Carlos and Sandra, a young couple of heroes from Manta, one of the cities most adversely hit. With a broken voice, they say, “The earthquake has hit us so tremendously, because people have lost their homes and their loved ones. The only thing you think at a time like this is that it must be the end of everything.”
Nevertheless, after that frightful experience, Juan Carlos and Sandra surmounted their own pain and fear, rolled up their sleeves and went out in faith to serve the people who were having an even worse time. “Just seeing people on the street who had lost everything was what motivated us to do something and somehow help these people and communities with our little grain of sand, because they have so many needs.”
Every morning they get up early and take food and
words of encouragement, advice and restoration to as many people as they can reach in different places. They even serve the volunteers who are there working in those areas in need.
Juan Carlos and Sandra alongside the members of their small “Family Home Church”, friends and people in general who are contributing anonymously to this cause, are the heroes who are carrying out and will make possible the reconstruction of these communities.
What’s going to happen later on? That’s what Juan
Carlos and Sandra and hundreds of affected people are asking. Perhaps right now there is no clear or specific answer humanly speaking. But this young couple states with conviction, “there is hope” because their hearts are totally trusting in the faithfulness of a good God and in His provision.
Therefore, Juan Carlos and Sandra are calling on the global community to unite in intercession and prayer for Manabi and for all of Ecuador, praying that God will fill the country with strength and that many more people will join in the rebuilding of these towns who “are in this process of change, because the best is yet to come,” as Juan Carlos states with conviction.
And you? Don’t you feel like joining this team of rebuilders?
“If God is not sending earthquakes, destroying economies and inflicting pain upon human beings, what is God doing? God works through people, calling them to help their neighbors in need. God comforts His people, walking with them even ‘through the valley of the shadow of death.'”
Courtesy of: Margarita del Mónaco, Teo Zamora and The Jarrin Family.