Here at Ministry Ideaz (based in Quito) we were a little shaken, but we're OK! However, our brothers and sisters at the coast weren’t as fortunate. As of this writing, the death toll is at 655 including one of our sisters and a small child. Furthermore, some of our dear brothers and sisters are still missing. Thank you to all that have written in and messaged with your concerns! We’ve received hundreds and hundreds of messages of concern.
As soon as the news reached us in Quito, the congregations started to get together some food, clothes, sheets and non-perishable food items. Volunteers have been working at three local Kingdom Halls here in Quito, and one in Guayaquil receiving donations, which are sent in trucks to the areas affected by the earthquake. Our little 2-year-old helped us and gave away a few of his stuffed animals.
Here are some pictures of some of the donations that are being received:
|Cans of food with notes of encouragement en route to our|
dear brothers and sisters that were affected by the earthquake.
Some good friends and fellow need-greaters share this from Canoa, Ecuador: “It seems as though a bomb fell on the town. We’ve brought provisions for the brothers that are camping out at a sister’s place in the countryside that didn't suffer any damage. We plan to take the ones we can out to safety. No brothers have died in that town though and they’re all ok.”
The worst hit areas were between the coastal provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas. In the town of Pedernales 80% of the houses and building suffered damage. Here is a shot of the Kingdom Hall in that town:
First meeting since the quake!
A brother’s hotel and the Kingdom Hall serve as a temporary home for over 200 brothers and sisters that have lost everything.
|Sleeping at one of the Kingdom Halls that is still intact|
A sister in Crucita said that the living room is like one big bed. The whole family is sleeping close. Provisions have arrived and Brother Mieles from the Branch Committee gave a beautiful talk to the congregation. They feel sooooo loved. The branch representatives are visiting the smaller groups now. It was mentioned in the talk that fear is normal, and so are the aftershocks. He continued: “I asked one brother how he is sleeping. He said that they are working so hard that they are sleeping great! He said that 107 volunteers were working the previous night until midnight. They feel the strength from your prayers. Keep them coming!” Members of the branch committee have made personal visits to provide encouragement and assess the damage and the need.
It is now 10 days since the earthquake. There are still 48 people missing. There have been hundreds of aftershocks, two of which were magnitude 6.2 and 6.1 on the Richter scale.
Friends have asked how they can make a donation. The Ecuador branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses has asked that all inquiries regarding contributions to the relief effort be sent via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Personal experiences and El Comercio