Ecuador (MNN) — The cost of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador is still growing, both in human lives and damage.
In Pedernales, one of the worst-hit coastal towns, nearly 80-percent of the buildings are destroyed. Thousands of people have been forced to seek emergency shelter. Many people have lost everything they have, so just distributing the basics are key right now.
Authorities have been handing out food, but survivors say they don’t have enough to eat or drink. Christian Aid Mission spokeswoman Amie Cotton says, “The three ministries that Christian Aid Mission assists are transporting all that they can with the limited transportation that they have. They’re sending water bottles, simple meals, and clothes.”
In fact, “They’re taking teams of people from their churches and going to the Manabi region and sharing what aid that they can gather.” She adds, “One of the ministries we assist is a church in Machala. The pastor there is also a psychologist, so he has gone just to walk with the victims to just let them know that someone loves them, someone cares about them,” because they want to share Christ’s love with them in the midst of this unimaginable tragedy.
Christians near Anchayacu Mission of Ecuador, in Esmeraldas, are sharing goods for initial aid, but the ministry needs help to purchase relief items that are needed over the next several weeks.
Christian Aid has already sent monies, but since total damages are estimated between $2 billion and $3 billion, they’re asking for help. The scope of recovery is astronomical for the country. In order to raise funds for reconstruction, the government announced several one-year tax rises. The country will also sell assets and may issue new bonds on the international market.
Cotton is quick to note, “Christian Aid Mission will be giving 100-percent of the gifts received to the three indigenous ministries on the ground, providing aid to the victims in Ecuador.”
One of the ministry leaders said, “If the Lord lays it on your heart to help with this outreach, it will be a great blessing.”
Emotionally, families have lost loved ones. There is tremendous shock and grief. Aside from having someone nearby to help carry the burden, Cotton says, ”I think the best thing that we can do right now is to pray, because it is something we can do thousands of miles away. Prayer is so important and effective. It’s our greatest weapon.”