On April 16, 2016, the southern coastal province of Manabi, Ecuador, was hit by a 7.8 earthquake. The death toll was 676, with over 16,000 injured and 2,000 who lost their homes. There was widespread damage in the province, but one of the worst-hit areas was Manta.
One Mission Society responded immediately by taking in bags of supplies, water, and clothes to those in Manta. Along with our local church there, Jesus Christ is the Answer, we ran a two-month soup kitchen, delivering hot lunches to an average of 450 people three days a week.
We also had the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of people each day as we fed them. Many people came to Christ during that time and requested Bible studies. As a result, we have nine new study groups that meet weekly in the areas affected most by the earthquake.
We planned a three-phase ministry of relief work. We have completed phase one of the project, which was helping six churches with rebuilding and repairing the damage from the earthquake.
We are currently in phase two, which is the rebuilding of homes that were completely destroyed. We have the approval to begin building six properties. When we began this project, we had no idea of all of the red tape that would be required by the government. We praise God for sending us Bolivar Conde, an Ecuadorian architect who has taken over as the project manager. He began construction on the first three houses in March. We are praying that God will provide the funds so that we will be able to build 9 more houses, which will complete our initial goal of 15 homes.
Our final phase will be reparations made to homes that were not destroyed but that had severe damage. These homes are habitable but still need major repairs. We are hoping to be able to carry on phase two and three simultaneously.
There are two main needs that we have to help complete this project:
- We are currently seeking groups who would like to come to Manta to help us with phases two and three. Connect here!
- We need funds to help complete the project. Give here!
We are so thankful to all who have offered their time and funds thus far. It is amazing to see what God has done in Manta, not only with the rebuilding of homes but also the restoration of lives. Outreach to those who lost so much in the earthquake continues, and the church is growing.
If you would like to help in any way, please contact Jim Smith, serving with Men for Missions: firstname.lastname@example.org.