The reality of the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the coast of Ecuador on April 16 has deeply effected everyone here. Because the quake happened at night, the scale of destruction and loss was not fully realized until the next day. The death toll is currently moving towards 700, with as many as 1,700 still missing.
Last weekend, I went to the coast with a small team to help the family of Evelyn, who works in the Youth World office. Phil led the team along with two of Evelyn's brothers, and also Casa G boys Paulo and Jesus. The boys were eager to help out in any way possible.
Since then, we have also opened up the house to a former Casa G boy, Daniel, and his wife and infant daughter. Their home was destroyed during the quake so we are helping them as they seek a fresh start. The team I was a part of was also able to give supplies to the relatives of one of the Casa Adalia girls. It is humbling to see how much a few jugs of water and bags of rice can mean to people who have lost homes, businesses, and/or loved ones.
Youth World was among the first responders, sending out a team the day after the quake to help with rescue efforts. YW is currently in the process of evaluating how future teams can best reach out and meet people's immediate needs and be a part of what will be a very long road of rebuilding. This country is in mourning.
Pray for Ecuador. Thank you.