BWA sends relief to Ecuador
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is sending an initial sum of US$15,000 for emergency relief to Ecuador after a massive 7.8 earthquake hit the South American country late on 16 April.
More than 400 were killed and more than 2,500 injured. A state of emergency was declared throughout the country.
"We would be very thankful if the BWA could help us with any kind of economic support to help us meet the great needs," wrote Parrish Jacome, BWA regional secretary for South America and executive director of the Union of Baptists in Latin America. Jacome lives in Guayaquil, the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador.
"We have reports of destroyed church buildings and families of the churches that have lost their homes and some of their relatives," Jacome said.
"The ravages are heartbreaking in 15 to 20 cities and coastal towns," said Milton Bustos, president of the Baptist Convention of Ecuador. "We are coordinating the work through the Baptist Convention of Ecuador and its 15 regional associations and are gathering aid for the five regional Baptist associations that were affected," he explained.
BWA General Secretary Neville Callam assured the Ecuadorians of the support of the global Baptist family. "You can be assured of our prayers for all those affected by this difficult situation. We also want to assure you of our desire to express solidarity with you as you seek to respond to the needs that exist," Callam told Bustos.
"May God grant patience to all those who have to deal with the consequences of the earthquake and strength to those who lead the recovery process. May the inexhaustible grace and mercy of God be made clear to all of you," Callam said.
"As a Baptist family we express our commitment to help and solidarity in these difficult times. Together we can show God's love to people who are suffering," declared Jorge Quinteros of Chile, a vice president of the BWA. "May God strengthen the Baptist people of this country and provide them the courage to encourage and comfort the afflicted."