people here in Ecuador have been suffering through several days of
tragedy, but the resolve of the Ecuadorian people is magnificent. We
dropped off a box of clothes and provisions at one of the designated
pickup points for donations, and there was a line of cars waiting their
turn as a chain of people collected the items and passed them along
inside, where the ministry of health has been organizing the response
The most impacted areas are about a six-hour drive southwest
of us, all the way down the mountains. There are several towns and two
main cities, the port of Manta and the city of Portoviejo, each with
populations of around 200,000.
We have been in touch with people from
Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (conference that
relates with Rosedale Mennonite Missions) in Manta, Guayaquil, and
Portoviejo. One of the sisters from the church in Portoviejo has died,
and others lost their homes. Some church buildings are also damaged.
We ask that you continue your prayers for the churches and
people along the coast, as well as the Quito Mennonite Church as we seek
to know how best to support the people and churches in the most
Kindly and prayerfully,
Peter and Delicia
In the days since the earthquake, Mission Network workers and staff have been in communication with the Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana
church leaders, Rosedale Mennonite Missions, and Mennonite Central
Committee (MCC). A group of 10 people from the Guayaquil church left for
Manta on Apr. 21 with a truck of basic food and water supplies they
purchased to help alleviate suffering. Workers and church members in
Quito are making preparations to help former Mission Network worker
David Shenk travel to Manta to work with MCC and the churches to plan a
medium-term disaster response.
The Ecuador Partnership personnel
currently include five international workers and their families sent by
Mission Network, and an associate sent by the
Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (Christian Mennonite Church of Colombia).
Delicia Bravo and Peter Wigginton, with their daughter, Aliyah, live in Quito,
Ecuador, and serve as partnership coordinators for
Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador (Christian Anabaptist Mennonite Church of Ecuador), Mennonite Mission Network,
Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia, and Central Plains
Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. They also use their gifts
in music, education, and children's and youth ministries in the programs
of the Quito Mennonite Church.
Gloria Showalter also serves in
Quito with the Quito Mennonite Church's Education for Peace children's
program and other ministries with children and youth, including working
to form a youth group and supporting youth to develop leadership skills.
Jane and Jerrell Ross Richer and their family work half the year
with indigenous church leaders in the Ecuadorian rain forest, focusing
on creation care, economic justice, rights of women and children, and
community development, and half the year as educators in the United
States. Their ministry is embraced by the indigenous association,
Consejo de Pueblos y Organizaciones Indígenas Evangélicas de Ecuador (Council of Indigenous Evangelical Peoples and Organizations).
María Helena López from Colombia serves as co-coordinator of
Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador. She also
works with spiritual ministries in the Calderón community, especially
with Colombian refugees, and supports other ministries of the churches
"Our hearts go out to all the people impacted by this
tragedy," said Linda Shelly, Mennonite Mission Network Latin America
director. "Although grateful that the devastation did not reach as far
Quito and the Eastern rain forest where we are most involved, we
anticipate there will be ways to support the relief efforts on the