Via ENS. The Bishop of Ecuador Litoral has released a letter in the wake of the weekend’s devastating earthquake.
Dear friends, we would like to express our deep gratitude for the messages of affection and prayers we have received for our Diocese and our country during this very difficult time.
We have lived an unforgettable experience in which we feared for our lives, the lives of our loved ones, and the lives of the members of our faith community. We have clung with deep fervor to the protective hand of our God.
While seeing images in the newspapers and social networks, I just think about the suffering of our compatriots.
I pray for comfort and solidarity for all those who have lost loved ones, that God would also encourage them and restore them in His infinite mercy and goodness.
The coastal area of our country suffered considerable damage to its infrastructure, loss of life, and a large number of people are injured and missing. One of the most affected areas by the earthquake are the cities of Manta and Portoviejo and the town of La Pila, where our church has a presence. We are getting reports that 48 church members’ homes are completely or partially destroyed and three churches have considerable damage in their physical structure. Fortunately, there was no loss of life among our members, but there are some with bruises and physical and psychological trauma.
The community is already engaged because there are basic needs of drinking water, food, medicine, first-aid kits, and basic tools. In general, all the elements needed for rescue efforts.
There are many victims that require our attention. We will seek ways to send help although the roads have been affected. With the help of the National Police or other government agency we will find a way to reach those who need it the most.
We appreciate your prayers and support,
The Rt. Rev. Alfredo Morante España
Bishop of Ecuador Litoral
Those wishing to help may contribute to the Episcopal Relief & Development fund. The Diocese of Ecuador Litoral is in Province IX of the Episcopal Church.
Featured image: Portoviejo is one of the areas most affected by the earthquake. Photo: Jairo Chiran