It has amazed me how fast my life has returned to “normal” following the earthquake we experienced this past April. I thought it would be many months before I could go back to my weekly shopping outings in Manta, or would be safe to walk around the streets there as I was accustomed to doing. But it has been incredible to watch the rapid progress that the government and people have made to not only recover, but improve things over what they were before. Although many buildings (especially in the Tarqui shopping area) had to be demolished, many people have received help from the government to rebuild their homes and businesses. Everywhere you look there is rapid progress being made to build new areas for people to work and live.
But as always happens in these types of situations, there are still some people who fall through the cracks. Many of you helped me to help my friend Edwin and his family recover, by giving funds that enabled him to purchase another car when his was demolished in the earthquake. He is now using that car to transport people and items again. In addition, he has started a rental car business with the help of another of our friends, and even in its first few months, it is doing quite well.
But there are other people whose earthquake recovery is still not over. They have not received any help and are left living in rubble. Several weeks after the earthquake, I visited Edwin’s church in Manta and in my blog afterwards, made an appeal for churches in America to help the people with their recovery. The response was slow and minimal and as I waited, some people received help from other sources. Gratefully, my former church in Dallas recently offered some funds for assistance. I’ve also had a few individuals who have donated. So I spoke with Edwin and learned of one family who attends his church, that is still homeless.
Leonardo and Maria lived in a small room in the back of a house belonging to his grandmother, where his uncle also lived. The earthquake destroyed the structure. His grandmother was able to move in with other family members and his uncle relocated outside the city. That has left Leonardo and Maria with nothing but a bare piece of land where the earthquake rubble has been cleared. At present, they are living in the shed that was the workshop for his uncle, who repaired electronics. They do not qualify for government help to rebuild the home, because the land is in his deceased grandfather’s name. Leonard works as a plumber, which is not a high paying job in Ecuador. Without assistance, he would likely remain in this situation indefinitely. But I’m hoping for your help to change that!
At this point, we’ve raised $1,200. The goal is to build at least a small, basic one room structure, measuring approximately 30 ft x 10 ft, with a sink. At a minimum we need to raise $3,000, but if we raise more, we can do more for them.
Would you please be willing to help show compassion and love to this couple who has still not been able to piece their lives back together? Ask your churches, share with your friends and help Edwin and me help another “starfish.” I am not using a fundraising website, so that every bit of money donated can go to help this couple. I will obtain receipts for all supplies purchased, and we have made arrangements for people to donate their labor skills to build the house. So please click on the link below to send your donations to my PayPal account. If you need another giving option or more information, please contact me directly.