This is Pablo, one of the five children I sponsor through Compassion International. Pablo lives in Ecuador. As you may have heard, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near the central coast of Ecuador on April 16 causing devastating damage. An estimated 413 people have died and at least 2,527 people have been injured. These numbers are expected to rise as rescuers continue to search through rubble. This is the deadliest earthquake to hit Ecuador since March 1987 when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed 1,000 people.
I have been told by the Compassion staff that they have no information as yet as to whether any Compassion children or their family members have been affected by the earthquake. There are 22 Compassion centers within 60 miles of the epicenter of the earthquake. Pablo’s Compassion Center is in the coastal region in the Province of Manabi – one of the provinces heavily affected by the earthquake. I have been told that I will be updated on Pablo’s safety and well-being.
Pablo is 15. I have been his sponsor since November, 2011 and have watched him grow into a fine young man. He loves soccer! In a recent letter he was thrilled to tell me that he and his team won a regional soccer championship. He also plays tennis. Pablo loves singing praises and choruses at his church. He says he loves to “learn new things” and is very excited that he will soon be attending a newly built high school. I can only wonder if the building still exists.
In November of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. It took weeks to find out that my sponsored child Aibie was not from the affected area and was safe. Pablo lives directly in the area of the earthquake. Along with Compassion International, I ask for prayer for Pablo and his family and all the children who have been impacted by the earthquake as well as prayers for the rescue workers who are still digging in the rubble looking for survivors.
The Compassion staff in Ecuador is working fervently to provide assistance and relief wherever possible. Click here if you would like to donate to their relief efforts in Ecuador.
UPDATE FROM COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL: April 26, 2016
“As you may have heard, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near the central coast of Ecuador on Saturday, April 16, causing devastating damage.
Compassion has more than 13,000 beneficiaries in the affected area. Our staff in Ecuador are partnering with churches to assess and respond to the needs of the children and families we serve. They have communicated a desperate need.
Sadly, we already know of two children in our programs who have died, another child who is seriously injured and in the hospital, and eight caregivers and siblings of our children who have also lost their lives. Four of our church-run child development centers have been badly damaged and are temporarily closed. Our field staff is estimating that many beneficiaries have lost their homes or their homes have been significantly damaged, and that other centers also have been severely damaged.”