As you likely know, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Ecuador last Saturday evening, April 16th. The boys and staff of Casa Gabriel were not harmed during the quake, as Quito is located over 100 miles away from the epicenter on the coast. It was a scary time for all here in the capital city as the ground moved and houses shook for more than 2 minutes. However, many areas on the coast were greatly affected as houses and buildings collapsed and to date over 500 people have perished, 1,700 still missing and more than 4,000 injured causing chaos in many of the affected areas. Unicef has warned that 150,000 children have been affected by the disaster and said landslides were complicating rescue efforts in some areas, and some towns were without electricity. The Spanish Red Cross estimated that up to 100,000 people would need assistance.
News and photos of the destruction have poured in, we have certainly all felt the pain and grief of loss. Daniel C. one of our former Casa Gabriel boys from Muisne a town on the coast greatly affected was able to call me yesterday and let me know he and family were alive. They are homeless and sleeping alongside the road on plastic and one mattress as many others are also forced to do. He stated that needed food and water were sent to the area but were hijacked and stolen before it arrived to his area. Please pray with us as we try to figure out the best way to help and support him and family. Just this morning we heard from another former Casa Gabriel participant in Manta asking for help. Jefferson M. said they are without food and water and housing and are cooking what they can on an open fire.
After the quake, Youth World mobilized a small team which was among some of the first responders. Currently, there are still people buried under the rubble whom rescue workers are attempting to retrieve in time. There are people sleeping in ditches because their homes are gone, waiting for medical attention, and in need of clean water and food. This weekend, Phil and some of the boys will be traveling to the coast with the brother of an Ecuadorian Youth World team member to bring food, water, clothes, and help their family members affected and wherever needed. Please keep Ecuador in your prayers. Thank you, dear friends.
- The Casa Gabriel Team
THANK YOU so much to the team from Christian Fellowship Church and The Chapel who spent time at Casa Gabriel and Casa Adalia!! Even more than the work projects they worked so diligently to compete, it was the connections which were developed with the boys and girls in a short span of time which meant so much and where we saw eternal investment happen. A big thanks to Three Rivers Church who could not make this â€œexperienceâ€ but sent much needed funds for the many projects worked on.
During their ten days here, the team:
:: Blessed the home church of Maricruz, the mom of three of our boys, by preaching a sermon, waterproofing the foundation for their new church building, interacting and fellowshipping with the members and donating funds for materials.
:: Shared times of heartfelt life stories and testimonies with the boys.
:: Installed a new kitchen sink, fixed plumbing issues, stripped and repainted all the kitchen cabinets, fixed drawers, and deep-cleaned.
:: Experienced the challenge of not having or finding the needed materials quickly or at all.
:: Created a workshop where the boys will learn welding and other skills which they can pursue full-time or fall back on while pursuing other dreams.
:: Experienced the culture of Ecuador through visiting the Historic Old Town, the Equatorial monument, Mount Pichincha ... and eating lots of rice! J
:: Encouraged and prayed with and for the boys, and having meaningful conversations with them despite the language barrier.
:: In Casa Adalia; worked in kitchen, moved laundry area down to first floor freeing up a bedroom space, started the structure for the EsperanzArt workshop expansion, and installed water drainage system.
Muchas gracias por todo!! Thank you for everything!!
Tug-o-war over the Equator line!
Celebrating Dan and Jackson's birthdays!!
Prayer Requests and Praises
:: Pray for the people of Ecuador who have lost family, friends, homes, businesses, and their sense of safety.
:: Pray for the Casa Gabriel team as we, along with the rest of Youth World, seek to help those affected by the quake.
:: Pray for Christian, our temporary CG boy with Huntington's Disease, as we find a place where he will receive the best care possible. We want him to have the best care long-term, while also desiring to pour into him with everything we have while he is here with us.
:: Pray for Miguel Zova, as he will be the interim Director for Casa Gabriel while Phil is gone. Phil and Debbie will be in the States on home assignment from June to August 1st.
Mision Mundo Juvenil Internacional
Attn: Casa Gabriel
Pablo Herrera OE4-105PB Alvarez Del Corro
(DetrÃ¡s de Teleamazonas (Canal 4))