South America: Below is a special message from South America Regional Director Christian Sarmiento. Let us all join him and the rest of the world in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Ecuador. Find out how you can pray and help at this time of need.
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ of our beloved church,
Our heart is saddened for our brothers and sisters who suffer today because of the earthquake that shook the Ecuadorian coast on April 16th. The number of deaths within our Nazarene family surpasses the number suffered in our global church in the last years, and in our region in the last decade; and with it comes an entire nation that needs our support.
The Bible invites us to mourn with those that are mourning, and while we share the pain of our brothers and sisters of faith, as the South American Church of the Nazarene we want to rise up together in unity and intercede for Ecuador, so that the God of all grace may comfort our Ecuadorian family and surround them with arms of mercy.
This next week, from April 25th until May 1st, we are inviting our all of the Nazarenes in our region, and all of those that would like to join us in other parts of the world to kneel in a cry for the Ecuadorian people. Just as the Macedonian church mobilized up an offering when they heard the need among the people of the God (2 Corinthians 8), we want to do the same on Sunday May 1st amongst our congregations.
Pray for wisdom and strength, for the church leaders in Ecuador who have committed to help the people who are suffering. Let us pray for protection for those affected in areas helping the wounded and those in need. Pray for the government and the decisions that are taking place in response to this catastrophe. Pray especially for the most vulnerable, the children who lost their parents and walk the streets for shelter without protection of their family. Pray also for those looking for a shelter, for those without access to water and for every need that arises so it may be supplied. Finally, let us pray that God will open doors for His people to serve and minister to those affected.
All raised offerings can be sent to the office of the mission of the Church of the Nazarene in their country, with the description “Ecuador Earthquake Relief #126156”. Offerings can also be sent through the global site of Nazarene Compassionate Ministry, through the link: https://give.nazarene.org/donate/f/126156
The following includes a list of specific prayer request sent by our brothers and sisters from Ecuador:
- Pray for safety of the people in devastated areas, as there are still many aftershocks up to 6.1 degree on the Richter scale. This affects the population in many ways and also makes them fearful.
Pray for the people that are in areas that have not yet received help, because of the damage on the roads. They have very little water and food. Children are holding signs on the side of the road begging for food and water, and parents are giving the food they get to their children to have something to eat.
- Pray for our churches while they are ministering in the areas where Nazarene churches are present, bringing in food and water. The rescue teams need prayer so they may be strengthened and remain healthy, while in places where different kinds of viruses could develop rapidly and where there is a great risk of contracting dengue, zika and chikungunya due to mosquito bites. Pray also for safe journeys as they travel to affected areas using roads in terrible conditions.
- Pray for wisdom for the Church of the Nazarene, discernment of where and how to minister to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of those affected.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters who in the midst of this crisis are boldly sharing the Gospel in word and deed.
I appreciate your generosity and commitment to pray for our brothers and sisters in Ecuador.