VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/20/16)—An initial grant of $7,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief funds is being sent to the Latin American Baptist Women’s Union (UFBAL) after a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of this South American country on Saturday, April 16. The death toll stands at 525 people and some 2,500 people were injured, according to BBC News. The search for survivors continues.
The Rev. Adalia Gutiérrez Lee, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) area director, said “I spoke with UFBAL leadership about their needs after the earthquake in Ecuador. They said they are very grateful for our love, prayers and solidarity. They asked if OGHS can provide relief funds to purchase water, medicines, food, mattresses and other relief supplies in order to help the churches that have become shelters in Ecuador.
“They say that their tragedy is big,” continued Gutiérrez Lee. “They need all the help they can receive, as the churches have the space and the human resources, but not the money to buy everything that is needed at the moment.” IM has no global workers in Ecuador at this time.
OGHS is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.
According to BBC News, President Rafael Correa announced that the cost of rebuilding is likely to be in the billions of dollars. Correa described this as the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades.
Additional relief is urgently needed. You may give through your church; click here to make an online contribution by credit card; or mail a check to International Ministries, Attn: OGHS-Ecuador Relief, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482. Write “OGHS-Ecuador Relief” on the memo line if you give by check.
UFBAL is one of the six continental unions that make up the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance. In 1953, three regional women’s unions were organized in Latin America, and in 1956 in Santiago de Chile they joined together, forming what is now known as UFBAL. The organization is now comprised of national women’s organizations from 24 conventions and unions in Latin America affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance.
American Baptist International Ministries works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.