“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
On April 16, 2016, at 18:58 CST, Ecuador was hit by a powerful and destructive earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, leaving hundreds of dead and thousands without homes. We thank God for His goodness and protection. We currently live just about an hour away from the most devastated area. We could not explain to you the feelings we experienced through this catastrophe, but in all God is good! We suffered much for the many losses, knowing that many of them did not know Christ as their personal Saviour. I personally had the opportunity to take a group of people to take food and water to the affected area, and we were able to assist Missionary Arian Molina, who lives in Pedernales City, to help his church members in whatever capacity we could. Pastor Ezequiel Salazar, Pastor Franco Loyola, and a large group of people from our congregation went down to the most affected area to help as well. We have seen God’s hand of provision through all this.
This reminds me of the story of the “Jailer’s Keeper” in Acts 16, where God allowed tragedy (earthquake) so the jailer’s keeper and the rest of his family could get saved! Why do I say this? Because God allowed me to stand up and have the courage to open the Bible and tell this story to many people and give comfort to the ones who lost many loved ones. I had the opportunity to cry with the ones who cried and give them hugs of comfort, but most of all, I was able to share with them the great news of the Gospel of Christ! That’s why our hearts rejoice, knowing that we have done everything within our power to help these dear and precious people. Please keep us in your prayers so we can better minister to them at this difficult time. Pastor Ezequiel Salazar told me, “This is the right time to do something in Pedernales. If we do not take advantage of the situation right now, this specific harvest will be over.”
I want to thank our sending church, First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, and everyone who hasa sent donations for the earthquake relief. All these donations will be channeled through the funds Montecito Baptist Church is raising through Pastor Ezequiel Salazar and Pastor Franco Loyola.
This month has been filled with different activities. One of them was the Fires of Evangelism conference, which was hosted by Missionary Jesus Alanis in Sangolqui, Ecuador. I was privileged to be one of the speakers, along with other pastors and missionaries.
Souls saved this month: 25