COVID-19 Testimonies from Ecuador
Hello to all my dearest friends in Global Ministries:
I am Blanca Puma, the Executive Director of FEDICE, Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development, Training, and Education. On behalf of our brothers and sisters from the communities where FEDICE works, I want to send you our greetings and gratitude to all of you.
Esmeraldas is a city located in the Costa del Ecuador region approximately 6 hours from Quito. It was one of the areas most affected by the earthquake that occurred on April 16, 2016. FEDICE began its work with this group in 2016.
FEDICE was able to start working with a group of women in this area. They are people who are mainly engaged in tourism activities and therefore now, in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic and the confinement in which we find ourselves, of course, they are not receiving tourists, and therefore their economic situation is very precarious. For this reason, this group has been one of the beneficiaries of the food rations FEDICE is delivering there. Here we continue brothers. We are sure that with God’s blessing, we will go ahead with WORK, with FAITH, with JOY, with a NEW HOPE, as is the name of this group.
FEDICE communities have been affected after such a devastating time by the pandemic of COVID-19 in Ecuador. The New York Times has written and photographed several articles about how Ecuador has been the worst-hit developing country in the world (April 23, 2020 and April 24, 2020). Until now, in Ecuador, around 36,250 people have been infected with COVID-19, and, unfortunately, 3,096 people have died.
With no income or relief coming from the seclusion, the population that FEDICE serves has suffered dramatically. They are already impoverished by any world standard and, with this situation, their economic situation is getting worse and worse. We prepared kits with groceries such as rice, sugar, oil, and also hygiene kits with soap, alcohol, and hand sanitizers. For now, we are focusing our help on elderly people from the groups that work with FEDICE.
We want to say “thanks so much for your love and support.” Thanks for being part of this MINGA (partnership) with FEDICE. In Matthew 25: 31-40, Jesus tells the story of how God will someday judge the family of Jesus because by giving the hungry something to eat, the thirsty something to drink, the stranger a welcome, the naked some clothing, the sick some care, and the prisoners some comfort, they did this to Christ himself. They will inherit the Kingdom of God for eternity. “Whoever did it to the least of these who are my brothers and sisters,” Jesus stated, “has done it unto me.” V.40
We know we will go ahead even with this challenging situation. How? We will continue praying and trusting God. We are going to get through this with WORK, FAITH, and HOPE.
Thank you for demonstrating Christ’s compassion.
Blessings to all of you dear friends
Blanca Puma Martinez
Executive Director of FEDICE
GLORIA VALENCIA, PRESIDENT OF THE WOMEN’S GROUP “NEW HOPE,” SUA, ESMERALDAS, ECUADOR.
Dear friends, my name is Gloria Valencia. I am the president of the “Nueva Esperanza” New Hope women’s group in Sua, Esmeraldas, Ecuador. On behalf of all my partners, we want to thank you. Yes. Thanks to God, because you are always caring for us even in this difficult pandemic.
So thank you very much with all my heart. I pray that the Lord continues to bless your lives. Thank you for thinking of us. God bless you very much.
JESSICA CASTRO, SECRETARY OF THE WOMEN’S GROUP:
Hello, please receive greetings from the New Hope (Nueva Esperanza) women’s group in Sua. We want to say thanks so much to FEDICE for the help they have provided. It has been of great help to each of our families in our homes. The glory and mercy of God have blessed us.
At this moment, not only Ecuador, not only here in Sua, in the entire world, we are suffering the crisis for the pandemic of COVID-19. Your accompaniment is always welcomed. Blessings to all of you.