The numbers have been staggering: nearly 900 people have died over the past week trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Our hearts break. We shake our heads and perhaps cry a few tears. Then we click to a new webpage, a new story, and set aside our laments until the next heartbreak headline. Yet, every day, thousands of refugees live at the edge of death, trying to escape the violence of their homes. Hundreds of thousands live in overcrowded camps or wait along borders, without enough to eat but with more than enough fear. Every day, not only when the headlines demand our attention, our neighbors, our siblings need us. They need us to care, to pray, to act.
Week of Compassion is committed to walking in solidarity with refugees every day. Your gifts to Week of Compassion have already and will continue to facilitate the work of our partners, who daily are providing food, hygiene supplies, education, and more to refugees around the world. Your gifts say: "where you go, I will go."
For a moment, around 7pm on April 16, the earth shook in Northwest Ecuador, as a 7.8 magnitude earth quake struck. Over the next 24 hours, over 55 aftershocks followed. Over the next several days, hundreds of survivors were pulled from the rubble, as hundreds more were pronounced dead. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, Week of Compassion partners on the ground offered emergency aid and supplies.
Now, 6 weeks later, the shock has faded, rescue efforts are winding down, and the news crews have moved on. Yet, the work of recovery, which will be long and difficult, is just beginning. This week, we received a second appeal for support from our international partner, ACT Alliance. With these funds communities whose infrastructure was destroyed in the earthquake, will be able to construct latrines and water sanitation systems, thus preventing the secondary crisis of waterborne illness. Funds will also help provide temporary shelter for over 600 families.
Week of Compassion is collaborating with One Great Hour of Sharing of the United Church of Christ in a Joint Appeal for Ecuador, to work together to express our solidarity with the people of Ecuador. You can be part of the effort through your prayers and your gifts. The resources linked below offer ideas for involving your congregation.
Our Global Responses Since May 26th, 2016
Where you built relationships with struggling neighbors