At 6:58 p.m. on April 16, as thousands of people were doing what they normally do on a Saturday night and as tourists ready for dinner filled restaurants in towns along Ecuador’s Pacific coast, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck, changing thousands of lives forever.
Buildings collapsed, highways buckled, overpasses fell on to roads. At this writing more than 650 deaths have been confirmed; estimates are that 12,000 to 16,000 are injured; many are missing. Over 700 aftershocks have been recorded.
Ecuadorians, of course, are suffering the most. However, in recent years Ecuador has become a popular retirement destination for American and Canadian expats in search of a lower cost of living and a more temperate climate. Now, many of those attracted to the coastal region find that their plans, like their condos, are in ruins.
When such disasters come, the first order of business is to do what we can to give aid and bring relief, but such times also bring a great opportunity to examine where our security is found. Sooner or later, we will all be shaken...by something. Our daily routine will be shockingly interrupted by the unexpected.
The psalmist gives us words to prepare us for such times:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-2)
Those who seek first the Kingdom of God will find that what they need will be added to them and that includes sustaining power in times of trouble.
You can contribute to HOPE worldwide’s relief efforts in Ecuador and Japan by clicking here.