April 9 2018
We’re so thankful for veteran OMS missionaries Jim and Sue Smith, who have agreed to serve as interim coordinators for the Manta, Ecuador, work relief project. The Smiths, who served in Ecuador for nearly 20 years, will serve in this position until Aaron and Kristin Gouge (currently funding) arrive on the field to assume this ministry position full time. Jim and Sue currently live in the U.S, but they travel to Manta as needed with Men for Missions teams. As on-site coordinators, they work closely with the OMS Ecuador field leader, the in-country Manta project manager, and Manta city officials.
Their responsibilities include arranging team accommodations, team work assignments, airport runs, orientation, meal schedules, transportation, currency exchange, healthcare, and cultural/sightseeing trips. They also oversee team dynamics such as daily devotions and debriefing, observing how God is moving in lives of team members and encouraging them in that journey, promoting a willingness to understand the culture and honoring the national coworkers, and challenging team members with ways they can be further involved in MFM/OMS.
The Christian presence in the Manta area is minimal. A long-range plan is to expand beyond the current earthquake-related reconstruction project to include the following types of teams: work, medical, evangelism, and VBS/youth.
Urgent need: Work teams to Manta for the following 2018 dates:
October 27-November 3
We are also beginning to schedule these types of teams for 2019 and beyond. Please consider Manta, Ecuador, as a place to go on your next life-changing journey. We will be happy to help you throughout the process.
Men for Missions
941 Fry Road, P.O. Box A
Greenwood, IN 46142-6599
Office phone: 317.881.6752
April 3 2018
On April 16, 2016, the southern coastal province of Manabi, Ecuador, was hit by a 7.8 earthquake. The death toll was 676, with over 16,000 injured and 2,000 who lost their homes. There was widespread damage in the province, but one of the worst-hit areas was Manta.
One Mission Society responded immediately by taking in bags of supplies, water, and clothes to those in Manta. Along with our local church there, Jesus Christ is the Answer, we ran a two-month soup kitchen, delivering hot lunches to an average of 450 people three days a week.
We also had the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of people each day as we fed them. Many people came to Christ during that time and requested Bible studies. As a result, we have nine new study groups that meet weekly in the areas affected most by the earthquake.
We planned a three-phase ministry of relief work. We have completed phase one of the project, which was helping six churches with rebuilding and repairing the damage from the earthquake.
We are currently in phase two, which is the rebuilding of homes that were completely destroyed. We have the approval to begin building six properties. When we began this project, we had no idea of all of the red tape that would be required by the government. We praise God for sending us Bolivar Conde, an Ecuadorian architect who has taken over as the project manager. He began construction on the first three houses in March. We are praying that God will provide the funds so that we will be able to build 9 more houses, which will complete our initial goal of 15 homes.
Our final phase will be reparations made to homes that were not destroyed but that had severe damage. These homes are habitable but still need major repairs. We are hoping to be able to carry on phase two and three simultaneously.
There are two main needs that we have to help complete this project:
- We are currently seeking groups who would like to come to Manta to help us with phases two and three. Connect here!
- We need funds to help complete the project. Give here!
We are so thankful to all who have offered their time and funds thus far. It is amazing to see what God has done in Manta, not only with the rebuilding of homes but also the restoration of lives. Outreach to those who lost so much in the earthquake continues, and the church is growing.
If you would like to help in any way, please contact Jim Smith, serving with Men for Missions: email@example.com.