BAKERSFIELD CA (January 3, 2018) – A 30-minute broadcast by NBC station KGET 17 about the ongoing work of the Ecuador Covenant Church (IPEE) and other organizations to help people recover from last year’s deadly earthquake can now be viewed and read online.
“The Covenant Church of Ecuador, we’ve seen the idea to serve has been so strong within all the churches, all the pastors,” Petter Hermansson, a missionary with the church, tells reporter Lori Lizarraga.
“It’s amazing to see how life is becoming what it was in some ways,” Hermansson said. “Even though we all have the memories of the things that happened. It will never be the same of course, but we have so much brave, strong people fighting and it’s amazing to be part of it.”
Among those people is the Good Samaritan group of La Victoria Covenant Church, which is helping people establish and re-establish small businesses. “It is the best long-term recovery program I have ever seen,” Dave Husby, director of Covenant World Relief, said in an email before the episode aired. “They have been so thorough in training the people in the community who have started businesses and in helping them in doing market studies, getting business licenses and other necessary documentation. They have people assigned to each business owner to walk with them, mentor, and encourage them. They continue to work with other individuals and families in this same process.”
Lizarraga was visiting her family in Punta Blanca when the 7.8 earthquake hit on April 16, 2016. For 53 terrifying seconds it collapsed buildings, destroyed roads, and ripped apart water supplies while cutting off access to food and medical care in many parts of the country.
She went back a year later to focus on what had been happening since the earthquake, which most of the world had already forgotten about.
As Lizarraga interviewed people, she kept hearing about the work of the IPEE to provide relief supplies and its ongoing recovery efforts. That work will continue for many long years to come.
Husby said, “We are committed to working with people in this community for as long as that is possible, and CWR is committed to working with the Good Samaritan group for the duration.”
To donate to that work, go to Ecuador Relief.