Ecuador struck by strongest earthquake in decades

Ecuador struck by strongest earthquake in decades

by | 18 Apr 2016
Church of the Nazarene South America Region photos

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeast Ecuador April 16, causing widespread devastation and leaving entire towns in ruins. It was the most powerful quake the country has experienced in decades.

As of Monday morning, thousands are homeless and sleeping outside or in temporary shelters. At least 2,527 people were injured with more than 350 killed, including 18 Church of the Nazarene members. At least 20 church members are still missing. 

At the Jama Church of the Nazarene, 10 people were gathered for prayer when the earthquake struck and the building collapsed. Six members were able to get out safely while the other four were trapped inside. Two children were later rescued, but the two adults were killed.

There are approximately 80 local Nazarene churches across all the affected areas. Many Nazarene church members' homes were destroyed. 

“We are still waiting to know the full extent because communications and pathways are cut [off],” said Dwight Rich, field strategy coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene’s North Andean Field.

The hardest-hit areas include Pedernales, Portoviejo, and Guayaquil.

 “We are in a national emergency because of the earthquake that Ecuador experienced,” said Hugo Archila Lider, the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries coordinator for Ecuador. “We join efforts to address the urgent needs of the affected area.”

Local churches have already begun to come together to respond to the needs in their communities with the resources they have on hand. They are requesting support to provide for urgent needs, including bottled water, food, mosquito nets, blankets, and medicine.

Churches in the affected areas are working to “attend to the needs of our Nazarene brothers and sisters and to the other citizens that have been affected in the areas where we have churches and are providing pastoral care,” Lider said.

The North Andean Field reported in a newsletter: “We praise the Lord for his protection and would ask for your prayers for the families that have lost family members, neighbors, and loved ones. … Our churches are pulling together to help our neighbors and families in Christ.”

How to help


Please pray for local church leaders as they lead the disaster response efforts. Pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones, pray for vulnerable children and families, and pray for churches who are working to meet the needs in their communities.


Nazarene Compassionate Ministries has created a PowerPoint presentation and bulletin inserts with information about the earthquake and ways to pray and give toward relief efforts. Click here to download these resources for your church or small group. 


Churches and individuals around the world can support disaster response efforts by giving to Ecuador Earthquake Response Fund. Donations will be used to meet immediate needs, including water, food, and medicine, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

To send donations by mail:

In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to: 

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put 126156 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada
20 Regan Road, Unit 9
Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3

Be sure to put 126156 in the Memo area.

For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to the Ecuador Earthquake Response.

--Nazarene Compassionate Ministries



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