Dear prayer partners,

Over the past few weeks in Ecuador, the police have collected about 800 bodies off the street and from homes, with a further 631 from overwhelmed hospitals in Guayaquil (a major port city) – which has become the epicentre of Ecuador’s coronavirus outbreak. The military and police began removing bodies from homes three weeks after the mortuary system in Guayaquil collapsed and residents began posting videos on social media of bodies abandoned in the streets, along with pleas for help to bury family members. Given the inability of relatives to bury their loved ones for various reasons (including financial constraints), the Ecuadorian government has taken on the task of burying the bodies.

Ecuador’s first diagnosis of COVID-19 was confirmed on 29 February and has since risen to over 7,500 cases. Ecuador (home to about 17 million people) is among the top three countries with the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the entire Latin American region. It demonstrates the potentially catastrophic impact this disease can have to low and middle-income nations, that are still in the early stages of this pandemic.

Despite the government’s efforts to enforce strict lockdown and curfew orders, the instructions to stay home, maintain personal distance and wash hands frequently are in many cases unrealistic. More than one-in-four Ecuadorians have no access to running water, more than half have no access to sewage facilities, about 60% are not connected to the public social services network and a large number of the population work as street vendors, therefore, to stay home means to starve.

As heart-breaking and devastating as COVID-19 has been to the wealthier parts of the world, from China to Europe to the United States, it now threatens to wreak even more destruction on poorer countries like Ecuador and many African countries.

Please join with us in praying for Ecuador.

“God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers and never silent to your pain. He is a God that sees you and hears your cries.” (Anonymous)