After three months of lockdown, Quito is cautiously opening up. Most businesses are reopening but working from home is still encouraged and social distancing and other protocols are in place for those that go to their workplace. Scott is transitioning to two days per week in the office, while Jody is continuing to work from home. COVID-19 cases are still increasing in Quito and ICU beds are currently full; if the pandemic worsens, Quito could be locked down again.
Our best news this week was that outdoor individual physical activity is now allowed for those under 70. Both cycling and mountaineering were specifically mentioned and Scott is delighted. He climbed our 16,000’ mountain last weekend.
Although we’ve been confined to home, some of our missionaries are helping with food ministries in Shell and Quito. An estimated 40% to 50% of Ecuadorians live day-to-day and the three-month quarantine has put many families in desperate need of help.
In Shell our Community Ministries department has helped at least seven local churches provide food kits to vulnerable families. Each church develops a list of the families they would like to help and decides what portion of the food list they can supply. Our mission provides coordination, purchasing, vehicles, necessary legal permission, and the funding for the remainder of the shopping list.
The Shell shopping list includes 4 kg rice, 2 kg sugar, 2 lb soup noodles, 1 L palm oil, 1 kg lentils, 6 cans tuna, 2 kg salt, 1 lb oats, 1 pkg powdered milk, 1 pkg pasta, 1 pkg tapioca, $1.00 of plantain, $1.00 of yucca, 30 eggs, and a live chicken. The cost is about $25.00.
Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) is a Quito ministry close to where we work. In normal times they provide about 500 families with food, clothing, and job training. About half are immigrants, mostly from Venezuela. During the quarantine they have distributed food kits to 50-100 people, three times a week, more than 6,000 kits in all. The kits cost about $20 and supply a family of four for two weeks. The contents are similar to the Shell shopping list except there’s a frozen chicken instead of a live one. Because of the demand, most recipients have received one-time help.
The International Bible Society donates Bibles which are given to anyone who wants one. Volunteers pray with those who want prayer and encourage however they can. Two of our co-workers have helped in preparing and distributing food kits. In the photo below they’re the tall ones toward the front.
Pan de Vida has a website, pandevida.org.ec, and accepts donations in Ecuador and in the U.S. They also have a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/fundacionpandevida, with videos of people receiving help.
How to Pray
Thank God for the ways He is working through this pandemic and for opportunities to share His love and hope.
- For Ecuador and the world, ask that God would work out His purposes, granting leaders wisdom in this challenging time.
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Thank you for sharing this journey with us!
Scott & Jody
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