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May 9, 2016

Relief for victims of earthquake, flood, civil strife

Emergency workers, volunteers, agencies join forces in Ecuador, Japan, Texas and the Congo


Red Shield emergency response teams distributed food, water, clothing to people in Ecuador and brought aid to those stranded in remote areas following the 7.8 earthquake that left at least 570 dead, and thousands homeless and caused extensive damage around the country’s northwest coast in April.

Captain Franklin Acosta, Program Secretary for the Ecuador Division, reported that the Army distributed sandwiches and milk to people sleeping on the streets in the immediate aftermath. “Afterwards some young people led a Salvation Army team to a remote area where they discovered 500 people who had lost their homes, sleeping in makeshift tents and shelters,” Captain Acosta said. “We talked for a long time and had the opportunity to pray with them and give them words of hope.”

Team members distributing care packages and administering first aid.
William Palma

Another team, led by Major Fabian Jaime from Esmeraldas, set off on a 180-kilometer journey to the small city of Pedernales, taking water, candles and non-perishable food to those forced from their homes.

Reinforcements trained in relief strategies by the Army's International Emergency Services team arrived to help with long-term relief efforts.

Commissioner Torben Eliasen, Territorial Commander for South American West, expressed gratitude for offers of international help: “We understand the magnitude and the urgency of the situation and anticipate that there will be a need for short, medium and long-term actions and we are preparing ourselves for this.

“We are profoundly grateful to all Salvationists and friends who are praying for the situation in Ecuador and sending resources to help.”


Team members prepare a meal of ramen noodles.

 As Salvationists in Japan and worldwide prayed for everyone affected by two powerful earthquakes in Japan in April that left more than 40 people dead, 100,000 displaced and homes, businesses, hospitals and roads and bridges damaged, relief workers deployed red kettles on street corners in Tokyo and other cities so people support relief efforts. At the outset, Salvationists collected detailed information on damage sustained near the quake’s epicenter so relief efforts would reach those with critical needs.


Houstonians donated to the relief efforts and served as volunteers. 

During recent flooding in Houston after record 16 inches of rain, the Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Commander provided relief and comfort to flood survivors. Houstonians donated to the relief efforts and served as volunteers as the Army distributed 7,638 meals, 9,605 drinks, 9,526 snacks and 1,267 clean-up kits and prayed with over 1,000 individuals. Organizations assisting with the cause included Mercy Chefs, Renaissance Food Group, Cox Media Group – 93Q, Convoy of Hope, UberEATS, Garden Highway Foods, Country Legends 97.2, 107.5, The Eagle KSBJ and Harvest Time Church.


After a cease-fire was declared in the Republic of Congo’s capital Brazzaville following gun battles which killed at least 17 people and injured many more, thousands of residents sheltered in Salvation Army centers started returning home. When attacks flared up near the capital, the Army opened additional refugee camps to receive displaced people from the affected villages.

General André Cox encouraged Salvationists worldwide to be faithful in praying for the Republic of Congo and its people. “We pray too for strength and wisdom for the dedicated Salvation Army officers and staff of the Congo Brazzaville Territory who are selflessly supporting displaced people despite their own difficulties.”

- Source: Salvation Army International News Service


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