Like the great majority of us all around the world, Marilyn and I have been sheltering in place. For us, this process began on the 15th of March at our daughter Lisa’s home in Vancouver, Washington. We are here with her family of 6, and our son Joel’s family of 5, for a grand total of 13!
We had purchased tickets to attend the AIM Minister’s Retreat and after that John had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on March 30. Karyn, Joel’s wife, was with their three girls working at the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington.
President Lenin Moreno gave notice at 2:00 pm on Saturday the 14th of March, that he would be shutting down international flights within 48 hours and closing the borders of Ecuador. Nine hours later, we had managed to buy tickets and were flying out of Guayaquil, with Joel, heading for Vancouver. Unfortunately, it appears that Marilyn and I contracted Covid-19 somewhere along the way. The virus swept through our family starting four days after our arrival. Thankfully the kids were only affected for about 3 days, the rest of us felt poorly with body aches, fever, cough, loss of smell and an overall malaise for about 12-14 days. Several of us are still feeling a bit of weakness, but we are all doing well.
Picking up a few staples.
Dividing up the groceries.
We are regularly ministering to our congregation in Ecuador online through our radio, videos and zoom meetings. Many families in the Arco Church network are going through a very difficult time. The virus has had a limited direct effect on members of our church thus far, however, many were already living on the edge economically. A large percentage of folks in our congregations live month to month, and after 3 weeks of being sheltered in place they are now completely out of food and household necessities.
The Lord reminded us of how the believers in Acts responded to the famine that struck the early church. Those that had resources made sacrifices to provide for those most in need. In fact they sent out word that relief offerings should be taken up throughout Asia for the poorest among them.
During a time of prayer we were led to Paul’s exhortation to the church at Corinth. “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal." As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough."
2 Corinthians 8:12-15
We realized that we were in much better shape economically than many in our congregations and the Lord directed us to make a special sacrificial offering to the church for the purpose of relieving the suffering of the poorest of our members, especially those who have been faithfully serving in the church.
We realize that suffering during this time has been widespread and that many of you have been personally impacted, however If you would like to join us in making a special offering it would be greatly appreciated. It would go 100% to those most in need in our congregation. Please designate your offering to: "Covid Relief - Totoracocha" You can use the donte button here on the web page, or mail a check to:
Family Health Foundation
attn: covid relief - Totoracocha
PO Box 667
Hagerstown, MD 21741
Thanking you in advance for your kindness and generosity, John & Marilyn
Ramon & Yudith- a Venezuelan couple who are recovering from a terrible motorcycle accident.