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Reach Beyond Relief Ministry Crews Switch Gears to Help Ecuador Quake Victims Rebuild Their Lives

Living in Fear, Survivors Struggle with Camp Life, Look to the Future

Contact: Darin Campbell, 512-785-8350 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 12, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- Three months after a devastating quake left 654 dead and thousands homeless in Ecuador, Reach Beyond relief ministry workers are focusing on dealing with the psychological distress left by the destruction as well as the nuts-and-bolts tasks of daily living and rebuilding.

Photo: Reach Beyond's Dr. Carlos Pinto talks to volunteers about how to assist families stricken by the Ecuador earthquake.
 
The initial April 16 quake registered 7.8 on the Richter scale, injuring at least 12,000, according to CNN, and causing an estimated $3.4 billion in damages. The region has been jolted by heavy aftershocks, and an estimated 23,000 to 28,000 displaced persons are living in makeshift camps after their homes were damaged in the quakes.
 
Reach Beyond, a media and healthcare ministry that operates a hospital in Quito, Ecuador, dispatched three medical teams to assist in the recovery. They are finding that survivors remain haunted by fears of future quakes, even as they begin to rebuild their lives.
 
"The fear that people continue to have cannot be taken away with a candy bar, a medical visit or with a smile—even less with any kind of medicine," Reach Beyond missionary Hermann Schirmacher said. The Reach Beyond teams, beyond demonstrating the compassion of Christ, are diversifying to help deal with psychological trauma.
 
Schirmacher coordinated three Reach Beyond emergency medical response teams, leading two of them, with pastors and volunteers joining the effort to help Ecuadorians deal with trauma-induced stress.
 
"We talk about the compassion of Christ and His ability to provide hope in the worst circumstances," said Dan Shedd, Reach Beyond Regional Director for Latin America. "Our medical teams demonstrate our belief in the Lord, and we are asking for prayers to help those affected by the earthquake."
 
To assist in the efforts, missionary psychologist Dr. Carlos Pinto is also training volunteers in Quito on how to deal with stricken survivors who remain fearful for their lives.
 
To help Ecuadorian refugees, please go to www.reachbeyond.org
  
Reach Beyond (www.reachbeyond.org) is a media and medical-based evangelical outreach ministry with operations on five continents. It spreads the Gospel of Jesus through modern media including radio broadcast, webcast, social media and solar-powered radio distribution. It also provides medical services to the needy throughout its network. Today, Reach Beyond, with an annual budget of approximately $19 million, has more than 1,000 staff members in 30 countries.