By BGEA | First Published: April 18, 2016
Franklin Graham is asking for prayer as Ecuador sorts through the rubble from a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck its Pacific coast on Saturday. The South American city, nestled on the equator between Colombia and Peru, is getting help from Samaritan’s Purse and other relief organizations.
“Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the people of Ecuador who are suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake that shook their country this weekend, killing hundreds and injuring more than 2,500,” BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham posted on Facebook. “We have Samaritan’s Purse staff on the ground in the affected area with more on the way, including medical personnel.
“Please remember the people of Ecuador in your prayers as well as our teams working to bring help.”
Franklin Graham has preached to more than 8 million people since conducting his first evangelistic event with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989. In 2006, he held the Festival of Hope in Ecuador’s state capital of Quito where a record crowd joined him and more than 14,000 indicated decisions for Christ.
The following year, he returned to Ecuador, this time to port city Guayaquil. Once again, a record number—185,674 people—overflowed the venue for a second Festival of Hope. Countless seeds were planted, and more than 16,000 people indicated a decision for Christ.
“Each time we go to a different city, we have no idea how many people will come, if the weather will be a problem, or how many lives will be changed,” Franklin Graham said in 2007. “But God knows and we are humbled to just be a part of the impact He had on this city—it was more than we could have imagined.”
Guayaquil is one of the places hit hardest by Saturday’s earthquake. The natural disaster was so strong that its impact was still felt roughly 100 miles inland in Quito.