Dear Friends, On April 16, 2016, Jama, Ecuador was hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. In the province of Manabí, killing almost 700 people and leveling homes, schools, and infrastructure. Rebuilding has been very slow. Most buildings in Jama and the surrounding area were completely destroyed or so severely damaged they were uninhabitable. The vast majority of Jama's residents were living in makeshift tents for more than a year after the earthquake when we first arrived in 2017. Since that April 2016 earthquake, the Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ has worked with Habitat for Humanity of Ecuador to help rebuild homes. Zion United Church of Christ in Marion, Illinois sent a group in July 2017 to build a home for 5 year old Maria Jose and her parents. We were the first Southern Illinois United Church of Christ congregation to build in Jama. This year we are returning to build the 25th Habitat for Humanity home in Jama. Zion volunteers paid their own expenses of $2,200 in 2017 and will again in 2019. Each Zion volunteer funds their own travel, housing, and food along with supplies to share in the cost of building a simple concrete block house. Zion UCC generously helped to raise additional funds to help cover the full cost of the materials for the project; block, concrete, rebar, windows, doors, roofing trusses, and shingles. We are hoping you will prayerfully assist again in the humanitarian effort to build much needed homes in Jama. This year we would like to increase the number of high school and college aged students joining us on the trip through scholarships you will help our small church provided. Our goal is to have a minimum of five Zion UCC students join us on this mission trip. You can help us reach that goal by contributing to Zion’s Project Ecuador. Our hope is that through your donations we can offer each student volunteer a scholarship of $1000, nearly half of the cost of the trip, which will make this trip possible for these students who are financially limited. Most importantly this is a building trip so your generous donation will us provide even more Zion UCC volunteers to help build a much needed home for a family in Jama, Ecuador.