Posted by: calloftheandes | May 4, 2016

Notes from the Quake Zone (Fourteenth in a Series)

(27 April 2016, Canoa, Manabí Province, Ecuador)

by Hermann Schirmacher

For some reason, I went over before breakfast to the COE [Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia] tent that runs all the coordination, to see if they knew about Marianita’ whereabouts. I presented myself and shared that we had a team on the ground and they wrote down my contact information and the cell phone numbers.

A man standing next to us, who listened to our conversation said, “I know the lady, Marianita; she lives just here around the corner.”  We both jumped into the car and it was just two blocks from our hotel. There she was at the house of her daughter, Rocio, resting in a plastic chair. Her left arm was covered with ace wrap.

I presented myself and did talk to her. She had never seen me before, but once I said that I was from HCJB and was sent by Chuck and Anita Howard to look after her and I told her that they have been praying for her, she stared at me with big eyes and tears ran down her cheeks.

Rocio, Marianita and Hermann praying together.

Rocio, Marianita and Hermann praying together.

I grabbed her swollen hand and prayed for her and her family. It was heartbreaking to listen to her story and how things happened. She was buried for a day under the building they rented for the church to worship. Her husband, her three sons, a son-in-law and her granddaughter were killed.

Her granddaughter was asking for help, and Marianita could only encourage her and she both talked and prayed to the Lord for help. Many hours later she could not hear the girl’s voice anymore. The cell phone under the gravel started ringing and Marianita asked her to answer the phone. But nobody answered the phone at all.

marianitaresized“I don’t know why this happened to me and why I am still alive,” Marianita said. “Maybe the Lord wants me to be a testimony to the world. I don’t know.” I encouraged her and said that we would come back and I would bring our doctors over to look at her. She was very thankful and appreciated the visit.

I went for breakfast and we prepared the pickup truck to go again to one of the many refugee camps around Canoa. Again as the day before, we went to the health center and coordinated with Sebastian. The plan was to go Briceño. The day before we had been at Nuevo Briceño.

Hermann Schirmacher is a missionary with Reach Beyond.



  1. […] do today. The instruction was to go to one of the many refugee camps nearby. I went over to see our new friend, Marianita, around the corner and told her that I would probably take her to the Samaritan’s Purse Hospital […]

  2. […] with our orthopedic surgeon at the Quito hospital, it became obvious that she needed surgery as her shoulder is broken. Our team stabilized her left arm to make sure she would not move it as much and now we are trying […]

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