Christmas 2018 Newsletter


Welcome to this Christmas Newsletter which keeps you up to date with everything that has been going on lately in the Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust charity. In this edition we look at how the Trust has been helping our friends in Ecuador, both in Guayaquil where we help our friends in Sagrada Familia and also in Portoviejo, the earthquake zone to the north of the country. As we approach the Feast of Christmas when families gather around and share their resources, let us gather around our needy friends in Ecuador and tell them, through our support, how much we value them and how much we care for them.

In this Newsletter:

  • Bienvenidos

  • Christmas Presents for Ecuador

  • Paul VI Centre for Disabled

  • Visiting the Earthquake Zone

  • Visiting the Nuns @ Playa Prieta

  • Nueva Prosperina & Sagrada Familia School

  • What can the Trust do now?

  • Reflections and finally…

Christmas Presents for Ecuador

Are you thinking about helping the poorest at Christmas time? Why not think of helping the children at Sagrada Familia School?

Here are two ways the Trust helps them:

    The Head Teacher knows the personal circumstances of each pupil and this allows the Trust to offer to pay the school fees of the poorest children. Otherwise the children would stay at home and would not be offered the chance to develop in life, to be educated and eventually to find work.
    Each day between 80 and 90 children come to the Soup Kitchen because their families cannot afford to feed them. At the Kitchen they are given a plate of home-made soup, a glass of fresh fruit juice and then a plate of rice and beans. This fills their stomach but it also means that when they come to class they are able to concentrate on the work before them. The money needed to run the Soup Kitchen comes entirely from your donations.

Visiting the Nuns @ Playa Prieta

Another inspirational moment of the visit was when we visited the small town of Playa Prieta, which had also been at the epicentre of the 2016 earthquake. The reason I wanted to make a second visit there was because that was where a nun from Derry, Sr. Clare Crockett, had died on that fateful night in April 2016 while teaching guitar class. Her story had touched many people and I also was inspired to see what had become of the school and church where she had lived and died. When I had visited in late 2016 (seven months after the earthquake) there was still rubble lying everywhere – nothing had been moved. Now the schoolyard had been totally cleared with new classrooms and a new convent built. On the site, where the old school had fallen in the earthquake, there was a new chapel where the nuns celebrate daily Mass. The chapel has a capacity for around 40 people, so it was not too big.

I had already been asked by the nuns to celebrate Mass there so was prepared for an emotional moment. However, in the actual celebration of the Mass, I was struck that on this very site where Sister Clare and 5 others had died, there we were Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. Death and Resurrection side by side! At various points during the liturgy I had to stop myself because of the emotion of the moment – only to be pushed over an emotional edge by the Ecuadorian nuns’ rendition – in perfect English – of ‘Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland’ a personal favourite of Sr. Clare.

While we were in the earthquake zone at Playa Prieta, we heard of a documentary, which had been made of the life of Sr. Clare. It is called “All of Nothing” and can now be watched through You Tube. It documents the story of Sr. Clare from her youthful days in Derry, through (by her own admission) her ‘wild days’ to the moment when she gave her life in the earthquake. You will hear her talking about her own vocation and also hear her family members and other nuns talking about her inspirational life. I would encourage you to watch it and be inspired; it will be a worthwhile use of an hour and a half!

Read the full Christmas 2018 Newsletter here:

Christmas Newsletter 2018