Update: Chile Field Leaders Comment on Earthquake

By G David and Lou Ann Woerner, field director couple for Chile

“Nothing in my house works—no water, no lights, no phone, nothing! Thank God I can work!” the gas attendant told me this morning.

Most of the C&MA missionaries in Chile are faring well. Some have water, lights, Internet, everything. We don’t. This is the first Internet access we have had in more than 50 hours. Thank the Lord for my BlackBerry, which somehow—only a few hours after the quake—got a signal, so I was able to send out short messages.

Members of a work team from the United States ministering in the Peñalolén Alliance are all fine as well. Tom Orme with the Vision for Chile orphanage is here and has been able to continue all the preparations for the opening of the House of Hope next week—praise the Lord.

You have seen the pictures, videos, and articles on the news. We hope you will see the hundreds and thousands of people that are helping one another, sharing what they have with others. One family came and offered their home to anyone in need! Those are the Chileans that we know and love so much.

Hundreds Washed Away

The epicenter area of Concepcion, Curico, Talca, still does not have the basic necessities. The dozens of little inlets and artisan fishermen towns in the area were hosting thousands of tourists. And this is where the tsunami caught up so many people and dragged them out to sea. The stories that are now surfacing are incredibly tragic. Quietly, reporters whisper of more than a thousand who were washed away. The police are trying to confirm the identities of those who have disappeared. Not an easy task.

A radio station that has been on the air since the earthquake is broadcasting the pleas of people who are looking for missing relatives. Their introductory slogan says: “We are listening and helping in these difficult days.”

It’s been difficult to assess damage to the many churches along the epicenter of the quake. Phones are inoperative, and electric is out. Bridges are unusable on many roads.

The national church president has indicated need among many of our church people in the area. We do know, for example, that one of our pastors and his congregation had to flee to the hills with just what they had on! They fear they lost everything.

Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), the C&MA’s relief and development arm, has set up a disaster relief fund on its Web site for those who want to help.

In these difficult days, please pray for all those who have been affected by this disaster. Also, help us to help the more that 1.5 million people who have lost their homes and are in limbo. Thank you for your solidarity with those who suffer.

What You Can Do

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Give to Chile Earthquake relief»

Ten cents of every dollar given to this project will be divided between the CAMA Advance Fund and the Great Commission Fund to cover travel, administrative, and logistical costs of ministering to the needs of those affected by this disaster. As far as possible, the expressed preference of a donor will be respected and followed. In the event that this gift is oversubscribed, any remaining funds will be used for future disaster relief efforts.


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