In It for the Long Haul

Chilean Alliance Prepares for Ongoing Earthquake Recovery

By Chuck and Betty Ostlie, serving in Chile

The 8.8 quake that shook most of Chile’s population on February 27, 2010, is among the 10 strongest ever recorded. GPS analysis confirms that the city of Concepcion shifted 10 feet to the west, and NASA reports that the earth’s axis moved three inches. However, the human impact cannot be measured so easily.

The days following the disaster brought out the best and the worst in people. Extreme generosity and heroism were contrasted with senseless looting and vandalism. A month after the quake, calm is restored, but the recovery process is enormous.

The Alliance suffered no fatalities, but many church members lost all they had. Twelve churches were severely damaged, and three or four will need rebuilding from the ground up. A national offering has brought in nearly $40,000 dollars from our Chilean churches-a large sum, but not enough to rebuild all the destruction.

Earthquake Facts

8.8 on the Richter scale

500 dead

15,000 jobs lost

200,000 homes left uninhabitable

79 hospitals damaged

4,200 fishing boats destroyed

19 percent of all Catholic churches irreparably damaged

4,000 schools damaged

20 percent of survivors facing posttraumatic stress symptoms

480 aftershocks in 30 days, with 17 of them over 6.0 on the Richter scale

800,000 displaced people

12 Alliance churches with serious damage

3 or 4 Alliance churches that must be rebuilt

A Light in the Darkness

It is so important that the churches be fully equipped as soon as possible to be able to minister to hurting communities with the love of Christ. The government estimates that recovery will take four years, and we believe God wants His churches fully prepared to be part of the restoration process.

Please pray that the affected churches will be able to offer hope to those who don’t Jesus. The cold winter rains are due to arrive soon, and many will face discouragement.

What You Can Do

We encourage you to send your gifts through The Christian and Missionary Alliance for the approved special fund, “Chile Earthquake Church Reconstruction.” In addition, we are seeking partner churches that will stand with a Chilean church throughout the recovery process, in prayer, in giving, and in working side-by-side in reconstruction.

You can also give to the Chile Earthquake Relief Fund of CAMA (Compassion and Mercy Associates), the relief and development arm of the C&MA.


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