Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chile Earthquake

Paula (pictured) said, "I go to bed each night exhausted, wondering how I'm going to get through the next day". I heard Paula's story in a displaced people's camp in Chile last week, being led there by the Lord....

Almost a year ago, the coast of Chile was rocked by a powerful 8.8 magnitude earthquake, which thrust an 8 ft high tsunami wave against the coastal areas near Concepcion. The earthquake, though much more powerful than the one that devastated Haiti, did not cause near the mass devastation as in haiti and there was a quick government response. TouchGlobal Crisis Response, in consultaion with Reach Global latin America chose at that time not to respond not to respond to the event, in part because of these above circumstances, but primarily because we did not have missionally aligned partner relationships in the country, missionally aligned to see the great commandment and great commission opportunity that follows crisis.

But God had a better plan. About 30 years ago, he made himself known to a young teen in Talcahuano, Chile, near Concepcion. Over the years God developed a vision in that young man to see a church planting movement in Chile. With the earthquake, that man, Hugo Concha, currently pastor of El Faro Ev Free Church (Lebanon, PA), was compelled to respond to the needs in his hometown. In March, 2010, he took a small team and some relief supplies to do what he could. He left with resolve to come back to make a kingdom difference.

God then connected him with other Ev. Free Churches in PA, and with TouchGlobal Crisis Response and ReachGlobal, to follow the Lord in moving forward with this vision. It was out of that vision anda desire to serve where God is moving, that a small group of us found ourselves in the displaced peoples camp in Chile, listening to Paula. She is the leader of a group of 95 families, amidst several camps with thousands of people who have their homes and most of their posessions. She has 3 kids and cannot leave the camp for work, so she makes and sells empanadas (local dish). She is cold to religion, yet expressed a real hunger, desire for caring relationships. Pray that the Lord would meet Paula's needs, and would bring True Religion, Is 58 style, to Paula and those like her. Pray for caring Christian workers to serve here, and for resources to help Paula and others like her.

That vision also had us meeting with a Chilean couple that is being called to the region to make disciples and plant churches. Pray for Yamil and Mylena, as they seek the Lords direction in multiplying healthy churches among the Chilean people, and for us as we seek to come alongside the doors the Lord is opening.

Yamil and Mylena (on left)

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