We were shaken awake at 3:40 this morning by an earthquake. We rushed upstairs, grabbed the kids, and prayed together in a doorway for what seemed like 5 minutes (but later learned it was only about 45 seconds). After we rushed outside, Jonathan asked if this was like the earthquake in Haiti. When I said “yes,” he replied, “then people in other countries are praying for us.” That was a great comfort! While we have just now gotten communication back – we see that we have already received many messages from you, telling us that you are praying. Thank you. We are thankful to report that we are fine. Fellow missionaries: Kay Stotts and family, Pastor Luis Alberto and family (Colombia) and Dra. Teresa (Bolivia) are safe. All of the FM pastors in the city are also safe and we have received reports that many of the other pastors in Chile are too. Please pray for our neighbor, Exequiel, whose parents and niece are on vacation near the epicenter. He still hasn’t been able to reach them. The current death toll stands at 122 but that is expected to keep rising.

The only real damage to our home is a few broken dishes/vases and an office in complete disrepair. Santiago seems to be pretty well prepared for an earthquake although several bridges fell, some new buildings have collapsed and there are problems with fires and destruction, particularly in the industrial part of town. The airport is closed indefinitely due to damage to the building – not the runways. Recent reports (now that it is daytime) say that damages downtown are quite extensive. Casa Grande seems to have a lot of cracked walls – and neighbors thought it would fall based on the way it shook. Luis and Daisy and Teresa (who live there) are not sure that it is safe to live in. The epicenter of the quake was about 200 miles south – and there is much more destruction there. It really seems to have affected all of this long country with its 8.3 force.

We are still experiencing quite a few, very strong, after shocks – many in the time that it has taken me to write this report. The kids are prepared – with their play tent and life jackets.

The government is asking everyone to stay put today so that the safety of buildings, bridges, etc. can be assessed in addition to helping those in need. President Bachelet has declared a state of catastrophe but fortunately all of tsunami warnings are expired for the Chilean coast. Please keep Chile in your prayers as we all work together to assess damage and help those in need.

We will report back to you as we know specific details.

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