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Niño’s en Chile

  -March 16th, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

Last Friday, International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) Director Linda Adams received the following communication from Flor Venegas, ICCM’s Field Coordinator in Chile. ICCM sponsors 130 children in Chile.

Greetings in Jesus. Thanks for your letter; it was like a hug for me in this time. I want to thank you for your concern for our ministry here in Chile. I and mine are good, thanks to God.

In relation to the February 27 earthquake here in Chile, there were no deaths of International Child Care Ministries sponsored children, family and church in general, even when many people were missing. The Lord once again was faithful in this great earthquake and tsunami that hit our central and southern region and much of our coast.

There are many children who need psychological support because they were impacted that night and then they see their homes damaged and the aftershocks continue with tsunami warnings, causing anxiety and fear. Yesterday, for example, an aftershock was 6.9 on the Richter scale and all coastal inhabitants had to run to the hills. Children also are affected by the lack of electricity, water and food in some sectors.

As for our pastors, there are several who have lost their homes, but thank God because they and their families are alive. Our Bishop visited the churches most affected in this devastating earthquake. His visit was a blessing for the church in Chile.

We are helping with food and clothes and we hope to do a medical mission to support our children. We are going to include entertainment activities for them.

Although we know you are praying for us and for Chile, please intensify your prayers for Chile. Although there are signs that another earthquake could come on this land, we know that the last word belongs to our God.

Flor Venegas C.
ICCM Field Coordinator, Chile

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Chile Trip Report From Bishop David Roller

  -March 11th, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

The fifth largest earthquake recorded since 1900, the 8.8 Chilean earthquake occurred on 2/27/10. The epicenter was just north of Concepción, the 2nd largest city of Chile. There are approximately 10 FM churches within an hour of the epicenter, another cluster of churches within 2 hours.The earthquake was followed by a Tsunami which was followed by two days of lawlessness and looting in the effected zone. Residents report that the latter two events were actually worse than the earthquake.

Damage Report:

  • No FM pastors or members died.
  • A few casual attenders died, but no regular attenders.
  • No ICCM children died.
  • No FM churches collapsed.
  • The damage in and around Concepcion is significant, major buildings toppled or destroyed. Roads and bridges shifted and/or fell. Even as far away as Santiago, the new airport was significantly damaged and is mostly unusable right now. They’ve set up tents on the tarmac to process passengers.
  • The FM church in Talcahuano urgently needs repair-some of the rafters have separated from their supporting wall. A wall fell on the pastor’s car and it required repair but is now usable.
  • The FM church in Coronel was in pretty bad shape anyway and the earthquake put it over the edge…one of its walls has been temporarily braced so it won’t fall on the neighbor’s house.
  • The FM church in Lota received some damage but probably just needs to have the firewall replaced (it separates the 2nd floor from the neighbor’s).
  • In Talcahuano and Lota many members and 2 pastors are living in tents because their houses have been condemned.
  • The pastor’s house (rented) in Los Angeles is condemned.
  • Some damage was sustained by Casa Grande (owned by Chilean FMC) in Santiago but it wasn’t condemned. It needs repair to the roof and chimney, at the very least.

Finances

The Bishops’ Famine & Relief Fund has sent $19,000 to Chile. The first $9,000 was used to purchase emergency food and supplies and has been well distributed among those effected.The final $10,000 is just being received. The funds have been gratefully received.

The “donor fatigue” from Haiti and the extreme loss of life in Haiti make it difficult for donors to give to Chile right now. Some churches/individuals with strong ties to Chile will want to assist.

Response Priorities
I met with the 5 member Emergency Team of the Chilean FMC and we developed the following list of most-needed responses. If any promotion of these needs can be made I imagine that some churches/persons would like to respond.

  1. 1000 back-to-school kits (notebooks, pencils, pens, colored pencils, erasers, compass, pencil sharpener, etc). The exact composition of the kits varies by school grade. Average cost per kit is $10.00. The articles are available in Chile and can be purchased, assembled into kits, and distributed by the Chilean FMC. School classes were scheduled to start in early March but have been postponed by the government until April.
  2. A debriefing/emotional retreat for pastoral families. Pastors are carrying the burden of their own families’ needs, plus the needs of the larger church family. They will battle fatigue and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). We can assist them by providing a 3-day retreat for pastoral families at a center near Chillán. This will be a significant source of encouragement: a chance to process and heal. The cost will be about $5,000, including bus travel for the families.
  3. Rebuilding priorities:
    1. Talcahuano FMC – no financial estimate yet.
    2. Coronel (villa mora) FMC – no financial estimate yet
    3. 6 pre-fabricated houses for those who’ve lost homes and have a parcel of ground. These houses are commonly used in Chile. They cost $5,200 USD and include installation and fixtures. We would call them cabins but they are often used as long-term residences.
    4. Two months of rent for pastor Alex in Los Angeles so he can move into another rental property (total cost $580.USD)

Thank you for your interest and care for the Chilean people by our response.

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Chile – Update from Ricardo and Beth Gomez

  -March 5th, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

4 March 2010




They (relief team of three, including Ricardo) arrived home at 1:15 a.m. after 20 hours of travel. In that time, they got a small taste of the harsh reality rich, poor, young and old are experiencing down south. The majority do not have food or water; many don’t have homes; most don’t have hope. Few have escaped the tragedy. Pray the relief efforts will be multiplied! Pray people will find hope in Jesus who is able to do more than we can ever dream!

As they approached the cities of Talcahuano and Concepcion, they saw three large government relief trucks – still full – protected by military. The military was trying to figure out how to safely distribute relief without creating chaos.

As our team entered Talcahuano, they saw desperation. Long lines of people were waiting for water and for gasoline. A long line of people, protected by the military, were waiting to enter the grocery store that had not yet been looted – only five people were admitted at a time. Fishing boats were in the middle of the streets. They saw a man with a machete steal a grocery cart full of empty bottles from an old lady so that he could get water, leaving her without. They saw groups of people with only one or two small bottles of water between them. They didn’t even see the worst of it; they didn’t see what it must be like in the poorest areas of town.

They offloaded the truck secretively – backing it up to the house and using the doors as a barrier – in order to protect the people who live in the home from looting. This home will be the distribution center for the supplies.

They experienced another strong aftershock and saw people panic, running for the hills in fear of another tsunami. They got out of town before curfew was reinforced at 6 p.m.

They continued on to Concepcion, the second largest city in Chile. Again, the catastrophe did not distinguish between rich, poor, young or old. They saw buildings split in two. Vehicles in unmoving traffic jams were trying to cross the only standing bridge to the neighboring city, Lota, where a Free Methodist pastor lives in a tent because his home was destroyed.

In Concepcion they were able to “rescue” the other rescue team which, en route to Lota, experienced car troubles. They helped fix the car and took the supplies loaded in it back to Chillan for later distribution. (They could not continue to Lota due to the curfew.)

Meanwhile, La Gran Comission FM Church in Santiago, under Pastor Eduardo’s leadership, was organizing a relief drive. As church members and neighbors dropped off clothes, they were washed, ironed, folded and sorted by size. All of the Santiago churches continue collecting goods. The next truck will leave on Monday, hopefully with Bishop Roller on board.

On one news report a man said, “If I had 200,00 pesos ($400) it wouldn’t do me any good. There is nothing to buy and nowhere to buy it. Paper does me absolutely no good!” Your gifts through Help Chile Heal will be used to turn that paper into much needed food and supplies. We encourage you give generously as you feel led, and pray continuously!

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Help Chile Heal

  -March 2nd, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, Chile was hit with a devastating earthquake. As relief efforts begin, Dr. Delia Nüesch-Olver, Latin America Area Director, asks Free Methodists to help our brothers and sisters in Chile who have been devastated by this disaster.

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More from Chile Earthquake

  -March 2nd, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

Tomorrow (Wed., March 3) before dawn, Chilean pastors Karim and Sumi, along with Ricardo Gomez will leave Santiago for Chillan, the worst hit earthquake area. They will drive a truck loaded with food and supplies, as well as clothing and blankets donated by Santiago churches.
Superintendent Sergio Loyola has an emergency team in place there to help with distributions. In addition to distributing supplies, the trip will help determine road conditions and assess needs for future trips. A second, larger truck with many more supplies is scheduled to leave Santiago Fri., March 5. Funds from Help Chile Heal will help pay for these supplies.

From Brazilian Bishop Jose Ildo Swartele de Mello: Following Saturday’s massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake, Pastors Sergio and Mari Loyola were able to reach Talcahuano, near the epicenter. With tears they report that 90% of the town is seriously affected. Many houses collapsed due to the earthquake, especially in the area where the Central FMC is located. And then the tsunami hit. Chaos. Pain. Says Loyola: “We will return to Talcahuano with food, kids’ clothes, water …”

From Kay Stotts Godoy and Ricardo and Beth Gomez Families: Profound thanks for all the prayers on our behalf and for the ongoing encouragement and support the Chilean FM family has received in these 72 hours since the catastrophic earthquake. Help has not yet arrived for our suffering brothers and sisters in highly affected areas, where they have been and are still without food, water, electricity and shelter. Tomorrow, Wednesday, teams from our Santiago and Chillan churches will take supplies to Talcahuano, hit by a tsunami 30 minutes after the earthquake, and other devastated areas. People are desperate and in need of not only food and water, but hope as well. Our church is stepping up to the task at hand and your prayers and support are vital. Please continue! Thank you.

Bishop David Roller and Brazilian Bishop Jose Ildo Swartele de Mello will travel to Chile, Mon., March 8.

Continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in Chile as they face this tragedy.

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Bishop David Roller – Chile Earthquake

  -March 2nd, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

From Bishop David Rollers blog:

So here I am in Haiti…writing about the situation in Chile!

We have many churches in the affected area. This part of Chile is the birthplace of the FMC in Haiti. Early this morning 3 separate relief parties (1 truck each) set out from Santiago, each one with a specific destination city. They are carrying food, clothes, and supplies.

The Bishops Famine and Relief fund yesterday sent funds and then again this morning we’re sending more money.

I will be traveling to Chile on Monday, the 8th for a quick evaluation visit, along with bishop Jose Ildo from Brazil.

As many know, we lived in Chile for 10 years and so have many personal ties there. We are very eager to help in every way possible.

Perhaps the most helpful, immediate information I can share is the following note I received this morning from Free Methodist missionary Beth Gomez:

“Please keep the people informed. We have pastors and lots of other people living in tents or worse because their homes have been destroyed. Some people are completely out of touch with family members. Others, as you know, have passed away. Lots of people are without water and any kind of food. Supt. Sergio said he saw many are without clothing. What little people do have, others are stealing.Parts of Chile got hit with a 1-2 punch; earthquake and then tsunami. The few minutes that we had enough electricity to watch news last night, we heard that there is so much lawlessness now that some people say it is worse than the earthquake itself. We saw men guarding their homes with guns – in other videos neighbors were forming “armies” using rakes and hoes, brooms, whatever they had to try and protect their areas from the lawless. There is story after story to be told. It may be far away but it is very real. Please help the people see that and encourage them to keep praying!”

Thank you for all you’re doing for our Chilean church.

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International Child Care Ministries Update

  -March 1st, 2010 @ 7:32 am

International Child Care Ministries sponsors 130 children in Chile. We have not yet received information regarding any casualties.

The Bible tells us to “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and clothe the naked.” It’s possible to do that for $21 a month…beginning today, right here.

For more information about the work International Child Care Ministries is doing around the world or to sponsor a child, please visit www.childcareministries.org

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Report from Kay Stotts Godoy

  -February 28th, 2010 @ 10:00 am

Sergio Loyola’s town still is without water and electricity. He seems to be able to receive calls at this point but still can’t call out on his phone. He doesn’t know of any FM loss of life or injury and has been to visit different towns to see how people are doing. He has been in touch with all district leaders and has heard that some pastors have lost their homes. He is planning to go to Talcahuala (where the tsunami hit) tomorrow because he isn’t able to get in touch with anyone there. He plans to contact Kay midday tomorrow and provide more information then.

Kay asked for prayer for Alejandra, a 9 year old daughter of a pastor from Los Angeles. Their home was destroyed and they escaped with just their lives. She is in terrible shock and depression.

There is word of looting for food and water in the town nearest the epicenter and they expect to hear more of this.

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Report from Ricardo and Beth Gomez Update #2

  -February 27th, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

Chile thanks you for your concern and prayers! Please keep praying! After shocks have continued all day – some of them quite strong but almost always there is a rocking sensation. We wanted to give you some updates.

Casa Grande has significant damage and so Pastor Luis Alberto and family and Dra. Teresa are staying in our home. Current plans are to go back and have a service in the yard tomorrow – or in the nearby plaza. According to the radio news, more than 1.5 million homes in Chile have been destroyed by this catastrophe. The death toll at this time is 214 people.

School was supposed to start next week but the President has postponed all schools until at least March 8. We are also going to postpone the Biblical Institute until we know that the building (Casa Grande) is structurally safe. Other churches and pastoral homes have structural problems. Please be praying for wisdom to know what houses/churches are safe for living/services and how to make proper repairs.

By the way, we learned that the earthquake actually lasted 3 minutes. They were LONG minutes. We praise God that our neighbors family has been located and is fine.

As the kids keep repeating from their Vacation Bible School a few week ago, “God is always with us; Fear NOT!” We rest in His presence tonight (and hope to get a good night of much needed sleep) — as the floor rocks beneath me. We are actually feeling sea sick!

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Report from Ricardo and Beth Gomez Update #1

  -February 27th, 2010 @ 10:53 am

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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