From Ricardo and Beth Gomez:



We wanted to give you an update and ask you to pray for tomorrow’s work. Ricardo will leave tomorrow with our friend, Sumi, and a policeman at 5 a.m. They will go to Chillan to drop off some supplies that will be sent to Lota, pick up Superintendent Sergio Loyola and then continue on to Talcahuana where 90% of the city has been destroyed. Due to strict curfews that have been put in place, they cannot arrive before noon and must leave the city by 6 p.m. tomorrow.

We’ve spent the day shopping, making phone calls (the home phone works now as does our electricity since about 4 p.m. today), collecting donations, and filling water jugs to take with them. We’ve just learned that the government is sending its first help to the area tomorrow – so in some ways the Free Methodist Church is among the first responders. Other teams will be going down Thursday, Friday, etc.

This is how the body of Christ is working together in Santiago: some are collecting clothes, some are making bread, others are shopping, all are working together. The Bishop’s Famine and Relief Fund has sent “first response” money. More is expected, thanks to your generosity. We are planning to send a larger truck with more supplies no later than Monday. Based upon what was spent today, we think that it will cost about $20,000 to fill the larger truck.

As we told the bishops this morning, … 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 were hit with a 1-2 punch: earthquake and then tsunami. The few minutes we had enough electricity to watch news last night, we heard 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. Today the military has been sent to help protect the areas most affected. Also, the cities have imposed strict curfews. There is story after story to be told.

The threat of aftershocks continues. We’re just watching a report that says if we have an aftershock of only five, two of the high-rise apartment buildings here in Santiago near us could come down. Almost 900 families live in these two buildings. Fortunately the builders are paying for hotels for the residents.

The earthquake may be far away but it is very real. Please keep praying!

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