Chile

Pray for David and Gina Hucker as they settle back into their ministries with their church in Arica after a few months in the UK. Pray for their son Wesley as he starts university.

Pray for Alf Cooper, who was recently made Protestant chaplain to the President of Chile and the opportunities and responsibilities that brings. Pray for him and his wife Hilary as they spend a month in the UK visiting friends and family as well as some of their link churches.

Pray for Abelino & Paty in Chile

Prayer needs:

 

For our local church. This year we are working at an evangelistic strategy. We normally have about 30 adults, but obviously their giving is insufficient for a pastor’s salary. Our goal as that by 2016, the church should be able to pay a full-time pastor and that by 2020, the church will have grown to 2020 people.

 

For my personal work. It isn’t easy to have two jobs. I work at our church of San Joaquín and also have to fulfil my role as bishop visiting other churches – normally I am away from our church every other Sunday.

 

San Joaquín church looks after 15 very needy children from Monday to Friday between 5 and 8 p.m.  These children come from broken homes, separated parents, some even with no known parents, The activities include helping them with their studies and also Christian teaching. A team of ladies from our church are in charge and they have also to raise funds to give them some tea at the end of the afternoon.

 

Pray for the IX Region, as it has remained in rather an unstable condition during these last two years, especially lacking pastors.

 

Pray for our search for our own house. At the moment we are renting in a block of flats, but we have found a property at a reasonable price. Please pray that everything works out for us to make the purchase.

 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

 

With all our love,

 

Abelino and Paty.

Chile

Daniel Kirk, in Vina del Mar asks you to pray for Danny Morrison, pastor of the Gomez Carreño church, who has had to take time off due to stress. Please pray for him and his family during this time and for Daniel who will be looking after the church for several months in his absence. Daniel will also be giving his first school assembly this week at the St Paul`s School on Matthew 5:7 and is slightly nervous about all these ‘firsts’! Daniel’s wife Ellelein has been doing some translating of Jonathan Edwards and some other Puritan writings which as you might imagine is quite testing. She has been enjoying it and learning lots but has meant that she has been pretty tired recently. Please pray for strength and patience with the kids.

News & Prayer

Pray for My Father’s House in Brazil, a safe house for boys at risk in Recife. Andy Roberts, writes; “a few months ago we were told that the Brazilian Federal Government have plans to develop the coast in Olinda. This includes building a road along the sea front with the proposed road passing straight through where My Father’s safe house is. We have just been informed that we now have two months to find and rent/buy a new house for the project. Do pray for us as we try to find a new place for the boys and the project… two months isn’t very long. God has always provided in the past but do pray that he will give us wisdom and guide us to the right property for us.” Please also pray for Ian and Simea Meldrum, who work with Andy and Rose Roberts at Living Waters Church and My Father’s House.

 

 

Pray for the country of Chile after the earthquakes (the largest being 8.8 magnitude), aftershocks and tsunamis experienced last month and another earthquake last week during the inauguration of the new president. Please pray for those who have lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods, as they try to rebuild their lives, and for the new presidency. Praise God that the Kirks, their family and colleagues were kept safe during this time, and they also ask for prayer for new initiatives at their church such as new discipleship and leadership courses, and prayer groups. Richard and Sue Pamplin also ask for prayer for a new home to rent as their current landlord’s house was affected by the quake and so they will need to move out so that he can move in!

 

 

Alison and Chris Hawksbee in Paraguay ask for prayer for more rain in the Chaco areas to fill reservoirs, water cisterns and for the growth and maintenance of subsistence crops. Please also pray for Chris as he liaises with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture about funding and running courses in the Chaco on basic livestock husbandry courses, cheese making, beekeeping and brick making.

Cobb News : Earthquake Update from John and Linda Cobb

Dear All:

Thank you very much for your emails, prayers and support.  We do appreciate them.  As I said in my rushed message we are all well and I can now tell you a bit more since we have better access to the internet.  Huelquén was on the edge of the real shock.  Two people were killed just down the road when their adobe house collapsed on them and many of that type of house in the area is now unusable and must be demolished.  Our house stood up wonderfully well, a tribute to modern design and to the builders.  Apart from a lot of broken glasses and crockery, and a badly shaken cat who was asleep in the study and must have woken to find it raining books as over three hundred of them fell off the shelves, we suffered very little damage.  Even so, both Linda and I had mild attacks of delayed shock (as did Peter) two or three days later.  A pupil of Linda’s told her that, when he finally contacted his mother forty-eight hours later once the telephones were back, he discovered that she had eaten nothing since the quake, despite having a full larder.  She lives on the fifteenth story of a block of flats and, apart from the jolting, her bedroom must have oscillated through an arc of forty or fifty feet since tower blocks are built to be flexible.

What is it like being in a big shake?  I don’t know how many of you have ever heard a spin-drier vibrating with a load that is badly off centre: imagine being inside without the spin, just the jolts; or in an airplane which suddenly hits really heavy turbulence.   Being in a big quake is a bit like that; you get really shaken up with short sharp jolts for anything up to a couple of minutes.  One of the really wearing things is the trail of after-shocks.  When a tremor comes, there is absolutely no way of knowing if is going to turn into another quake or not.  The slight rattle of the windows, the creak of the roof timbers probably mark the passing of another minor tremor, but they might just be the beginning of another big quake and the adrenalin begins to flow again as one gets ready to move fast if necessary.

We feel particularly affected by what happened on the coast because we were on holiday there only a month ago.  We spent a lovely time with David in Vichuquén sailing in the dinghy he built and then went down the coast from Iloca, past Constitución to Cobquecura. When pictures of the devastation are shown on television they bring back memories as do our holiday snaps.  I took some photos of “huasos” in full regalia riding in procession of February 2nd in Cobquecura and, as I looked at them I found myself wondering how many of them are still alive.

We are more or less back to normal now.  The electricity and mains water are functioning, but we have no telephone yet apart from our mobiles.  A farmer brought round water in a large tank behind a tractor for a couple of days and, while we were queuing for it and exchanging news with our neighbours, Linda commented that she was off to the village to buy some bread, only to be told that no one was baking yet.

Well, we had plenty of pasta and potatoes, so that was no real hardship.  Ninety minutes later, the daughter of the people who live across the road arrived with a big smile and four freshly-baked large rolls to help us out!

This story leads me on to a comment: from what I have seen on the internet, the overseas news has concentrated on the looting that has taken place.  For every incident of that type that has hit the headlines, there are hundreds of examples of kindness and solidarity, some very small like the one I have just described, others much bigger like the university student who got some friends together, filled a couple of pickup-trucks with bread and food plus drinks, and drove down to the coast where he and his family had spent the summer to feed people who had absolutely nothing left after the tsunami.

I have told our story first, now let me give some more general Church news.  As things stand at the minute, I understand all Anglican personnel: pastors, missionaries and families have survived and are well.  The news from Concepción so far is that no one from the 70 member families of the Church there has been killed although some have suffered severe damage to their houses.  Elsewhere in the Diocese, damage to property is apparently limited to the pastor’s house in Psje Benedictinos, Viña del Mar, which may be a total loss, and damage to the Church in Conchalí (Santiago) and the former Diocesan Office in Phillips, Santiago (now rented out).  Santiago Community Church has its Hall temporarily out of action until a structural survey can be carried out on some of the roof beams.  Their other buildings have lost some tiles, but this is to be expected.

Let me just slip a few other bits of information:

Guillermo Martínez will be instituted as pastor of the Vitacura Church on March 21st.  This relieves me of the responsibility and although it has been a rewarding experience in many ways, the distance and the demands have been tiring and I am sure it is right to be handing over now even though I do not know what I shall be doing next (if anything).

Nicky (David’s son) went ice-skating for a pre-school year treat and managed to break his ankle.  He is now hobbling about in a special boot and off games, which does not worry him in the slightest but will complicate the start of the school year.

We are just wondering how far we are meant to be concentrating our future in Huelquén rather than commuting to Santiago.  We are sure it was right to come here and the only fixed point in Santiago will be Linda’s activities in Community Church (choir plus a Bible Study)

I am not going to detail points for prayer, but would make one request.  The quake may be news for a few more days, but it will take years to rebuild and there are a lot of memories which will be very, very difficult to heal: please keep praying.

Thank you ever so much,

With all our love,

John and Linda Cobb

Henry Scriven Chile Update

The following is the translation of a letter that I received from one of my friends living in Concepcion, one of the areas of Chile hit hardest by the earthquake.
 
Brothers and Sisters:
Our country is submerged in pain, death and hopelessness. The effects of the earthquake, combined with tsunamis, are indescribable. The images transmitted on television, while dramatic, do not reflect all of the pain and drama of all the victims of this great tragedy. The cities most affected are those of the 7th and 8th regions of the country. Many people there lost their lives, their homes, and their belongings. Others who survived were left, in many cases, with only the clothes on their backs. Today the government has recognized that there are more than 700 dead. There are no figures with regards to how many are injured or missing. With regard to homes, there are more than 500,000 completely destroyed and many others in a precarious condition and difficult for people to live in.

In the area of Concepción we do not have any direct information about our churches, pastors or the theological institute we have in Concepción. (Note: I have since found out that it was flattened.) We know that there is a lot of destruction, that there are families and churches that are suffering. The area of Concepción has also suffered tsunamis like in Talcahuano yesterday, when the sea came as far up as the centre of the city, leaving a trail of death, pain and suffering.

Despite the pain, we affirm our hope, and participate in the activities of tending to the reduction of pain and suffering, and accompanying our brothers, sisters, and the Chilean people in general because there are many spiritual needs even in the midst of so much material destruction.

Your prayers and solidarity help us a lot in these moments.
May our great God bless you. Your brother in Christ,
 
Jose Luis

Chile Earthquake : Various Message

Dear friends,

We have received a variety of communications from Chile since yesterday and we are trying to condense the information in a form that will be helpful for a wide variety of people. Here is a selection of news received so far.

+Henry

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Letter from Presiding Bishop, Gregory Venables, to the dioceses of the Southern Cone (March 1st) translated from Spanish:

Buenos Aires,1 March 2010

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are writing to you let you know that we have been in touch with Bishop Tito in the Diocese of Chile office this morning.

The internet service and communications in general have been partially restored and working in the Diocesan office. Bishop Tito would like to assure you that both he and Bishop Abelino, the office and pastoral staff and their families are well. Their concern is that the only place they have not been able to make contact with so far is Concepcion, one of the most affected areas.

Currently Bishop Tito and his diocesan team are coordinating the work to make contact with each zone. The pastors are going out to visit each member of their communities and churches to evaluate the situation and check on any damage which has taken place. The road and air transport situation is very complicated, but they hope to be able to drive to Concepción in the next few days with relief and gifts to help in the area.

For the moment, meetings and retreats planned for the next few weeks have been postponed until transport can be re-established.

The bishop and the whole community are grateful for your the prayers and support. The main thing they need is calm, clarity and sensitivity as they make decisions in this emergency situation. We will be in touch with you when a clearer picture emerges over the next few days as to the specific needs of our brothers and sisters in Chile.

We will stay in touch with you.

Fraternal greetings in Christ

++Gregory Venables,   Presiding Bishop,   Province of the Southern Cone of America

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The following are extracts from a resident in Viña del Mar, David Bamford (courtesy of Ray and Gill Smith) who describes some of the inconveniences of living with an earthquake that does no major damage:

Tremors are a regular facet of life in Chile and the procedure has become standard: stand in a door frame or under some kind of lintel or go outside, so when we felt the shaking in the early hours of Saturday morning, as they say in certain circles, ‘we were like,’ “Here we are, another tremor,” but the shaking went on, more violently that we had known, and it was evident that this was something serious. We grabbed dressing gowns and lurched down our swaying staircase to an accompaniment of the crash of falling objects and shattering glass. Out into the garden, still lurching. A few neighbours were out in the street. We joined them and stayed out there for a bit. It all went very quiet. Not a sound, and we eventually went back to bed. There were two aftershocks. The first had us starting again from a very fitful sleep. On the second, shortly after 7 a.m. we got up to survey the wreckage. Two shelves and a picture had fallen off a bookcase on the landing and there were books all over the floor. Downstairs, the sitting room floor was littered with CDs and sundry objects; glasses had fallen out of a corner cupboard, pictures were askew. In the kitchen, further breakages: storage jars, cafetières, etc., and a chip out of a floor tile where, we suppose, the biscuit jar had hit it.

Structurally, we got off lightly. The house was built in 2001/2 and is well-reinforced and very resistant to seismic activity. Cracked tiles in one of the bathrooms, plaster shaken out from where walls meet ceilings (next door, they had cornices shaken off, so we were lucky), a small chunk of masonry fell off the outside wall, where it meets the roof, but otherwise all was o.k. We were without electricity for about four hours, but the water supply was not affected. A good many people are still without water and electricity. Supermarkets are now out of water and people are selling it for vastly inflated prices. We are promised a suspension of the water supply on Wednesday, so that the systems can be checked. When we saw on television how badly it had hit Concepción and other parts of the south, we realized how lucky we had been.

Saturday was surreal, very quiet all day: people had been advised to stay at home unless obliged to go out. eventually we went out for a walk in the afternoon, down to the lake, as it was very boring staying at home watching the reports on television. We called into the local supermarket on our way home to buy wine (one has to think of the essentials!) and it was packed with people making small purchases: bread, water, etc., stuff that didn’t need cooking. Chileans, who are used to such things – many people remember two big earthquakes: 1960 and 1985 – must have an inbuilt siege mentality which kicks in on such occasions. Yesterday morning we went down to Church in Viña. St Peter’s Church, a wooden structure, suffered cracked stained glass windows, a fallen border moulding of one of them and other minor cracks and falls. The brick pillars of the perimeter wall were shaken loose, but otherwise, the building was o.k. Some of the older houses in Viña had plaster shaken off walls, revealing the timber frames with brick or adobe infill beneath, a restaurant, where we had had a meal on my birthday (5th Feb) had lost all the glass from its upper floor. As the whole wall was glass, this meant a considerable exposure. One high rise building, near where we used to live, had suffered buckling between its second and third floor. The second floor window frames were pushed down and the reinforcing rods bent and exposed. The building will obviously have to be demolished. No restaurants were open yesterday. It was strange being in Viña at lunchtime on a Sunday at the end of summer and finding all the usual busy places closed.

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A letter received from Rosa Cortez from Concepcion who was in Santiago at the time of the Earthquake contains the following (thanks to USPG and Andy Bowman)

I am going to travel tomorrow with help from Santiago of non perishable food. Juan lost his café because the building is no longer habitable and he wasn’t able to take anything out of it. They are sleeping in tents at the Arruez’ house to save water and food… The bridges are down; only Llancolen bridge is open. Felipe and Claudia are with the Morrisons who have a well; which means they can share with the brethren from San Pedro…

There is no news from Alto BioBio and it’s unlikely for a while.

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Pablo Zavala Latin Partner in La Serena, 1000 kms from Concepcion is fine and grateful for the prayers and concern of people throughout the world. This is true of a number of folk who have written from Chile.

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Canon Alf Cooper writes from Temuco:

Down in Temuco area ministering to folk here.  We were taken in by my family in their farms.  All OK for now in the midst of unbelievable tragedy and pain.

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Revd. Richard Pamplin from St Peter’s (English) Church in Vina del Mar wrote on Saturday:

It was very strong, but we are fine – only some personal possessions broken. Our building withstood it well. We are told we should be safe from the tsunami here. Some buildings around are damaged. There are a few deaths in our region. More damage further south.

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From former Bishop of Chile, Colin Bazley and his wife, Barbara (on the SAMS Canada website) February 27/28, 2010:

February 28: “We are so grateful for your prayers and those of many people all over the world. It was the 7th strongest quake of all time since records began. It was terrible here but we were some distance from the epicentre. We went to Providencia church today and met people from Concepción who had come to Santiago before the earthquake and now can’t get back. One of them told me that her husband’s business premises had been razed to the ground and he was going to declare himself bankrupt tomorrow.”

February 27: ” It was truly a mind-boggling experience. We were shaken awake at 3.34 this a.m. and I got out of bed in our top 24th floor flat and ran to the room where our guests from Bebington were sleeping, As I ran along the corridor the first of the huge jerks occurred and threw me from wall to wall. I eventually got their door open and David came to the door where we both sank to the floor. We stayed there wedged as best we could, he against the bed and I against the door while the jerks continued.

“It seemed never-ending and while I was there, I remembered that this was our Golden Wedding Day and in between all the other succession of thoughts I smiled to myself! The noise was deafening with crashes and thumpings as things slid around, roofing banging continuously. The lurching of the building was as if the top of the building was like the end of a whip as it jerked from one side to the other.

“When the movement stopped I went back and found Barbara trying to get out. It was very hard as three pieces of furniture had fallen down flat, with books and other stuff all over the place, so she had to climb over the bed in the darkness. The electricity had cut out immediately. The mobile phone rang and it was daughter Katherine asking if we were OK. We managed to get some clothes on, and shoes as well because there was glass all over the place, Two bottles of wine broken with contents all over the kitchen floor.

“Then son-in-law Enrique arrived. It was dark as there was no electricity, nor water or gas either. He had climbed up the 24 floors to our flat as the lifts weren’t functioning, carrying torches and some anoraks. He led us down and outside into the patio where we all gathered with the Lagos and Enrique’s mother.  We just sat there on some seats for a couple of hours and Fernanda plied us with bottled water. Then we were allowed back into (other daughter )

“Margaret’s flat on ground floor. Katherine and Rodrigo then arrived with flasks of tea. After a while it was decided we should go back with them. We spent the rest of the night and up to mid-morning there. Then David and I went back with grandson Francisco to collect some essentials – medication, clothing, etc. We were able to get into the one lift working up to our flat on the top (24th) floor, gathered stuff out of the total mess there and left it to be cleared up another day. We then went back to Katherine’s where we had a lovely comforting lunch.

“We had planned to have a celebratory meal tonight but in view of the devastation decided to put it off till later on. There is so much devastation up and down the country, 740 dead, many more injured. Most new buildings have held up as they are built with modern anti-seismic methods. Most of us felt it would be inappropriate, though some didn’t want to deprive people from earning much-needed cash at this time. But it was an 8.8 earthquake (more than Haití in fact) and there are1.5 million. homeless.  The main Pan American highway motorway joining the major cities North to South has been broken in several places as bridges have collapsed. Here in Santiago the airport has been badly damaged. Concepción, 500 km South of here is a total mess. News is very jumbled at present. We’ll prepare a proper letter soon. But we are grateful to the Lord for his care and praying for those who have suffered far more than we have.

“It wasn’t the Golden Wedding we had planned. But to see the way our families here have pulled together, gave us and our visitors so much care and love, made it a real golden day for us. Sammy, Enrique and Margaret’s son, had very concerned communications with his girl-friend, Peggy, a Chilean Christian girl who is on a two-year contract at a Christian school in Taiwán, received a text message from her. She quoted Isaiah 54:10: “The mountains may disappear and the hills may come to an end, but my love will never disappear. My promise of peace will never come to an end”. My Psalm this morning was number 138, and verses 7 and 8; “Though I walk in the midst of danger, yet will you preserve my life…the Lord will complete his purpose for me. Your loving kindness, o Lord, endures for ever; do not forsake the work of your own hands”.

“We stayed at Katherine and Rodrigo’s overnight. It was a quiet night, with just a few small after-shocks that didn’t wake us. We look forward to going to the Providencia church this morning to worship with God’s people. We value your prayers more than we can say.”

Anniversary With A Difference – Colin & Barbara Bazley

How we had looked forward to that day, 27th February, entertaining our friends, David and Ann from England; perhaps with breakfast on the terrace in the sun; a leisurely day in Santiago where we had worked from 25 years and a celebration meal in the evening for all the family.

But it was not to be. At 3.34a.m., loud bangs and jerks shake us awake. The bed is bouncing violently. We are flung from side to side. Objects slide and fall. A china place on the wall beats a rapid tattoo. It is pitch dark. The lights have cut out.

We are on the top floor of a 24-storey block of flats. Car alarms and emergency bells add themselves to the clatter. I tell myself “this building is meant to withstand earthquakes. Anyway, surely it will stop soon.” Each minute lasts an hour. I try to get out of bed. My way is blocked by overturned furniture. Heart is pounding, mouth dry. Colin staggers out of the bedroom to see how our guests are. He is thrown, first against the closet, then against the opposite wall. He and David are lying in the doorway of the visitors’ room. He remembers it is our Golden Wedding Day.

At last, at long, long last, the banging and clatter abate, the lurching and lunging calm down, but the building is still rocking like a ship at sea. The mobile phone rings. Katherine, asking if we are alright. Enrique walks into the flat, having let himself in with his key after climbing the 23 flights of stairs. He urges us to put on clothes and shoes (lots of broken glass) and follow him quickly. “This is a biggie”, he says.

There is emergency lighting on corridors and stairs, but no lifts working. The five of us make our way down the many steps. We pass an exhausted old lady. But her daughter tells us she is alright, not to stop. Panic attack maybe. Loud hammering comes from a flat where the door has jammed. Finally we get down to the front garden. Margaret and Fern meet us with hugs, blankets and bottles of water.

People are walking about in pyjamas and dressing gowns, many leaving the building by car. We sit down on some garden seats. Enrique’s 80-year old mother is wrapped in a blanket and Sammy has his arm round her. Dog is restless and uneasy, fastened by her lead to the seat. Another strong tremor. Pulse rate rapid, throats still dry. We ring Libby in the UK, telling her we are OK. An hour has passed since the quake.

Feeling of unreality pervades. I can hardly believe I am still alive. How can the building be still standing? Firemen and technicians are checking for gas leaks. Those who have flats on the ground floor may now return to the building. We go in with Margaret, Enrique, Sam, Fern and  Grandma Pepa.

Inside their living room, we sit with the front door of the flat open, so emergency lighting from the passage can enter. A fireman passes telling us to put out the candle. Suddenly Katherine and Rodrigo arrive, having driven five miles and bringing thermos flasks of hot water. The cup of tea tastes good. Sammy listening to radio via mobile phone tells us the epicentre is near Concepción, 300 miles South, but not even the army has received signals from there. Very bad news.

Katherine and Rodrigo take us with David and Ann back to their house, where electricity and gas have already been restored. On the way, Katherine rings her daughter Cata, 16, in England. Gives her telephone number of relative of David and Ann and instructions to tell them our guests are fine. Still two hours to daybreak. More strong tremors.

Eerie silence. Quake over, but no communications. Difficult to get line on mobile – only “System overloaded”. Gradually dawn breaks. Katherine announces TV has begun transmission. A commentary begins which will last several days. The number of fatalities begins to climb. The picture painted gets steadily blacker. Airport badly damaged. Will our visitors get home? Old buildings worst hit. Supermarkets all closed, shambles inside.

Katherine goes to the street market. Maybe stall holders were up preparing before the earthquake struck. She brings back quantities of fruit and salad. Colin and Ann need their medication. Grandson Francisco, 18, drives Colin and David back to the flat with a list and they hunt through the muddle for medicines, money, documents, spectacles, watches and more clothes (Ann is still in her pyjamas).

Another contact with Libby. She has taken Cata out of boarding school for the weekend as the girl was upset on seeing the devastation on CNN. We ring the restaurant to cancel the celebration meal. Then have showers, knowing few are able to enjoy this luxury. Rodrigo and Francisco join a long queue for bread. The Lady President  addresses the nation on TV, wearing a black dress. The full extent of damage will not be known for another 72 hours. She urges support for the rescue workers, medical teams, firemen, army and police. She expresses heartfelt sympathy for the bereaved and homeless and urges the whole population to fortitude and cooperation.

The day is ending. Enrique, Margaret and family come to the house to take showers. We are all together, so David and Ann take some group photos to mark our 50th anniversary and we have a simple sandwich buffet, thanks to those who queued for bread.

A very much more sober celebration than we had planned, and we still feel shaken. But we are all here and alive. And we have received such love and help from every one of them. Colin says a prayer of thanksgiving. And that is our story of gold among the rubble.

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