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After several days of a communications blackout due to the enormous earthquake in Chile I finally received a phone call from Brother Estephan Alvarez who called from Concepcion on behalf of his dad, Pastor Rodolfo Alvarez. Brother Rodolfo Alvarez had been working many hours assisting in the evacuation of tenants in the building where he works. The building suffered severe damage and was no longer safe for tenants to remain in their residents.
Brother Estephan was able to call from a functional landline telephone at the church and gave me the following report.
The church was not affected in anyway by the strong earthquake. In fact not a single picture frame fell off the wall. Although all of their homes shook violently causing many loose items to fall to the floor; when the shaking had come to an end there was little or no structural damage to any of their homes. To his knowledge all of the believers in their church are all well.
Brother Estephen reported to work today at a shipyard. He works for a major ship manufacturing company and upon arriving at work he could not believe the devastating effects of the Tsunami at the shipyard. The Tsunami had completely displaced the large ships that the company had been working on. The area looked as though a tornado had just passed.
There is a lot of looting in the area. Many believers have to stand guard at their homes and personal properties to prevent looters from looting their homes. There is no running or drinkable water. They are rationing and sanitizing the water in the church’s baptistery. Basic food items are becoming scares and every day that passes it becomes more difficult to replenish their dwindling supplies. This is not due to the lack of money but merely the interruption of the delivery of goods to the area.
Please pray for the safety of the believers in Chile. It is obvious that they will need help in repairing and rebuilding in the future but now they are in dire need of food and clean water. Government intervention has been slow and apparently overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis. Let us remember our brothers and sisters in Chile in prayer. Let us pray for the swift and proficient provision of every need.
Email received from Chile (March 06, 2010)
God bless you Brother Robledo, Here in Chile in the city of Los Angeles we are not too far from the city of Concepcion. There are some homes here that have been completely destroyed and other homes were partially destroyed by the devastating earthquake. The infrastructure of the city has been completely destroyed. My wife and I were talking about the power of the earthquake but brother; the Angel of the Lord was with us. Not even a cup broke in our house and yet there were homes close to ours that were flatten by the earthquake. God had mercy on us. The other believers in this immediate area are okay. There are other message groups that are farther away from us that are believed to be okay but we can’t confirm it yet. We are trusting in the Lord during this time of trouble. May God bless you and your family.
Brother Ricardo Soto from the city of Los Angeles, Chile
Email received from Chile (March 09, 2010)
Precious Brothers in the Faith,
Thank you for your prayers and concerns on our behalf. We can say the almighty God spoke of these things through his Son’s prophetic words saying that there will be earthquakes in divers places. This time it affected us, but His Powerful Hand delivered us from such tremendous destruction. The brothers are all well and my family and I are also well. My house and our place of worship did not suffer any damage. It is incredible, but true. To God be the Glory! It is 7:00 PM local time here in Chile and my electricity and internet service has just been restored, this is the reason I have not been able to response to any emails and also the telephone lines were blocked. Continue to lift us up in prayer. While I write this report the earth continues to tremble.
I want to add my testimony of what I experienced the night of the earthquake. I went to bed about 1 in the morning after prayer. I had a heavy burden for the brothers and my family; I could not understand why I felt such a burden for my brothers.
When the earthquake began, the noise was deafening, the wavelike and parallel movement of the floor made it impossible to stand on your feet, but our arms were raised up towards our Refuge and Strong Rock the Lord Jesus Christ. After enduring a minute and forty five seconds of a magnitude 8.8 earthquake we assembled the family on the first floor and raised our arms and adored our Savior for his protection, since none of us was hurt and our home did not suffer any damage.
Later we went out of the house to see if our neighbors were well and they all seem to be well. I then called the office building where I work. I have been working in this building for over 20 years. This work has been a blessing to my home and family and has helped tremendously with the Lord’s work. This job has help fund various missionary trips that we have been involved with as well as help with the local work. When I spoke to the guard at the office he responded by saying there is chaos at the building. In spite of my neighbors warning and their attempts to stop me, I decided to go to see if I could be of any help at the building.
I arrived at the building with my son Marcos and began to help the residents who were trapped in their apartments; doors would not open and the building was in total darkness due to the power outage. We went everywhere closing gas valves and checking on the water system that had existed but was now destroyed. While we were going up and down the stairs my mind was on our Charity Tabernacle. My son and I left to check on the church. We were looking for passable streets and roads to reach the church. On the way to the church we saw much destruction. We passed in front of the building “Alto Rio” and it had collapsed. We did not want to be detained. Our objective was to check on the church. Getting to the church was very slow. There was dust everywhere. When we finally reached the church we were very relieved. I parked my car directly in front of the church and put the headlights of my car in high beam and there the church stood without damage. I lifted my hands to the Lord and gave him thanks. We entered in the church and verified that there was no interior damage to the church.
We began to call the brothers and families and we were informed that there were no brothers hurt or homes damaged. We continue to receive information from the other churches. It is wonderful how we have received calls from many brothers and Pastors that we have not heard from in quiet some time but Brotherly Kindness compels us to check on the welfare of our brothers. In the faith of our day we are overjoyed to know that they are well and only some material damage and some minor injuries but nothing serious.
Some days have passed since the earthquake, the calm is returning and the basic services are being restored. The food supplies are also being restored. We are waiting for a quick return to normal conditions here in spite of the strong aftershocks that are still occurring.
Finally, we want to say: Thank you Lord and almighty God who has stretched forth your hand to the earth and with your own hand have protected us. You have also warned us that judgment is coming and have given us time to get ready. I want to express a heartfelt thank you for your prayers and the Christian Love that have been expressed to us from all over Chile and the many foreign countries. God bless you.
Your Brother and Pastor in the same trials and tribulations,
Photos of the earthquake can be viewed at the link below: