Chile earthquake tsunami relief   english bwa
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This is a presentation that I and our convention leaders made at the Baptist World Alliance annual gathering in Santiago, Chile on July 3, 2012. ...

This is a presentation that I and our convention leaders made at the Baptist World Alliance annual gathering in Santiago, Chile on July 3, 2012.
If you can access the notes to each slide, you can read the narration for the presentation.

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  • This poem was created by this pastor after the earthquake in Haiti. Many of our churches were raising funds to send to help Haiti when we were surprised by the earthquake here.
  • This poem was created by this pastor after the earthquake in Haiti. Many of our churches were raising funds to send to help Haiti when we were surprised by the earthquake here. .
  • I will try to share with you how this earthquake changed our lives and the life of a small convention in the south of the world. The quake measured 8.8 on the Richter scale. It only lasted 3 minutes. It affected 80% of the population.
  • But the earthquake was not the strongest that came. The worst was the tsunami on our coasts sweeping away everything in its path. The government said that 600 thousand families lost their homes.
  • We started calling our friends closest to us and visiting them and seeing if they were okay, finding that they did not have great problems. So them we thought to ourselves, “now what?”
  • Then we decided to go and see how our brothers further north in the most affected areas closer to the epicenter and the coast were.
  • We covered hundreds of kilometers to get there and see the immense damage left by the earthquake-tsunami was very disturbing, and we returned as different people.
  • Initially we planned three trips bringing food, and higiene supplies, some 10,000 kilos worth. But there was so much to do and we felt helpless and powerless facing so much need, and we were often discouraged. Then the word of God from Matthew 9:35-36, where Jesus saw the multitudes harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd, and it told us “you be their pastors and care for their pain.”
  • The return trips were full of silence, praying, thinking, seeking God and asking “what else, God, what more? That being our desire, we made our biggest effort in fifteen days, equalling our anual budget, by some twenty thousand dollars. Small churches from the north and south, including Mapuche churches sending their offerings of potatoes, beans, and flour to help our fellow countryman who had lost everything. This was our best effort being given, but there was still so much to do, and our sense of helplessness overwhelmed us. It was there when God challenged us to make a plan.
  • We continued making frequent trips to the areas affected by the tsunami to assess the needs. It was on one of those trips assessing needs that we met Lillian Bastides, the leader of the community in Tumbes, a group of 106 families from three fishing villages that lost everything. We found them living in tents made of scrap metal and plastic, in the middle of a forest on the top of a hill, that belonged to a naval base, where they had fled the tsunami.
  • They had fled the tsunami and climbed the hill with only the clothes on their back. They lived there, in tents, in the cold and rain, for four months before they received their emergency houses. When we left that place, after first meeting here, Lillian told us, “don’t forget us, don’t leave us to ourselves, pray for us.” It was as if God was telling us, “inasmuch as you give to the least of these a glass of water, you are giving it to me.”
  • The work was hard but gratifying.
  • How could we do something to help in a way that they needed, without simply replicating what the government was already doing? And God gave us the idea. ---the kits
  • We identified the needs through surveys, which told us what the people really needed. Then we developed the kits according to the needs.
  • Insulation kits, ---this due to the fact that the emergency houses provided by the government were made of materials that didn´t protect from the cold and rain, leaving another thing for these people to struggle against.
  • The mediaguas provided little protection from the wind, rain, and cold, since they were not insulated and did not have adequate doors or windows.
  • Basic home furnishings kits --- the sea wiped out beds and furniture, and we saw entire families having to sleep in one bed.
  • Room addition kits-----because of the crowded conditions in the emergency houses, from putting families of 6-8 persons in 18 square meters , or 200 sq. Ft.
  • We wanted to meet needs and give dignity to the people. Believing that Jesus did the same thing, all we had was like five pieces of bread and two fish, but in God’s hands the resources multiplied and more and more baskets of food were filled. God sent resources to work with through the Baptist World Alliance, $25,000, and the American Baptist Churches sent another $150,000.
  • All this let us keep on going. We went to the pastors in the affected zones, asking them to be the hands and feet of Jesus, assessing the needs in eleven communities. In this way churches like Grace, Peace and Hope church in Concepcion came to adopt a village of mediaguas in Coliumo foro ver a year. They accompanied these people, each family in the church adopting one family, visiting them, bringing aid and comfort and friendship. We visited municipality leaders and authorities, asking them “where do you need help?”
  • The church in Linares ministered in Retiro. Curico church ministered in Iloca. We aided and accompanied a community near Talcahuano, Tumbes, for two years. The Churches in Chillan, Talca, Cerro Verde, Laja, Los Angeles, and Traiguen, ministered to the villages of people living in the emergency houses, or mediaguas.
  • The New Birth Church in <Coronel, with their pastor, Miguel Sandoval, went to a fishing village in Tubul and ministered in two communities of over 200 families that lost everything to the sea. More than a dozen churches in the south were moved to assist , sending volunteers to help make improvements to the mediaguas.
  • All together, we covered over 40,000 kilometers, making more than 65 trips as these resources were distributed. We worked in 11 communities.
  • We provided more than 42,000 meals with the food kits.
  • Three hundred hygiene kits for families of four persons.
  • Eighty room additions,
  • and 350 insulation installments.
  • There were more than 1400 persons directly aided by our convention. There are many stories of elderly people, women, children and men who perhaps saw Jesus in us. As for us, it changed our lives, and transformed our convention, stimulating the creation of a new era of service, volunteers, and mission.
  • Out of this disaster, the Emergency Volunteer Network was born. Why a network and not an organization? Because a network is dynamic, interactive, and flexible in its responses. It began spontaneously. All it took was the appearance of the great emergency and need, and our volunteers’ sensitive hearts felt the need. Everyone said, “let’s see how we can help.” We brought spiritual and material aid, putting gifts and talents to service, sharing and blessing lives. What did we have? (1)A group of men who came to understand what God can do when we put ourselves in his hands. (2)Lives full of happiness, through sharing a cup of water in Jesus’ name. (3)Testimonies of people, thankful to God for not feeling abandoned. This network is made up of pastors, laymen, workers and professionals, ready to serve whatever the human or social need.
  • Our first experience was in Cerro Verde, where we built a new house for a church member who had lost everything.
  • In Traiguen, we built a room addition for an elderly couple. The earthquake left their home in rubbles, where they were living in misery among the ruins.
  • The government had provided an emergency house, a Mediagua, but they desperately needed a room addition.
  • We were in Coronel and Tubul, installing insulation and room additions to the 10’ X 20’ emergency houses (mediaguas), to improve the quality of life for these hard-pressed people.
  • This is now the third winter that these families are living in these emergency houses.
  • When we came to the villages, the people asked us why we were there. “Why are you doing this?” They all wanted to help any way they could, sharing tools, wheelbarrows, saws, hammers.
  • The women made sopaipillas and seafood empanadas, providing hot coffee, soft drinks. Many times families invited us to eat with them, even those who had little to share.
  • There were ten other places where we worked, helping, and supporting families in coastal villages that suffered so much loss from the earthquake and tsunami. In one location, Tubul, an isolated fishing village, a new church is in formation, the result of the pastoral care provided by the pastor from the Coronel church, Miguel Sandoval.
  • Building on the momentum, spirit, and enthusiasm of this experience, we were able to respond to another natural disaster, the blizzard, or “white earthquake” that occurred in Lonquimay in 2011. Lonquimay is a mountain community where the local church has three Mapuche missions farther back in the mountains. In this area, there are blizzards bringing up to three feet of snow. Roads are closed, and the people are closed in for weeks at a time, unable to get supplies to and from the city.
  • We went there in the midst of rain, mud, and snow, bringing food kits and sharing words of encouragement and blessing with these people.


  • 1. “The earth shook like an enraged beast,the mountains trembled and the sea unleashed its fury,the earth cracked openand what was built was undone, and a people tired of suffering, suffers again.”
  • 2. “the sea unleashed its fury,”
  • 3. “and what was built was undone,”
  • 4. The horror left its indelible mark in the lost looks, the desolate faces, the dead, the trapped, the mutilated,in each life torn apart by the unexpected. But God was not in the earthquake.
  • 5. Someone cried out in terror and other voices joined in. Someone lifted a prayer, and others prayed along.Someone sang, and many joined the song. Someone lifted a piece of concrete, and others began to clear away the rubble,
  • 6. somone hugged the injuredand others carried the wounded in their arms someone stretched out a hand to help,and thousands of hands joined in. And God was among them. By Gerardo Oberman (trans. by Stan Slade)
  • 7. February 27, 2010
  • 8. Earthquake 8.8 3 minutes
  • 9. Tsunamis
  • 10. Typical Fishing Village
  • 11. “the sea unleashed it´s fury”
  • 12. Impact of tsunami in Cerro Verde
  • 13. First Trip to Deliver Aid March 2010
  • 14. Caravans of Solidarity and Aid
  • 15. From churches in the north districts,
  • 16. From Temuco,
  • 17. And from the most southern district, Los Rios
  • 18. “Someone lifted a prayer, and others prayed along.” ,”
  • 19. “don’t forget about us…”
  • 20. “see us”
  • 21. “listen to us”
  • 22. “stay with us”
  • 23. Our Strategy The Kits
  • 24. Surveys
  • 25. We identified the needs through surveys, which told us what the people really needed. Then we developed the kits according to the needs. Times of reflection, prayer, and friendship.
  • 26. Food KitsRiceSpaghettiCoffeeTomato sauceFlourBeans.SugarVegetable oilPowdered milkTuna, margarine, yeast
  • 27. Hygiene KitsLiquid soapShampooDeodorantToothpasteToothbrushesPersonal hygiene productsToilet paperMatchesDisposable razors
  • 28. Insulation KitsInterior panelsWindowsDoorElectrical installationRoom divider
  • 29. The Mediaguas
  • 30. Inside a Mediagua
  • 31. Home Furnishings KitKitchen tableChairsBunk beds w/ blanketsSpace heater
  • 32. Room Addition KitsOne bedroom3m X 3mInterior panels
  • 33. More dignity.
  • 34. zones, asking them to be the hands and feet of Jesus, assessing the needs in eleven communities.cion came to adopt a village of mediaguas in Coliumo foro ver a year. They accompanied these people, each family in the church adopting Coliumo (Grace, Peace, & Hope Church in Concepción)
  • 35. Coliumo(Grace, Peace, & Hope Church in Concepción)
  • 36. Iloca(Iglesia de Curicó)
  • 37. Iloca(Church in Curicó)
  • 38. Cerro Verde y Penco (Iglesia de Cerro Verde)
  • 39. TalcahuanoCaleta Tumbes y Maryland
  • 40. Chillan(New Hope Church)
  • 41. Traiguen(Mt. Zion Church)
  • 42. Pastoring in Tubul
  • 43. A Mission in Tubul
  • 44. Pastoring in Tubul
  • 45. 11 communities
  • 46. food kits42,000 meals
  • 47. 300hygiene kits
  • 48. room addition kits 80
  • 49. insulation kits350
  • 50. basic homefurnishings kit 51
  • 51. lives touched 1,400
  • 52. Emergency Volunteer Network
  • 53. Cerro Verde y Penco (Church in Cerro Verde)
  • 54. Coronel(New Birth Church)
  • 55. Tubul
  • 56. Friendship, hospitality
  • 57. Fellowship, a new church
  • 58. White Earthquake in Lonquimay
  • 59. Daniel Vivanco • Now in these days our national conventionPresident is promoting fellowship in our churches,National Baptist friendship and volunteer service,Convention of Chile cooperating with one another to fulfill the Great Commission. • Another goal is a season of prayer so that each believer is a missionary in their neighborhood, work, church and home, to influence our society that needs to know the love of God. • Finally, we are forming a national network of volunteers, putting their talents, gifts, and professions to the service of our neighbors, evidence of our faith and redemption in Christ. • It is not hard to respond to the call of Jesus. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It is to say, “Here am I, Lord, send me .”