Earthquake in Chile and the Response of Solidarity of the Pentecostal Church of Chile
Update June 2010
Faced with a tragedy such as the earthquake that occurred on the February 27, 2010, the Pentecostal Church of Chile chose to aid the families left most vulnerable by the tragedy, mobilizing and orienting its material and spiritual resources in a way indicated by Psalm 80, especially the first and last verse, which reads:
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
Restore us again, O Lord God of hosts,
Let your face shine, that we may be saved.
This has been a time to reconsider, organize, seek solutions, and turn to God to receive the strength to discern the times as an opportunity to bear witness and to grow in the midst of trials (James 1:12).
According to the Chilean government, the damage left behind by both the earthquakes and the tsunamis will be $60 million. Seventy-one percent of the hospitals of the country were affected. Seventeen major hospitals had to be closed, representing a loss of 4,700 beds. Sixty-two hospitals need repairs, eight of which must be completely rebuilt.
About half of the educational institutions have been affected and the cost of damages in this area is calculated to be $5.5 million. About 20 percent of those damages are in institutions under municipal government responsibility.
In addition to these infrastructure issues, there also has been extensive damage to bridges and highways. Hundreds of thousands of homes were literally destroyed, more than 500 people lost their lives and about 100 more people are still missing following the quake and tsunami.
In the context of this tragedy, the Pentecostal Church of Chile, a long-standing partner of Global Ministries, implemented an Emergency Response Project which initially consisted of bringing emergency food and water and first aid to more than 1,000 families. Next was the “Lifting up Hope” project that consisted of two phases: first, building the “Blessing Cabins” for people who were homeless; and, secondly, the “Door of Hope” project to provide emotional and spiritual trauma support.
1. 105 “Blessing Cabins” have been built at an approximate cost of $2,250 each, including labor and delivery costs. The total cost has been $236,250.
2. The total of national offerings collected from Pentecostal Church of Chile congregations has been $154,461.
3. The contributions from Global Ministries, including a solidarity offering from the Disciples of Christ in Puerto Rico, have totaled $53,038.
4. Fifty-three houses of worship, both recognized congregations and mission churches, have been destroyed or partially damaged. Twenty-three were totally destroyed and the cost of reconstruction is estimated at $920,000. Thirty churches were damaged and the total cost for repair is approximately $300,000.