Today the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile will meet in Valparaiso to determine a plan of assistance for those affected by the earthquake that struck early Saturday morning. The Director of the ministry center in Chile, Marianela Bravo Oyarzún, will be attending to represent Lutheran Hour Ministries.
Marianela reports that nearly 1,500 people have been pronounced dead and many more are still missing, but LHM staff, their families, and members of partner churches are accounted for and unharmed. The epicenter of the earthquake was in the region of Maule, which is 300 km from the LHM office in Santiago. Numerous roads and bridges were destroyed in the disaster, which has rendered several remote villages unreachable at present, and the conditions of those areas are not yet known.
Though the worst of the magnitude-8.8 earthquake is over, the areas continue to tremble with aftershocks of the earthquake, and communications with the LHM—Chile staff are still unstable. In her most recent update, Marianela said, “Let’s keep praying to God for strength and continue to deliver the message of hope to all who suffer.”
In the less chaotic cities, some supermarkets have opened their doors to survivors desperate for food. For other regions, a curfew has been declared to prevent looting.
“Thanks for everything, dear brothers,” says Marianela. “I ask you to keep praying for our country and ask the Lord to give strength to all the families that have lost loved ones.”