First Haiti... now Chile

March 4, 2010 – The following is a letter from Lutheran Church Canada President Robert Bugbee.  It describes the situation in Chile in the days immediately following the earthquake on February 27, and the need for prayer and assistance.


"Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

First, let me thank you for your generosity toward the relief work of CLWR and its agencies following the earthquake in Haiti. Last we heard, the amount donated exceeded $1 million. This will go a long way to bring about the reconstruction of lives and buildings.

Now we are looking at the results of another, stronger earthquake coupled with a tsunami that has devastated lives and property in Chile. Again, our minds cannot possibly comprehend the heartbreak these people are suffering.

Earlier this week I contacted President Carlos Schumann of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (ILCC) asking how we in Canada can help his church. Today, I received a reply which indicated that he, the pastors and people of ILCC along with the local Lutheran Hour Ministries office staff, have established a plan to bring spiritual and physical care to those in areas “where the TV cameras don’t go.”

He said that in the places he visited he encountered people who had “no clothes, no food, or materials for the repair of houses.”

As Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, it is approaching fall and then winter. This fact increases the urgency of the relief and reconstruction efforts.

Lutheran Church–Canada has committed $10,000 from our emergency relief fund to help our brothers and sisters in Christ in Chile.

However, I would like to ask if you can help provide additional funding for the Chilean church. I know we just came to you on behalf of Haiti so I find it difficult to ask again, but, having met Rev. Schumann in Korea last year, I know his passion for touching the lives of his fellow Chileans with the great good news of the Gospel. And I also know, from our own experience in both Nicaragua and Thailand, how God can use these tragedies!

While we bask in the glow of the last two weeks of Olympic games, we need to remember how God has blessed our land so that, in turn, we can bless others.

Please go online to www.lutheranchurch.ca/donate and make a donation, or send a cheque to 3074 Portage Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3K 0Y2 marked “Chile Relief.”

Thank you for considering how you can help and for your continuing prayers for the people of Chile and for the Lord’s work there.

Robert Bugbee,
Lutheran Church–Canada "


Update on Situation in Chile (Saturday, March 6, 1:24pm)

According to news reports, the February 27, 8.8-magnitude earthquake—which was 700 to 800 times stronger than the earthquake that hammered Haiti—has already claimed more than 700 lives. It has also affected more than two-million people.

Its epicenter was about 100 kilometres northwest of Chillan, Chile, a city in the country’s north.

President Schumann of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (ILCC) said some have decided to respond to the quake with violence, and now the government has enacted a 6 p.m. to noon curfew.

“There have been incredible sackings, robberies, assaults to aid vehicles, toll collections by delinquents, and deaths by violence,” he reported. “The citizens have armed themselves to defend their possessions.”

Despite the violence, the ILCC has developed a plan of action. He said the church will focus its efforts on smaller locations that have suffered proportionally more than larger cities and are often forgotten by TV cameras.

Closer to Santiago, Chile’s capital city, the church will contact former members and family members of current members and create a focal point for operations.

The church is also posting information and photos on its website, www.ielchi.cl.

“We are not a church with a great impact capacity,” said Schumann. “We do not have a great amount of members that can move ahead great tasks of reconstruction. We must focus on that in which we can achieve success, still considering the outside support both in human as well as material resources.”

Schumann said the church has received offers of support from Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, the United States and Canada.

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