Chile – Journey of Solidarity Day 1
A delegation of church leaders is making their way from Santiago to Concepcion, bringing prayers and fellowship in the areas hardest hit by the earthquake. Here are a few of their reflections.
Thursday March 4, 2010:
As we departed we joined hands and Pastor President Gloria Rojas of the IELCH (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile) led us in prayer asking God to accompany us throughout the journey.
In general the trip was calm and faster than we had thought, though we were surprised by the damage to the highway, the large cracks, roads bulging up, bridges that no longer served as bridges and more than one drop in the road to remind us that we needed to take it slow.
3. In Talca our first meeting was in a low income community, where from the outside it did not seem that there had been a lot of damage, but as we listened to people’s testimonies we were surprised by the level of pain and need that was inside the houses.
It is what we call “the Earthquake that Lies”.
We met with a pastor in Talca, his face still reflected a very painful experience and his strong embrace expressed gratitude for the visit of his brothers and sisters who said: “Pastor, you are not alone, we bring affection, greetings, and solidarity from thousands of people both in Chile and abroad.”
Dear friends, the journey was not tiring, what was tiring was to see the faces of anguish of the people and to hear their fears about aftershocks. But we are encouraged by the testimonies of solidarity, of how they see in us the hope of assistance, but above all what is valued is: that you are here with us.
With an embrace, feeling each one you close.
Inter-Church Emergency Committee Chile 2010