The president of the LCMS Chilean partner church body says that its members, pastors, and facilities are safe following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile Feb. 27, as assessment of damage continues.
“By God’s grace [none] of our church members and pastors’ families have suffered,” wrote Rev. Carlos Schumann, president of the 200-some-member Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI), in an e-mail to LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick.
The LCMS is monitoring the needs of the partner church and has pledged assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake that claimed more than 700 lives, toppled thousands of buildings and homes, and left an estimated 2 million people homeless.
Kieschnick expressed sorrow and concern for the Chilean people and the IELCHI in a Feb. 27 electronic letter to Schumann and stated that he asked staff from LCMS World Mission and LCMS World Relief and Human Care -– the Synod agencies involved in international mission outreach and relief efforts — to remain in contact with the IELCHI. “While already committing human and fiscal resources to relief and rebuilding in Haiti, we stand ready to be of assistance in any way possible in the aftermath of this very powerful earthquake in your country,” Kieschnick wrote.
“We thank God that He remains faithful to His promises, and we pray that He will give you strength and wisdom for the challenges of today, tomorrow, and for many days and years to come,” Kieschnick also wrote. “May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Schumann thanked the LCMS’ “brothers and sisters [who] are praying for us and our country.
“So, just [one] thing remains firm: God’s merciful and powerful hands where your life by faith quietly rests,” he wrote in his reply to Kieschnick. “I’m really [appreciative of] your kind, warm and friendly concern about us and the whole Chilean church.”
The LCMS commitment to helping its Chilean partner church is in addition to its efforts to provide relief to Haiti, following the 7.0 earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation Jan. 12. LCMS Lutherans have given nearly $4 million for Haiti relief.
The LCMS, working cooperatively through LCMS World Mission and LCMS World Relief and Human Care in St. Louis, and other U.S. and Latin America region partners, is striving to support its partners in their response to the people of Chile.
Posted Mar. 2, 2010