The earthquake of 27th February continues to impact on the affected regions. The return to classes was delayed, and conditions are precarious as some schools are operating in temporary premises. Also, the emergency housing developments, made up of one and two room wooden structures, are being tested by the rain as winter approaches, and a few people are still in tents. We were able to help Dennis Hanna in the building of some of the 7 houses that he put up for families affected in his area. Here in Rancagua the adobe home of a sister is being completely redone on its interior and exterior surfaces, with new electrical installation etc., and another apartment of her daughter will require structural repair. Other than that, the Christians in the assemblies in our area escaped major housing damage. We have been working with families in a large emergency subdivision that has been set up here in Rancagua. Just one of the apartment complexes that was rendered uninhabitable consists of around 100 buildings, each one of which housed 20 or 25 families. We have been going with food parcels, calendars, and Bibles and that will be an ongoing ministry to them. We have also been able to have good conversations, and a number have been out to Sunday School as a result. The government has been doing much to help them. In this particular case, a new property has been purchased, and the government has pledged new permanent houses within a year and a half.
As far as the reconstruction of halls is concerned, the progress is necessarily slower since each one requires the presentation of a building project with architectural plans and engineering calculations. Here in our region we have to rebuild part of the hall in Machali; the ruined adobe part has been demolished and the building permit process has been initiated.
We have had to travel much in these last two months, not only in matters concerning the earthquake, but also to minister the Word at conferences, and help in two newer works. At Easter time we were in Talca for Friday, then down in Valdivia for all day Saturday. We then visited Llanada Grande, a work that Andrew and Martina support farther south and east, nearly on the border with Argentina. They had invited us often before, and it was a joy to be able to go and finally meet up with the little group of believers and visit the many contacts they have established in that remote region over the past years.
More recently, we flew down to Coyhaique, some 1,500 km south of here, where our daughter Cheryl and her husband, Pablo Seguel, are labouring in the work of the Lord. They moved down 6 months ago to work with a number of existing contacts in 3 different localities, and the Lord has been blessing. Once again it was a privilege and joy to visit and get to know the different ones, and preach in the various meetings. They are exercised about seeing an assembly planted in the most central point in the meantime, while the work develops and consolidates in the more outlying regions.
We arrived back and went up to Santiago to take part in the conference in La Florida; two messages in ministry and then the gospel at the end. Once again, it was encouraging to see the Lords people there continuing on. With the number of older more experienced missionaries dropping, there is more required of the rest of us, and we solicit your prayers that we may be guided by the Lord and faithful in the handling of His Word.