Four Adventists Confirmed Dead
in Chilean Quake
Clinton lauds ADRA workers at Santiago airport.
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
our Seventh-day Adventist church members in Chile are confirmed dead in the wake of the magnitude 8.8 February 27 earthquake that struck the southern part of the South American nation, church officials have confirmed.
Two church headquarters have been severely damaged, while more than 10 places of worship have “been almost completely destroyed,” according to Pastor Erton Köhler, president of the church’s South American Division.
At the same time, the division reports U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with ADRA volunteers at Santiago’s airport on March 2 and commended the group’s relief efforts.
CHURCH DAMAGED: The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Vista San Vicente, Chile, was damaged by landslides from the mud walls of neighboring structures. [Photo: René Henríquez/SAD]
“Thanks to those who prayed and continue praying for our brothers and all who have suffered from the earthquake that happened last Saturday in Chile,” Köhler wrote in an e-mail message March 5, 2010. “We remain united in intercession and supporting our fellow Chileans.”
Köhler added, “Until now we have news of four killed Adventists and some still missing. We're still waiting for more news. Furthermore, we have two headquarters, the South Chile Conference in Temuco and Central Mission in Talca, Chile, [that are] highly compromised. More than 10 churches have been almost completely destroyed and some [church-related] academies and schools suffered significant damage. Many of our brothers are homeless, struggling to find food, water and a place to stay.”
According to Köhler, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, or ADRA, is continuing its assistance in the region. “ADRA is supporting the delivery of food, blankets and tents, as well as having a Canadian team working with water purification and a group of nearly 100 volunteers helping in Santiago to arrange the food to be sent to needy regions,” he reported.
“Now we begin to come together to seek resources and help from church institutions (temples, schools and offices) to return its [normal] use, and support our brothers in their personal challenges,” he added.
According to Karen Cordovez writing for the division, U.S. Secretary of State “Hillary Clinton, after meeting with [outgoing Chilean] President [Michelle] Bachelet spoke with President-elect Sebastian Piñera, [at the Santiago airport]. Clinton approached the 80 ADRA volunteers there to see their work.
“Cristián Pincheira, Project Coordinator for ADRA Chile, spoke with [Mrs. Clinton] about the work that ADRA is doing in the country to help the [earthquake] victims. Clinton expressed her appreciation for the work of the volunteers and related her own awareness of ADRA’s work in the United States,” Cordovez reported.
Adventist Church Infrastructure Severely Damaged in Major Chile Quake
-- With information from the South American Division