International Ministries

Current Status of Chilean Earthquake Relief

March 10, 2010 News
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$20,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing funds have been sent through International Ministries in response to the 8.8 earthquake that jolted Chile on the morning of February 27.

American Baptist Missionaries in Chile, Barbara and Dwight Bolick were in the U.S. when the disaster struck.  Now that American Airlines has reopened flights to Chile, the Bolicks will be returning on March 15.  They have been in contact with Pastor Lord Merino, Director of the Baptist District in south Chile.  The Bolicks are posting regular news and information on their Facebook page and on the International Ministries website at

On March 6, IM received word from Mario Ramos, the President of the Chilean Baptist Convention.  Ramos wrote, “The panorama is desolate.  The smell of dead fish is terrible.  The desolation of the people is a nightmare.”  In spite of the fact that many people’s homes had been wiped out by the tsunami and that they’d lost everything, the people were grateful to be alive.

Together with pastors and lay leaders, three trucks went to Penco, Concepción, Los Angeles and Laja.  They delivered items such as food, flashlights, batteries and water.  Ramos further observed, "The hardest thing to see, apart from so much destruction, was the people’s hunger.  To rise up as a country the first thing we need to do is eat, and the people are so hungry that it seems difficult for them even to rise up.  As the curfew was about to fall, we were giving away even the crumbs of bread we had in our pockets.  To have a little clean water was a privilege.”

Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing continue to be needed in response to vast needs in Chile.  Donors can give through the IM website: or by check to: “OGHS – Chile Earthquake Relief” and mailed to International Ministries, PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.  Support can also be given by American Baptists through their church by making checks payable to the church with “One Great Hour of Sharing – Chile Earthquake Relief” written in the memo section.  These gifts will be sent from the church through the American Baptist region and then to International Ministries.

One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the General Board.  The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering.