Chilean Church of God Fervent in Faith Following February Fires

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Disaster Relief, Global Strategy

By Carl Stagner

It’s been a rough four months since the wildfire disaster that ravaged communities and countryside in the South American country of Chile. The statistics—staggering and sobering—bring the Church of God around the world to its knees; prayer has proven indispensable amid the over 40,000 people directly affected by the disaster, including 29,000 homes destroyed and hundreds of casualties. Thankfully, the disaster has also inspired generosity from the Church of God, not only around the world, but also within Chile. Within Chile, in fact, the Church of God is bridging the gap between other, now depleted sources of humanitarian aid and the desperate present need.

Even as relief efforts continue four months later, the Chilean Church of God is addressing the need with the love of Jesus. Under the faithful leadership of Pastors Carlos Barlow and his wife Marisol, the Church of God is on the ground, collecting and distributing water, food, and other essentials. Especially in view of those who lost homes and belongings, the coordinated efforts are making an impact. Children aren’t left out; special care packages are assembled to encourage and occupy the little ones whose toys were also among the charred remains of homes. Because of generous support of the Church of God people through Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief, the local congregations of the Movement are further equipped and empowered to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Supply box assembly

From the start of the wildfire disaster, Pastors Carlos and Marisol wanted the whole church to be actively involved in the response. With just $20 to begin with, they got to work. Immediately they emptied a closet in the church to distribute clothes. More donations came in, and a truck filled with personal hygiene supplies arrived. Boxes were assembled with resources, including school supplies and New Testaments. When it became apparent that some of the congregation, unable to do the heavy lifting, still needed a way to get involved, the pastors figured out a way.

“We began to buy yarn and give it to the older sisters or those who knit and who do not have as much mobility to go to the field,” Pastor Carlos explains. “They knitted blankets that we have already been delivering in this wintertime.”

The Chilean Church of God remains in contact with many families, eyeing the possibility of a restoration and rebuilding effort down the road. For more information about long-term solutions, email gsprojects@chog.org.

Prayer for those affected by the wildfires.

“We have always asked the Lord’s direction to give us wisdom in the administration of the resources offered,” Pastor Carlos concludes. “Our congregation has the clear vision of showing mercy, and we are sensitive to the pain of people. Every time we have the opportunity, we come to the aid of those who need it.,,,

Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief is invited to join the Chilean Church of God in assisting affected families. Funds will be used to purchase and distribute food, water, hygiene items, clothing, and other basic provisions. To come alongside this vital ministry through the Chilean Church of God, gifts can be made to Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief.

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