Despite devastation, pastor and church put Christ first

By March 22, 2010

Chile (MNN) — The 8.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Chile a few weeks ago was immediately followed by a large tsunami. For 200 people on an island during the disaster, there was little hope.

As Pastor Juan Mauricio Muñoz hurried to get his family to high ground after the quake to avoid the coming tsunami, he saw the lights of nearly 30 cell phones shining from a nearby island. Helpless to do anything for the stranded people, Muñoz continued to move his family away from danger. Only three of the 200 people on the island survived.

Reports show that anywhere from 450 to 700 were killed during the quake and tsunami. Countless more were left homeless.

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board reports that Muñoz and his family lost their own home and most of their possessions. Upon their return home, Muñoz was overwhelmed by the devastation that had leveled whole blocks and thrown cars three blocks from where they had been parked.

Yet amid the devastation, Muñoz has been working hard for the Lord. His produce business was not destroyed, nor was his house, so he has been handing out free produce to those in need of food and housing various victims in his church building. Muñoz and his church members have been spreading the love of Christ as they put the needs of their hurting neighbors before their own.

Pray that the Lord would bring good from this sorrow. Pray that Pastor Muñoz and his church would be safe and would know how to use this tragedy for God's glory.

To learn more about the work of the International Mission Board in Chile and across the globe, click here.

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