Chile (MNN) — A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Chile about 45 miles northwest of Temuco Sunday evening. This earthquake comes not even a year after the severely damaging 8.8 quake of February 2010.
Unlike the devastating February quake which killed over 500 people and racked up 30 billion dollars in damages, the news coming out of the most recent earthquake has been mainly positive.
"We partner with local churches, and those churches, as far as we know, all reported in safely," reports Craig Dyer with Bright Hope International. "No deaths, no extensive damage, and we're praising God for that."
That hopeful safety rings true for the rest of the country as well. Miraculously, no deaths or major damages have been reported as a result of the massive quake, so far. The worst results have included power outages and saturated telephone lines.
Although the large-scale quake appears to have done little damage physically, the psychological effects on those who suffered through February's devastation may be significant.
"I know the psychological impact that this can have. And I think that's an opportunity for us to be praying that the churches would be working. Even though there's not a physical need, there's a psychological need that's probably been awakened again since the last earthquake back in February," explains Dyer.
In the aftermath of last year's quake, Bright Hope sent a great deal of aid and resources to churches in order to help the disaster's victims. Reports returned that many of the people who had been helped were grateful and truly felt the love of Christ.
Dyer says for those who have fallen away or forgotten about the church since then, this could be the wake-up call they need.
"If they felt those aftershocks, all the memories come flooding back. And even those that maybe weren't connected to a church but did then end up receiving help back in February, today I'm thinking, 'Boy, they're probably primed to come back to church.'"
Pray that churches would indeed provide healing for those who are reliving the memories of a tragic 2010. Pray that this quake would have shaken people enough to open their hearts to the Gospel, and that Chilean believers would be prepared to share it with them.
Praise God for His goodness to Chile during this earthquake.