Missionaries Jim and Liisa Tino serving in Chile and globally

Wildfire Disaster Response: Christ the Living Water Community Center Valparaiso, Chile

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First year operating costs and Remodeling: $20,000  Received: $16,000 Needed: $4,000

In April 2014, a devasting wildfire swept through the heavily-populated cerros (hillsides) of Valparaiso, damaging or destroying over 5,000 homes. The Lutheran Church responded immediately, even while the fire was still burning, with material and spiritual assistance.

picture of cerros before fire

The cerros of Valparaiso before the fire.

After the fire

The cerros of Valparaiso after the fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has now been over a year since the fire, and the Lutheran Church is one of the very few organizations still working in the affected area. Although there has been some progress made in reconstruction, the post-traumatic effects of the disaster are showing up. Devastated families, drug abuse, and alcoholism are some of the problems in the community. Christ is needed here now, more than ever!

In partnership with LCMS Disaster Response, the Lutheran Church of Chile has purchased a building that is ideally suited for the project. The building was bought by a couple two weeks before the fire – they were planning to use it as a hotel. The building was damaged in the fire, which brought the hotel plans to a halt. After putting the building on the market, they agreed to sell it to the Lutheran Church for about a third of what they paid for it – well below its current (“as-is”) market value! They said, “This has been devastating for us personally, but we believe that God has a higher purpose and we believe in what you are doing.”

Pictured below is the new Community Center property, before and after the fire. The fire completely destroyed the second floor of the building, and left the lower level with smoke damage. We have a lot of work to do!

photo of community center

Community Center before the fire

photo of community center after the fire

Community Center after the fire

The Lutheran Community Center “Christ the Living Water” will provide a way to continue to minister in the affected area. Among the objectives of the project:

  • Ongoing ministry to suffering families
  • post-traumatic psychological counseling
  • material assistance
  • coordination of volunteer teams (national and international)
  • networking with local partners (municipal government, neighborhood assoications, schools, etc.)
  • activities for children, youth and adults
  • by God’s grace, establish a new Lutheran congregation

Needed: First year operating costs and Remodeling: $8,000

To help financially with this project, click the GIVE button on the right and select “Chile: Valpo Community Center”.

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