Hola from Chañaral. It appears that you may not know too much, but we had some great rain and flooding here in Chañaral this week. The whole downtown area and highway got washed away in the ocean. Also, several homes were demolished in the water. Luckily, none of the missionaries or the members were too affected, but yes lots of businesses of the members were destroyed.
At first, there was a lot of chaos and prices went crazy for food. However, things have become more tranquil and lots of help is arriving from the government and other people. The church as well has also sent a ton of stuff and so we are constantly putting together care packages and sending them out to people. It has been a little crazy, but definietly an unforgettable experience.
For the time being we are staying with a family of members to avoid the chaos. We have been there about a week now, and are super happy. We are still able to leave and do some visits when we arent helping members try to recuperate things from their business. There is a ton of mud and agua everywhere, but tractors are helping to solve the problems. There are also many people that have disappeared, which now means that lots of bodies are being found in the ocean and in the mud that the tractors are moving.
Its going to take a lot of work to get things going normally again in the city, but at least the people are a little more tranquil. I think that this is one of the many experiences that help people become prepared to accept the gospel. Many are going to have to restart their lives, but its just one of the tests that we all pass here in this life.
I feel blessed to be able to serve here in this way now. We are continuing onward, and are going to find many people ready to recieve us.
If you want to you can find tons of video and news reports online. Just know that I am safe and not in danger.
Before the flooding.
After the flooding. The boats there in the ocean are military. They are now in charge of the city and we
even have a curfew at 9pm for the all of the robbers that are entering in the abandoned homes. Thankfully, we have electricity again now for the past 3 days and the water never got shut off.
This area was once the highway
Helping memebrs clean up the stuff from their businesses
Some of the homes that were in the path of the great river
Everyone has written fuerza chanaral on their homes and cars meaning "Strength Chanaral"
The downtown area. Tractors have been working for 3 three days to take out all of the mud. The line across the buildings is how high it was with mud!
I love you guys a ton. Keep chanral in your prayers. Fuerza Chañaral!