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BWA receives thanks, more requests for quake reliefcomment (0)

April 1, 2010

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Chilean Baptists’ top leader tearfully thanked Baptist World Alliance (BWA) officials March 10 for the aid and support shown to her country since its Feb. 27 earthquake — and said the needs and opportunities remain great in the devastated South American nation.

“Maybe because Haiti is so big we have forgotten maybe how in Chile needs are tremendous at this point,” said Raquel Contreras, president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Chile, during the BWA executive committee meeting at the group’s headquarters just outside the nation’s capital.

“There are so many needs in our country, but there are also so many ways that the Lord has shown us His love, through your offerings and love for the people,” said Contreras, who is also a BWA vice president. “People are looking for the Lord. Our churches last Sunday were packed; we know that in time of crisis is when the people are closer to the Lord.”

Contreras said approximately 250 churches affiliated with her denomination — the larger of two BWA member bodies in Chile — were destroyed or suffered severe damage in the quake.

Her remarks came during the report for Baptist World Aid (BWAid), BWA’s relief-and-development arm. BWAid Director Paul Montacute said Baptists worldwide had raised about $600,000 for relief for the cataclysmic Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. “We know more is in the pipeline. We need to do likewise for Chile,” he said.

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