Heidi Isaza, World Vision emergency communications officer and a contributor to the magazine, is on her way to earthquake-ravaged Chile.
I love Latin America. I have visited and lived in many countries in Central and South America, including Chile. I love the people, the culture, the music, the food. But, most of all, I love the people—their smiles, their joy, and their never-say-die attitude.
When I first visited Chile four years ago, I immediately felt at home. I am from a small town on the Columbia River in Washington state. I grew up next to the water, shadowed by tree-covered mountains, eating blackberry pies, apples, and salmon—many of the same things I experienced in Chile.
When I first heard about the devastating earthquake, I couldn’t believe my ears. When they said 8.8, I asked my husband, “How far up does the Richter scale go?” My heart went out to the people—their world had just been rocked in many ways, literally and figuratively.
I knew that much of World Vision’s sponsorship and development work is located in the areas around the epicenter and that people living in poverty and children are often the most affected in these circumstances. Did their houses fall? Were they injured? Do they have food to eat and water to drink? How will they be able to start over?
Right now I am sitting on a plane on my way to Chile. This will be a very different trip than the one four years ago. I am going to an area close to where I was previously, but things will be completely different. We are not sure what we are going to find when we get to Concepcíon, the area hardest hit. Communication with people there has been difficult at best.
Please join me in praying for the children and their families who have lost everything and especially for World Vision’s nearly 100 staff members, most of whom also lived in the area.