Near Vara BlancaMany of you have heard by now that a 6.2 earthquake struck Costa Rica on January 8th. Our family was togther having a late lunch when it occurred. I told the kids to duck for cover under our table as Christina and I prepared to do so ourselves. Then the quake stopped. Being from California, large quakes are nothing new, but given the landscape here in Costa Rica and some of the fragile homes, I knew there might be some problems. A friend (Tomas Dozier) owns a home in the area most affected that he rents out to missionaries and others as a retreat center (casa shalom). It’s a great place to stay. One of my first worries was both his property and some neighbors of his that we had met. Tomas flew in on Saturday. He, myself and 5 others made our way to the affected area that afternoon. The Rescuedamage became evident as we closed in on the general area. We were fortunate to have an authorization letter signed by the director of the Red Cross given that one of guys works with a relief agency. There were numerous police stops on the way preventing most people from entering the area. Our task was to assess the home and help out whoever we could. Eventually we reached the end of the road and hiked in with some of Tomas’ neighbors. The hike lasted us two hours and took us into the community where Casa Shalom is located. The damage to the house was substantial, but repairable. There was no serious structural damage, but just a three minute walk down the road led us to a tragic scenario. Several homes were buried in land slides. The damage in this community was horrific. As we approached the site Black Hawk helicopters flown by the Colombian military were delivering rescuers and supplies. It was a difficult situation as we rejoiced with some over God’s protection of their lives (some escapes were absoluetly miraculous) while we grieved with others over loss of homes and family members. In the end, our help was a drop in the bucket, but our prayers are that God will use those conversations to encourage people to look to their Creator during this time. If you are interested in helping with the costs associated with reparing casa shalom, please let me know. I’d be happy to forward your funds to the Dozier family. Contact me at: gburch@lam.org

For more on the quake see: CNN Report

3 thoughts on “Costa Rican Earthquake

  1. Greg, What an incredible experience. God often uses tragic events to bring about an enternal harvest. May God bless in your work there. Steve Vossler

  2. Dear Greg, We were praying for you and your trip. May God continue to protect you and use you to bring Good News and relief to many who have been affected by this earthquake.
    Janice and Roger Bowers

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