Update from Colin & Barbara Bazley

“Thanks for your note. It was truly a mind-boggling experience. We were shaken awake at 3.34 this a.m. and I got out of bed in our top 24th floor flat and ran to the room where our guests from Bebington, David and Ann Renison, were sleeping, As I ran along the corridor the first of the huge jerks occurred and threw me from wall to wall. I eventually got their door open and David came to the door where we both sank to the floor. We stayed there wedged as best we could, he against the bed and I against the door while the jerks continued.

“It seemed never-ending and while I was there, I remembered that this was our Golden Wedding Day and in between all the other succession of thoughts I smiled to myself! The noise was deafening with crashes and thumpings as things slid around, roofing banging continuously. The lurching of the building was as if the top of the building was like the end of a whip as it jerked from one side to the other.

“When the movement stopped I went back and found Barbara trying to get out. It was very hard as three pieces of furniture had fallen down flat, with books and other stuff all over the place, so she had to climb over the bed in the darkness. The electricity had cut out immediately. The mobile phone rang and it was daughter Katherine asking if we were OK. We managed to get some clothes on, and shoes as well because there was glass all over the place, Two bottles of wine broken with contents all over the kitchen floor.

“Then son-in-law Enrique arrived. It was dark as there was no electricity, nor water or gas either. He had climbed up the 24 floors to our flat as the lifts weren’t functioning, carrying torches and some anoraks. He led us down and outside into the patio where we all gathered with the Lagos and Enrique’s mother.  We just sat there on some seats for a couple of hours and Fernanda plied us with bottled water. Then we were allowed back into (other daughter )

“Margaret’s flat on ground floor. Katherine and Rodrigo then arrived with flasks of tea. After a while it was decided we should go back with them. We spent the rest of the night and up to mid-morning there. Then David and I went back with grandson Francisco to collect some essentials – medication, clothing, etc. We were able to get into the one lift working up to our flat on the top (24th) floor, gathered stuff out of the total mess there and left it to be cleared up another day. We then went back to Katherine’s where we had a lovely comforting lunch.

“We had planned to have a celebratory meal tonight but in view of the devastation decided to put it off till later on. There is so much devastation up and down the country, 740 dead, many more injured. Most new buildings have held up as they are built with modern anti-seismic methods. Most of us felt it would be inappropriate, though some didn’t want to deprive people from earning much-needed cash at this time. But it was an 8.8 earthquake (more than Haití in fact) and there are1.5 million. homeless.

The main Pan American highway motorway joining the major cities North to South has been broken in several places as bridges have collapsed. Here in Santiago the airport has been badly damaged. Concepción, 500 km South of here is a total mess. News is very jumbled at present. We’ll prepare a proper letter soon. But we are grateful to the Lord for his care and praying for those who have suffered far more than we have.

“It wasn’t the Golden Wedding we had planned. But to see the way our families here have pulled together, gave us and our visitors so much care and love, made it a real golden day for us. Sammy, Enrique and Margaret’s son, had very concerned communications with his girl-friend, Peggy, a Chilean Christian girl who is on a two-year contract at a Christian school in Taiwán, received a text message from her. She quoted Isaiah 54:10: “The mountains may disappear and the hills may come to an end, but my love will never disappear. My promise of peace will never come to an end”. My Psalm this morning was number 138, and verses 7 and 8; “Though I walk in the midst of danger, yet will you preserve my life…the Lord will complete his purpose for me. Your loving kindness, o Lord, endures for ever; do not forsake the work of your own hands”.

“We stayed at Katherine and Rodrigo’s overnight. It was a quiet night, with just a few small after-shocks that didn’t wake us. We look forward to going to the Providencia church this morning to worship with God’s people. We value your prayers more than we can say.”