Lugar: Concepcion | Chile
Duración: 2 days
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Even four months after the earthquake and the tsunami, Concepcion looks like a war zone. Rows of empty lots where once stood buildings and homes. Toppled buildings look like a child’s toy in the hands of mother nature. The tidal waves turned big boats on their side, in some cases placing them on top of tall buildings like so much debris.
We can say we believe all sorts of things about working together, but tragedy has a way of forcing us to break barriers we thought were invincible. When these twin disasters hit this southern city, there was no one to turn to the first few days but each other. Christians from all over town, and other cities started coming together to serve and bring relief. Aid was carried in old cars and every mean of transport available. Pastors, churches, christian institutions of all kinds working together towards a common goal.
In the process of helping, we also heal and recover from trauma. We share burdens, hunger, cold, fear, uncertainty. We also share the load, the hope, the lessons learned. It bonds us in ways we can’t even imagine. The power of the unity of Christ’s body is never more evident than when we respond to a tragedy as ONE.
Of course the real lithmus test of these new-found bonds is when things go back to normal. I believe the few months after the tragedy has passed are crucial in forging lasting alliances and partnerships. The tragedy gave us a common cause, and it helped us to know each other in other ways. But what happens when the tragedy is over, what will keep us together?
My firm belief is that the power of the Holy Spirit is what keeps us together in spite of our differences. However, leaders must be proactive in finding a common ground and a common vision in those subsequent days after the tragedy. We need to be agents of reconciliation, and find ways to continue working together. We must articulate our common vision in a way that it gets others excited.
And even if a "partnership" in the more structural way is not needed or viable, we definitely need to strengthen the relationships born of tragedy. The unity of the Body of Christ is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself. Regardless of what we do with the partnership itself, harmonious relationships in the Body are our greatest testimony to the world. Jesus said so.
Palabras clave: Visit to Earthquake/Tsunami ravaged city