Once again, the earth has shaken violently, as it did in Haiti several weeks ago. This time, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 — one of the most powerful ever recorded — has rocked the country of Chile.

Images from the areas hit hardest by the earthquake and the resulting tsunami reveal tremendous destruction. No doubt, the loss of life will climb beyond the 723 deaths confirmed at present.

Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me (Ps. 139:4-5).

This latest devastation intensifies our journey through the season of Lent, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus. Please join us in prayer for those in Chile who are affected most directly by the earthquake, as well as all who await word from family and friends. Let us also pray for our partner church – the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Chile — and those who are already engaged in providing relief.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working with Church World Service in the recovery effort. $25,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing has already been disbursed for immediate response needs. Those who wish to contribute financially can do so online or by calling (800) 872-3283. The designated PDA account number is DR000185.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled; and do not let them be afraid (John 14:27).

Bruce Reyes-Chow
Moderator, 218th General Assembly (2008)
Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Linda Bryant Valentine
Executive Director, General Assembly Mission Council