Thank goodness for Facebook! That has been the only way I have been able to communicate with all of my friends in Chile after the great and terrible earthquake that hit southern Chile and caused so much damage.
When I first heard about the earthquake, I knew there wouldn't be any telephone service for some time. I jumped on Facebook and sent a message to every single person I knew in Chile, letting them know that our family was concern about their family.
My first contact was with Nico who is the son of Luisa, Mom's daughter. Their family lives in Llanquihue, a community just south of Puerto Montt. He told me all was well in Puerto Montt. Then, I was able to contact Blanca who lives outside of Santiago. She asked me for the phone numbers, which I gave her. She tried to call them but to no avail. She was very apologetic, but there was nothing to be done with the country in such chaos. She tried again the next day. Thank you, Blanca. Muchas gracias, Blanca, por ser mi amiga chilena. Sera bendecida!
Finally, I heard from Gloria from Santiago and then Carmen from Talca. Apparently, Carmen and others were sharing a computer so they could send messages to all of their loved ones around the country. Thankfully, Carmen made sure to tell me her family was fine. I asked her about a couple of other families. They were fine.
Then, I heard from Walky, also from Talca. She told me all of the woes in Talca, which were tremendous--lots of damage, especially to the old part of town. Her parents at been at their home in Pullehue, a city which was almost completely destroyed by the tsunami. Fortunately, their house was high on a hill overlooking Pullehue. They have since returned to their house.
I also heard from my good friend and former missionary companion Boris in La Union. Fortunately, the quake didn't hit that far south. But they were fine nonetheless.
Finally, I heard from Priscila from Talca. Her family was fine. Once the earthquake had subsided, her brother Manuel ran to his mother's place and found her alive and well. Oh, the love the Chileans have for their families! All of us would take heed.
So now, I have heard from all of the families that I hold near and dear to me in Chile. Yes, they have been through much, and aftershocks are common although Carmen wrote today that everything last night was quiet. As you all know, aftershocks are just as scary as the real deal, especially knowing that reshifting and shifting and reshifting may cause even more damage and create even more chaos.
My Chilean friends, have faith and courage. You have been through more than you should. But I also know that Heavenly Father has blessed you and will continue to bless you because He loves His Chilean children.