It’s been all over the news lately (at least here), but the earthquake in Chile has been quite an experience over here in Brazil for me. Saturday morning I woke up and read about the quake (on facebook, I’ll admit), and the first concern in this household was for my boss’s family as well as her husband’s family, since they are both from Chile. I went to church while they waited, trying to get through to anyone on the phone. Thankfully by the time I got home, they had heard that all their family was safe. Then more information started coming through. By early afternoon, it became apparent that there were a lot of people in need of the little information that we pulled together. So by 4pm many workers were in the Division office pulling together as much as we could. Graphic designers were there updating the website, ADRA reps were calculating responses, the president orgranizing a response task force, journalists throwing together press releases and Susan and I sitting in our office, turning everything into reable Spanish and English documents. We were at the office until almost midnight. Susan’s husband left shortly after to travel to Chile. Then today the adventure began again. Thankfully, more news is developing, which is good news, but also makes more work for me, which is not as bad as it could be. We spent another solid 5 hours translating another bulletin update from the president’s desk.
I know this could sound like complaining, but there have been wonderful moments with some great people in between the press releases, they just haven’t occupied as much of my time, so not as much of my thoughts either. And I’m sure it would be more frustrating if I didn’t know there were also so many other people working so hard to help make the response to this disaster a little more efficient. It really is an amazing group of people down here in the South American church. In Sao Paulo, 8 Adventist reporters volunteered 18 hours of their day to covering the events in Chile for Novo Tempo as well as amazing work from the Nuevo Tiempo group. I’m impressed all the way to the webdesigners contributing what they have. I’ll be honest, I had a hard time understanding how translating was going to feel like a ministry, but I get it now. I saw an article on the adventist main website (http://news.adventist.org/2010/02/church-infrastructur.html) and realized, I translated the bulk of that article. Although the real brains behind it was Felipe Lemos (who has been cranking out press releases at amazing speeds), he couldn’t have done it without me, nor I him for that matter. Yes, there are some great “we are the body of Christ” analogies to be had here, but for now I’m just going to enjoy my observations. I guess when it comes down to it, I’m really thankful to be a part of this team during this time of crisis.
In other news, George Knight will be arriving to the SAD this week. He’s pretty Adventist famous. I’m guessing I’ll get to meet him since I speak English.
More thoughts from my time here to come…