I want to share part of a letter that our dear friend, Kay (Stotts) Godoy, just sent today. She is a FM missionary living in Santiago, Chile. We became very close as we lived and worked together as fellow missionaries from 2006-2008.
In June 2009, Max and I had the opportunity to travel back to Chile to attend and participate in Kay and Leo’s wedding. What a joyous occasion it was!
Tales from the Twentieth Floor …
written by Kay (Stotts) Godoy
The past week has seemed like ten; we´ve slept little and have experienced wide ranges of emotions. Our 20th floor apartment, with its spectacular view of the Andes, now feels way too high above the earth far below!
At 3:34am on Saturday, February 27, we were jolted awake by tremendous shaking and rocking as if on a fast rumbling roller coaster ride. Chile is known for its frequent tremors, but right away we recognized that this one was very different. Bolting out of bed, we found we were unable to even stand up in the hallway as Leo and I got thrown back and forth against the walls. We ran to grab Sofia [7 months old] out of her crib and made it back out to the entryway, trying to avoid falling bookcases, wall pictures, etc. We could hear glass breaking in the kitchen and later found that a loud noise in the bedroom was the closet being ripped off its track and 5 shelves worth of clothing, supplies and odds and ends spewing across the floor.
There came a slight lull in the movement, and we hoped the quake might be subsiding, but within seconds it struck with more force than ever. Death seemed absolutely imminent. We are ready to meet our Maker, but in that moment we just wanted to survive! Sinking to the carpet in a tight huddle around her, Leo and I cried out to God for His mercy, pleading with Him to stretch out His powerful hand and miraculously calm the earth beneath us. Sofia clung on with white fingertips and eyes wide as saucers. I was frozen in fear on the floor, but Leo began to work on getting us out. He quickly grabbed formula, water, a bottle and a blanket and then I ran to find my glasses. They had fallen off the night stand. As I frantically searched in the dark under the bed, the Lord seemed to place them into my hand!
We now know you need to open the main door immediately when an earthquake occurs. Ours was jammed shut by the time we tried to leave. Leo pulled and pulled. Finally it opened! The long trek down twenty floors of stairs, baby in tow, seemed unending. But we made it, emerging to find hundreds of others already in the lobby and outside the apartment. Our [Chilean] pastors Karim and Carmen, who live on the 8th floor, came running up with life-grateful hugs! We located friends and neighbors among the crowd and waited through the remaining hours of darkness … filled with great relief at having survived so far, still filled with fear as aftershocks continued rocking the ground beneath us, filled with assurance that God in His sovereignty is in control and filled with hope that He will help each and every person in their plight.
The earthquake is, of course, the #1 topic of conversation now. And many are much more open to spiritual things. Please pray for us, as we have many opportunities to introduce people to the God who saved them and who wants them to know Him personally.