Today we are thankful for being alive…
Especially since we just passed through a massive 8.1 earthquake here in Chiapas Mexico. We thank God our family and friends are safe and we are especially thankful for you, your prayers, and your support.
This was our first time to pass through a larger earthquake, and we’re still getting some large aftershocks (hundreds are already recorded & some over 5.0).
Yesterday we had no electricity, and water lines broke, but thankfully the plumber arrived quickly and fixed our broken water pipes so we could flush the toilets. I did lose my favorite coffee cup along with some other dishes.
Fortunately there was no extensive structural damage to the old building we live in (3rd floor), but here’s an image of one wall on the roof that collapsed:
I’ve also included a photo from the street with debris. (there were very few fallen buildings).
This morning Josh Britnell and I went up the mountain and discovered a large mudslide with big rocks which were severely affected by the 8.1 earthquake:
What I learned From the Massive 8.1 Earthquake in Chiapas
We are fortunate compared to many other people who lost everything in this disaster.
I’ve been pondering these 5 lessons and want to share them with you.
1. Life is fragile and uncertain…
In a matter of seconds things can change for all eternity.
We still can’t predict when an earthquake will hit. We were not expecting an earthquake in the middle of the night and I’m not sure if we could ever be prepared.
The question we should ask ourselves is, “Am I ready?”
Lesson: Death is a reality. Do what you can now to be prepared for life’s unexpected earthquakes. More importantly… be ready to enter eternity.
2. We can’t take it with us.
After the earthquake was over, Ana went and prepared a backpack and put her jewelry box in it.
“Good idea” I thought.
I too began to prepare a bag in case we were hit by another earthquake.
I put our passports and birth certificates in it.
I asked myself “What else do I want?”
I was pleased with my answer, “There are no more earthly possessions I want or need. Besides you can’t take it with you”
I ended up with a very small bag.
Lesson: Matthew 19-21: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
3. Community is important.
Family, Friends, and the Power of Love are precious commodities.
The 8.1 earthquake began and we all gathered in the street (in case the building collapsed). We came together as a family with those who live in our apartment building.
One of our biggest assets here in Mexico are the Tios, Efra’s family, and the Gutierrez family. We also have friends and family in the USA which we highly value. Ana and Cristi ended up spending the night on the bottom floor with our family in Mexico (so they could rush out if needed) and then we all gathered together for breakfast in the morning before beginning clean up.
Lesson: Next to our relationship with God, our relationship with family/others is top priority. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
4. Seize opportunities when they come up.
As we were on the street with many neighbors we noticed that even those who are not Christians were praying and crying out to God for their dear lives!
They not only valued their health, they valued their lives… especially where they would spend it in the light of eternity.
We were able to take advantage of this openness to God while the time was right and offer encouragement and hope. Even as I write this letter a few days after the earthquake people are still open to God since they have stared death straight in the eyes.
Lesson: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… I Peter 3:15
5. Jesus is coming back. Get ready for end times.
This week I hear people trying to predict earthquakes and even the return of Christ.
I hear others saying North America is being punished by earthquakes and hurricanes.
I don’t think God is punishing Chiapas, Texas or Florida but I do wonder how long He’ll extend His mercy on us.
Having said that, read on and I’ll tell you when the end will come.
Lesson: This lesson goes right along with the frailness of life I mentioned in my first lesson.
No one knows the exact day and time, but the Word of God promises the return of Christ. Some men may be able to give you some pretty good predictions but God has already warned us in Matthew 24 when He talks about the signs of the times and the end of the age:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
When will the end come? Here’s the answer:
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
That’s what we are doing, preaching the Gospel to the Nations before the end comes.
Thank you for your partnership as we make a difference together by sharing the good news with families globally.
Obeying Christ Together,
Helping you go and make disciples of all nations so you’ll find purpose,
make a difference and realize your full potential in life.
P.S. Life is uncertain. Priorities can change. Build up treasures in heaven and partner with us as we preach the Gospel. Click here to contribute to our financial support