Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chile Next Week!

David is going on a mission trip to Chile! Our friend that works for American Airlines has offered David a very cheap stand-by ticket and he is going to fly out at the beginning of next week. David will be taking the funds that have been collected thus far with him, evaluating the needs, and allocating the funds over the week. He's also hoping to get his hands dirty and get some projects started in some homes while he's there. A friend has offered him a place to stay and a car to drive. Before he leaves Chile, he'll be able to evaluate what the most urgent needs are so that we know how to allocate any funds collected between now and then. The rainy season is right around the corner and we hope to help our family make the necessary repairs so that their roofs aren't leaking when the rain comes. A few weekends after David's return, we are going to host a backyard dinner at our house to show pictures of the work being done in Chile due to the generosity of our friends and family. I will be in touch about the date and time of that dinner soon.

We still need support! David leaves next week, so now is the best time! If you would like to contribute towards the stand-by ticket or towards the repairs that need to be done in Chile, you can go to the button below or you can mail a contribution to 5728 Sylvan Drive Columbia, SC 29206. Please make checks payable to Cabrera's Chile Relief Fund. If you would like to make a sizeable contribution ($500+), make checks payable to "Radius Church" and mail it to the address above. They can then issue you a tax-deductible receipt.

We will be collecting funds to help out friends and family in Chile until the backyard dinner. Any funds collected after David's departure will be wired to Chile after his return. Please pray for him as he travels and pray for me as the boys and I miss him very much!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chile: 10 days later

I don't know who has heard what from the media's perspective, but I can say that the reality is settling in and now everyone in Chile is having to evaluate how to move forward at this time. Before I mention details about our friends and family, I want to say that many people south of where my family lives have lost everything. In addition to major destruction due to the earthquake, a huge tsunami leveled coastal towns and took the lives of many many people that live south of Santiago. Fortunately, our family does not live in that region (Concepcion and surrounding towns), and I do not want to ignore the harsh reality that others are experiencing, but on this blog I will be focusing primarily on our friends and family in Santiago & Valparaiso and the needs that they face. If we were to pull together a large sum of money that exceeded our family's needs, then we would be excited to be able to support efforts to care for those in the south. If you are interested in helping us help our family and friends, please click on the link below:

Please understand that any money sent to the above account is not tax-deductible and is simply a gift. If you would like to send a donation via snail mail, you can make checks payable to "Cabrera's Chile Relief Fund" and mail them to us at 5728 Sylvan Drive Columbia, SC 29206. Also, if you'd like to make a tax-deductible sizable donation ($500+), make checks out to "Radius Church" and mail to us at the above-mentioned address.

Santiago and Valparaiso:

This is a picture of our cousin's apartment building.

You know, I thought that the first two days were hard because of the fear and shock of what had happened. It turns out that about 7 days out was when I was feeling the worst about it all. That is when we started getting desperate phone calls. In one week, my mother-in-law's two month supply of bread, milk, and produce had been distributed to everyone in their neighborhood that had no way of getting food or drink. As thankful as we were that they had the food to hand out, the reality hits that those products were their income for the next two months. Their small business now has no product to do business with and there is no money to invest in more products to sell. Even their ice cream machine broke in the quake (it's summer there now and they sell ice cream in the summer).

My brother-in-law operates two Internet cafes for his family's income and due to the damaged computers, loss of grocery products (looting), and intermittent electricity/Internet service, he has been nearly unable to open shop. As any small business owner knows, when you don't work, you don't make money, and pretty soon you're wondering how you're going to buy groceries. Picture of a local store.

In another situation, we have some close friends that were sleeping outside because their neighborhood was roped off due to unsafe conditions and risk of homes collapsing. On one hand, the city is picking up the pieces and Santiago looks like it's well on it's way to "life as normal", but although stores may be open and people may start to go back to work, life is far from normal.

In Chile, homeowners insurance and small business insurance are pretty non-existent. All of our family and friends have cracked roofs and cracks in their walls. Many had debris fall on their cars (auto insurance also not common), and small-business owners can't just file a claim for their loss like they could here. We hope to be able to help them make some repairs to their homes. David has hopes of being able to help them repair roofs and patch walls with the money that people give as a gift to help us help our family and friends. Summer is ending in Chile and Spring and Winter, the rainy seasons, are around the corner. We hope to be able to help with their roofs before the rain comes. Picture of our cousin's wall.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Helping our Family and Friends

Well, I've been a stranger to blogging, but this is a good time for a come back. I want to take a minute to comment on the recent earthquake(s) and tsunami(s) in Chile and how it has affected our family. We're also on a quest to find a way to help our family, which I'll talk about in this post as well if you are interested in helping in any way (see below). I will be posting more over the next few days. With a newborn at home, I can only post in short intervals.

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, a massive earthquake registering 8.8 on the Richter scale hit Chile. The epicenter was in the south of Chile, but Santiago (the capital where all of our family lives) registered 8.0 on the Richter scale. In addition, the south and the coastal area where my mother-in-law and sister-in-law live have experienced tsunami's and ocean surges that have devastated those areas even more. Since the earthquake, they have experienced over 130 aftershocks, many of which have been the size of a average earthquake, ranging from 4.0-6.9, which have done additional damage to the already weakened structures.

Fortunately, we were able to get in touch with our family within 24 hours of the quake and everyone is okay. Unfortunately, they have lost many material possessions and their homes have structural damage. Everyone has lost all things breakable: kitchen dishes, TVs, pictures, light fixtures/lamps, computers, wooden & glass furniture, etc. In addition, my brother-in-law, who runs two internet cafes (his family's income), lost some computers during the quake and others due to looting after the quake. He also lost merchandise from the stores in front of the internet cafes. Unfortunately, he can not do other work right now because he is in need of knee surgery. In a different, coastal town, where my mother-in-law lives, they also have suffered greatly. My mother-in-law's home is leaning and they are literally propping it up with boards to ensure that it doesn't collapse. Although many of my mother-in-law's things shattered and broke, there is fortunately a lot of water, milk, bread, and produce available because this is the season that she and her friend, Anthony, sell these items to people in the community. Since my mother-in-law is here with us, Anthony has been handling their little business. After the quake, Anthony has been driving down to the lower coastal areas affected by the tsunamis and surges and bringing them up the hill to get out of harm's way. He is also delivering milk to families with babies/children that haven't had milk for days, and distributing bread and produce to people without food. Many people who are misplaced are staying at my mother-in-law's house at this time.

My mother-in-law is here with us and had plans to go home this month after Tyler turns 6 weeks old. At this point, due to the severe damage at the airport, there is no hope of getting a flight back any time soon. We are grateful that she is here, out of harm's way, but it is also extremely difficult to be far away from your home and family at such a difficult time.

David and I want so badly to help our family and friends in Chile. David is crawling out of his skin to go to Chile and help in whatever way possible. Unfortunately we do not have the finances to be able to send money, so we have been working to come up with some other way to help them. So far, we have established an account called "Cabrera's Chile Relief Fund" at Bank of America, and we've also established a Pay Pal account for anyone who would like to make a donation to help us help our family and friends. In addition, our church is partnering with us by providing tax deduction receipts for anyone who is interested in making a sizable donation ($500+).

If you are interested in making a donation towards Cabrera's Chile Relief Fund to help us help our family and friends, you can click on the link below:

Any donations made to this account will not be tax-deductible, but simply a gift. If you are interested in making a sizable donation, and would like a tax-deductible receipt, please make checks payable to "Radius Church" and mail them to us at: 5728 Sylvan Drive Columbia, SC 29206. If you have any questions or comments about making a donation, please email We genuinely appreciate the love and support of all of our family and friends here in the United States.