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Alan

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake in Hua Lien, Taiwan

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Last night a major 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the city that our church that we started, Hua Lien, Taiwan. Here is a link:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/magnitude-6.4-quake-strikes-north-east-taiwan-hotel-collapses/9403408

The major damage to the buildings seen in the photos are in the north side of Hua Lien; our church, Victory Baptist Church, is located in the southern end of the city.  It is dawn now here on Taiwan and more news will follow. Both Sherry and I are fine.

Alan

 

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Both Sherry and I want to thank all of you for your concern on our behalf and the behalf of the church members here at Victory Baptist Church. We have been able to get a hold of most of our family members and our home church, Gilead Baptist Church, Pastor Reggie Adkins. 

The north section of Hua Lien received the blunt of the earthquake. Some roads are buckled with some buckled side walks. A lot of stores have minor damage with falling items off of shelves and one of the major bridges on the south side of the city is buckled on one side.

Besides physical safety for us, and our church members, God has blessed us in many ways. Our assistant pastor, Bro. Job Gwoh, after finding out all was well with him and his family, took the time out of  his own schedule (Bro. Gwoh is a Dentist with his own office), throughout the day, found out the situation with all of the members of the church. Bro. Gwoh has a pastor's heart: a heart of compassion.

As with most of the folks here in Hua Lien, just about every member of our church has received minor damage from articles falling off shelves, kitchen damage, and being shaken up with the aftershocks. Just a moment ago as I was writing this, another aftershock hit us.

The church has received only minor "shaking" damage. About one third of the furniture was physically moved out of place (including my desk with this computer), numerous household items have fallen off shelves, some minor items destroyed (the iron, some glass from the kitchen), when they hit the floor (all of our floors are tile). A couple of the large bookcases on the second floor (the church has three floors), which has a lot of Sunday school material all fell to the floor. Probably tomorrow we will have it cleaned up.

The most affected member of the church was one of our personal converts, Kang Yue (his English name is Mark), his wife, and young son. They live in an apartment building very near to one of the major buildings that nearly toppled. All of his family is safe and are at a relatives house as their building is too near one of the toppled buildings. 

On a personal note. It has been raining most of the day, a lot of emergency crews are working had. It has been a difficult day for one and all.

Edited by Alan
grammer

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Alan...I'm so very thankful that you and your wife and those of your church are all ok.  I've been praying for you all and will continue to pray for you.  The aftermath with a quake that size and with its damage and loss of life can be great.  My heart goes out to all of the precious people of that area, and especially to those that are not saved.  Every time there is a "natural occurrence" such as this, I just pray that those that are saved will be able to grasp hold of each opportunity that arises to further share the Gospel.  It does seem to me that the Lord allows these kinds of events because He is not willing that any should perish and thus over a widespread area people are warned to consider their own demise and their eternity to follow.  As it says in Isaiah 55 God's ways and thoughts are so much higher than we could ever imagine, and beings that He is the creator of this wonderful earth and worthy of being feared, He is certainly over all of these things.  Personally I can see the beauty of His love flooding the earth in each "disaster" that "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightiest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him" [Deut. 4:35].  We have a small fault-line that runs along the north side of our little valley, and we have experienced a few good "shakings" ourselves.  I'm so grateful that we have such an awesome God that we can trust with all things. 

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10 hours ago, Rebecca said:

Thank you for the update! I’m glad the church members and the church building are all okay. Where you in Hualien during the earthquake?

To fully answer Rebecca's question I must give some personal information that our supporting churches know but I have not (if my memory is working this morning), given here on OnLine Baptist.

At the moment of the initial earthquake we were actually in Taitung. Although we have a small apartment at the church, and live at the church when we are in Hua Lien, we were at our house near Taitung at the moment of the earthquake. The last church we started is in Taitung, Taiwan (south of Hua Lien). Somewhat north of Taitung we have built a house for a permanent residence on Taiwan. The house we own is our "legal residence" here on Taiwan. All of our legal requirements to live on Taiwan has to be done in Taitung.

I would at this time let everyone know a blessing that occurred in our lives at that time.

On Taiwan, a missionary must re-apply, every year,  for a missionary VISA, or a ""Alien Resident Certificate," or "ARC," to legally stay on Taiwan from the "Taiwan Immigration Office." For some time now, we have been in the process of trying to obtain a, "Permanent Alien (or Missionary) Resident Certificate," or, "PARC," from the government of Taiwan. The 'PARC,' is a permanent missionary VISA. With a PARC we are considered a permanent resident on Taiwan and do not have to go through the yearly process of obtaining a missionary VISA. The requirements for the ARC is difficult and the requirements for the PARC is very difficult. As our official residence on Taiwan is in Taitung all of the legal paperwork with the government has to be done in Taitung.

Sherry and I had received an official notice from the government of Taiwan that my PARC had been approved. So, to answer Rebecca's question, Sherry and I were at the Immigration Office in Taitung yesterday morning where they gave me the legal notice that my PARC has been approved.

To us, the obtaining of the PARC is answered prayer and a blessing from God.

After we left the Immigration Office in Taitung we drove to the church in Hua Lien (where we are staying at our apartment at the church), and told Bro. Job Gwoh the good news of the PARC. Job, and his family, were overjoyed as we were. To the folks at church, and to the Chinese that know us, we are a part of their country.  

To me, and to my family, the Apostle Paul's attitude in 1 Corinthians 9:22, explains our motive in not only having our own house on Taiwan, but also obtaining the PARC, "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men,that I might by all means save some." As I explain to our supporting churches on furlough, we are becoming as much Chinese (living, having our own home, obtaining a PARC, etc...), in order to try and lead as many Chinese on Taiwan to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Alan

Edited by Alan
grammer (2)

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On 2/7/2018 at 8:35 PM, Alan said:

The most affected member of the church was one of our personal converts, Kang Yue (his English name is Mark), his wife, and young son. They live in an apartment building very near to one of the major buildings that nearly toppled. All of his family is safe and are at a relatives house as their building is too near one of the toppled buildings. 

Today we were able to take some close up photos of the toppled building near Mark's residence. In English, the name of the building is, "The Emerald Levee Gateway to the Clouds Building." Behind the building, is a levee that has numerous parks and is very scenic.

 

5a7c32b69b06b_Earthquakefront.thumb.JPG.1e95172fe90722e0738353b0aeba55e8.JPG

 

Here is a side view. The street we are taking the side view on in on the left side of the photo on the side of the two-story red tiled roof. Sherry is taking the photo and I am standing on the side of the photo.

5a7c355940a64_EarthquakeGatewaytotheCloudsBuilding.thumb.JPG.739fc05924b938b7c2e70306e749a232.JPG

Edited by Alan
grammer

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Those pictures your wife took look almost post apocalyptic. It reminds me of the The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (6.9 magnitude) we had here in California. I was in my backyard doing bench presses when the ground began to undulate. The Bay Bridge collapsed resulting in several fatalities, and elsewhere. Even aftershocks can cause significant damage in areas where buildings and houses are poorly built, or old and dilapidated. I'm just glad you and your loved ones are safe and in the Lord's hands.

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