We are presently in the States to visit churches & immediate family and to participate in the ICOM mission conference in Columbus, Ohio, beginning November 13. We highly recommend the conference for anyone able to attend, and please stop by the CHILE! CHILE! CHILE! booth. It is an excellent, outward-focused conference for every age. As churches, God’s extension of himself through us to the world around us and not around us is our reason for existence. NOTE: next year’s conference is in Richmond, VA—PLAN!
Did you know that Chile has the most annual official holidays of the South American countries? They number 15, with six of those being Roman Catholic in origin. Chile’s newest holiday is celebrated on October 31st (Halloween). It has been named “Reformation Day” to honor Protestant/Evangelical churches. We mention it, as there was a march and rally for Life in Santiago on the 31st—just one more reason to pray that the church in Chile will continue to stand for and voice God’s good design for celebrating life. This very significant issue, and others, will be coming up for vote in 2015.
God’s good and right design of all life is always available to us through his written word, the Bible. Not only that, but he is also a God of purpose, and carries out those purposes in us and through us. They will be achieved. These verses in particular relate to November’s Prayer Letter. PRAYER POINTS for the month will be found throughout.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. –Isaiah 55: 8-11
“I know that no plan of yours can be thwarted.” –Job 42: 2
There are various ways in which God has been at work this year to see his designs, purposes and plans carried out in and through the Chile Mission Team and in the church, La Iglesia Cristiana, Jesús es El Camino. Some of those ways have required time and patience and others have required good, needed decisions, but all serve their purpose in going forward in the Lord. To help you visualize your prayers this month, we are inserting photos in each category.
Beginning with the church, we made a decision just over two months ago to switch to a house church structure. Pictured from left to right are Richard, Jack, Mike, & Oscar, our four elder/pastors. We were coming together on Sundays at a rented location from various sectors of Santiago and despite attempts during the year to better disciple members and be the church in different ways during the week, we had basically lost touch with our corporate purposes as the body of Christ in the world. All of the “house” groups will share the same name and at present there are two—one north of Santiago (starting in March, 2015) and one in the southern municipalities. The plan is to divide the southern group into two early in 2015, and multiply out from there over time.
PRAYER POINT FOR THE CHURCH: Please pray for identity and for single-minded purpose and commitment. We must begin to see ourselves as Jesus’ church.
Chile Mission’s ongoing work with children (and specifically now, abandoned children) has become a main ministry focus of what we do. Pictured are children from the first children’s home that Janine directed in the years 2000 – 2002. We used this photo, as when we begin anew in 2015, we will be seeking to receive much younger abandoned children to increase the possibility of their being adopted.
Steps were initiated in October, 2013, to become a legal entity in the form of a Foundation, providing a framework and basis to better ensure longevity and Chilean function-ability. While this legal process has taken unexpected time in its completion, God has been “at work” in his own way to better position us for the future. 2014 showed us and the Foundation’s board the need to start fresh in 2015 with new house parents, as in the case of the Peruvian house parents, who left in September. The year has also been used for reupholstering of furniture and for needed exterior maintenance and improvements. The new residence board has also been meeting throughout the year to determine who should be the first Chilean director of the residence, as well as choices for additional needed board members. We know that we are moving forward and that God is leading.
PRAYER POINT FOR THE WORK WITH ABANDONED CHILDREN: That God will bless the finalization of the process to obtain our legal identity as a Foundation.
Another ministry to children full of potential into the future now in first, real stages of development is the children’s camp near Concepción, Chile (roughly 5 ½ hours south of Santiago). We have mentioned this project in past Prayer Letters and ask for your prayer coverage that it would successfully continue to move ahead. The exact land that it will be built upon is pictured here—roughly 8 acres of rural hilly, wooded ground, ideal for such a camp. We will be seeking church help especially in 2016 (seems a ways off, but trips to Chile need to be programmed well in advance) to help build cabins and other structures, such as a larger multi-purpose building and “zip”-line.
PRAYER POINT FOR THE CHILDREN’S CAMP: Pray now for our first steps–the camp board formation and successful legal titling of the property.
Jack’s monthly work with the Casa del Alfarero (Home of the Potter) Christian live-in drug rehab center for men is another ministry of the mission to give God thanks for and to continue praying for. At present, forty men of various ages live at the center. The photo was taken this year after one of their morning devotionals.
Thanks, too, for your continuing prayers for Millarai, pictured with her “new” mom, Gilda. Milla is due to finish her long series of chemo treatments for osteosarcoma (bone cancer) next month in December, allowing her to go back home to northern Chile for Christmas.
‘HELP WANTED’ PRAYER POINT: We are in particular seeking a person to come to Chile for all of 2015 (beginning in February) to coordinate our “English Club”. This good ministry outreach is a great TESL opportunity that requires someone with basic Spanish skills to lead. Pictured is Megan, a 2011 Chile Mission intern, in the middle of 5 English Club participants. Luis Alberto, on the far right, came to know us a couple years earlier through this ministry and was baptized as a result.