Chile Round 1

First week of Outreach

 

Travelling is one of my favourite pass times, spending time moving around the world, getting closer and closer to new locations every second excites me. When I heard I was going to be travelling to Chile 4 months ago I was more than stoked. It meant that I was going to be going farther south than I ever imaged I would that year. Crossing the equator and seeing a whole new world for the first time ever.

We left for Chile on the 8th of March, travelling for 38 hours before finally stepping through the door of new short term home in Santiago. Our hosts there were amazing, making us feel very at home and helping us get even more excited for what was to come. We only stayed in Santiago for the one day before hopping on a bus down to Constitucion where we would start our ministry work. The bus ride down was about 7 hours of luxury. For a measly $14 dollars we got a first class like coach with huge lazy boy reclining chairs with free drinks and snacks. None of us were complaining at all at this slight detour.

We arrived in Constitucion middle of the afternoon and were welcome by our new hosts in a great loving manner. They brought us back to their base right away and we were shocked at the incredible view they had looking over the city. Everything about the new base was beautiful. Beautiful wooden dorms and comfy beds. So far this trip was feeling a bit more like a vacation than an outreach.

Constitucion is a really crazy town, the history here is incredible, both recent and far back. In 2010 when chile was hit with a huge earthquake, constitucion was completely destroyed, the whole city lost beneath a tsunami. Being here 6 years later is interesting. You still see so many remnants of the disaster, but it’s also incredible that the city has been rebuilt so much.  A lot of the rebuilding so far has been done near the beachside and up on the mountains where it’s a bit safer. Even though this disaster was recent the people are still very cheery and a real blast to talk to and meet.

 

Our first day of minsity was neat. Were weren’t sure what to expect when we got the briefing the night before, but as soon as we got going it went smoothly. The morning we left nice and early, waking up at the ungodly hour of 6:30am to prepare breakfast, and left for town and 7:45 so we would have lots of time to find bread for the old folk’s home we were going to. We got to the old folks home early and helped make breakfast for them and then put on a little show. We sang and danced, playing worship music and praying over them. Some of the stories they told us were incredible and really hit our hearts. The home itself was beautiful, with flowers and decorations everywhere. The ladies who volunteered there were so kind and had such welcoming smiles. It really felt like we were part of the home there for the short time.

Later on in the afternoon we visited a home for girls who had lived through abuse. Because it was a home for girls I wasn’t able to get any pictures myself.  When we first arrived it felt so sad and depressing in the building, no one was smiling and the only sound was moaning from a few of the girls with disabilities. It was hard to break the barrier, but after we started playing a few songs for them this started to loosen up. A few of the girls came up to as and started asking questions, but it was still pretty tentative. They really came alive after Julia, one of the girls on my team, told her testimony and did her showcase dance. The girls loved it and it seemed to really touch them. They became super friendly after that, grabbing us and wanting to play games. They showed us their drawings and gave us lots of hugs. They even tried locking Julia and I inside the gate as we were trying to leave. It was quite overwhelming to see all these girls and to know what their past was full of, but it also reassuring that we could at least bring smiles to their faces for the few hours we were around.

 

That night we were told that the next morning we were to show up at a church and give a sermon. It was about 15 hours till church started when we were told that. It was bit of an interesting talk trying to work out how we would do this, but luckily Johannes was up for the task.

The next morning after getting everything ready we started for the bus stop, unfortunately as we were nearing the bus stop we saw the bus fly by. Leaving us a bit stranded and late for church. We waited about 40 minutes hoping a bus would come, but instead our neighbors came by in their truck. We all jumped in, some in the front and the rest of us in the tiny space in the back. What a terrifying ride. I was still climbing into the truck when he started going, having to find my seat as we were bolting down the highway and 90km/h. It worked though we all arrived safely, a little short of breath, but still alive and well. We were about 20 minutes late, but the whole church was waiting for us. Simply singing while they were waiting. Were arrived and not long after were thrown up front to perform and preach. We sang and told testimonies, feeling really good about our group, but the real hitter was when Johannes got up to preach. His words were so powerful and from the heart. His first time preaching and really knocking it out of the park. Everyone was so proud of him and I think his words really stuck to the people. It was a beautiful moment and it was good to know that we have a very talented preacher in our midst.

 

That would about bring you up to speed on what we’ve been up to the last few days. We haven’t had any wifi so it’s been hard to update anything, but I’m hoping to be able to go to an internet café later this day and upload this. So hope you are all doing well, I really appreciate all the support I received and would love to ask for continued prayers for our journey here in Chile!