As mentioned last month, we as a mission team are set in these last days of January to travel to middle Chile to initiate two 3-day VBS programs to children between the ages of 6 and 10 in two towns—Ñipas and Coelemu. We will be in Ñipas the first week of February and in Coelemu the second week. We are excited to be part of a larger team of almost 20 youth and adults, using puppets, music, puzzles, lessons, and games to teach and impact the children who participate. We also hope to meet and talk with their parents, and the children will be given copies of a relatively new book The Story for Kids written specifically for children. We cannot overestimate the value of teaching children about Jesus. It matters a great deal to God as well, as we can see from both the following verses written to the Israelites in Deut. 11: 13-15 & 18-21 and Jesus’ own words in Mark 10: 13-16. Thank you so much for praying for what God will do through these VBS’s!
13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
We have a second combined prayer petition and praise to share: We, the Board for the children’s work in Santiago, did meet with Andrea and her husband about her becoming the first director of our newly designed and formed work with small abandoned children. They are on vacation through most of February (remember that we are in summer here J), but she is very interested and hopes to be able to start part-time until a time when she can leave her present job as a teacher of developmentally-challenged children. Her husband Elier is also a very capable person with supervisory experience and he is also interested in helping. We thus hope to have good things to confirm and report on soon.
In the meantime, Janine is working with our worker Carlos continuing to take out un-needed supplies and tools from the children’s residence mission property and do necessary repairs to the homes.
LASTLY, WE HAVE AN URGENT REQUEST FOR PRAYER FOR THE 7TH AND 8TH REGIONS OF CHILE, along with many living in Valparaiso—west of Santiago on the coast. As we write this Praise & Prayer Letter (on January 26) there are many forest fires burning in the above regions of the country. Over 80 separate forest fires are reported, with most of them not contained. Many people have lost their homes and today the town of Constitución, located on the coast roughly 3 ½ hours south of Santiago, had an area of 1200 homes destroyed by fire. So far, it’s been an abnormally hot, dry summer with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s. Even some major roads in those parts of Chile have been closed. At this point the fires should not suspend the upcoming VBS’s, but that can change at any time. Again, thank you for praying!
Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve The One True Jesus of children & of all of us together,