UPDATE ON FEBRUARY’S PRAYER REQUESTS
Many thanks for your prayers this month for the VBS’s we conducted in middle Chile and for the control and extinguishing of the many wild fires burning in different areas of Chile in January and February. We have “update praises” to share on them both!
First, the VBS’s
Above from left to right are 2 photos of our first week VBS in San Ignacio (part of Ñipas), Chile and 2 more photos taken during the second week VBS in the municipality of Ñipas. All four photos were taken on the last day of each VBS with parents of the children present. Approximately 1/4 of the children came from non-Christian families and the publicized age range for the VBS’s was 6 to 10 years of age. This year’s theme was La Vida es Valiosa (Life is Valuable). The program was well-run and fun, with the central teaching being Jesus in our life. All children received either Illustrated New Testaments or “The Story” for children.
The area of Ñipas is located roughly 6 hours south of Santiago between Chillán, Chile on the east and Concepción, Chile on the west coast. It is also the specific area where the Children’s Camp/Christian Center LUZ EN EL CAMPO is to be constructed. The long-term vision of the Camp and Center includes this whole central region of the country, where nothing of this type of Christian influence exists. Concepción, on the coast, is Chile’s second largest city.
Week 1: Monday through Wed. (January 30-February 1) mornings. We had use of the same school we used last year and roughly 26 children participated with seven of those over 10 years old. 16 children professed faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Week 2: Monday through Wed. (February 6-8) mornings. Due to the threat of wild fires in the general area, the site of the second VBS switched from Coelemu to the municipality of Ñipas and roughly 30 children participated with seven of those over 10 years old. 21 children professed faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
We were able to greatly deepen our relationships with two local churches, as well as visit with some of the families of the VBS children in their homes. Both local churches are Pentecostal, which is the identity of almost all non-Catholic churches in this part of Chile, and none of the Pentecostal churches have Sunday School programs for their children. The pastors of these two churches, however, are very open to working with children—theirs and others, so please pray with us that such a new beginning for these churches becomes a reality. Please also pray for continued progress in being able to actually start developing the land set aside for the camp/center in Ñipas this year. It will mark a significant step forward for Luz en el Campo!
WILD FIRES IN CHILE
Thank you for praying for families and towns most affected by out of control wild fires mostly burning in mid and southern parts of the country. This year has set a record for the number of wild/forest fires in Chile, mostly due to this year’s unusually hot and dry summer. As mentioned in this month’s Praise & Prayer Letter, in Constitución a large part of the town was burned to the ground. In the port city of Valparaiso, roughly 100 homes were destroyed.
The good news is that all fires are out or almost out! TYL! One day during the VBS’s, a steady, strong rain in middle Chile was a most welcomed sight. Now the construction and re-building begins. Many have lost their jobs as well. News sources list the number of acres burned as over 500,000 and the number of homes lost as somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000. Loss of life was minimal.
For our part we will continue to work through some churches in the Ñipas area to see how we might help in one way or another with recovery efforts. Should a particular need arise, we will share it with you.
Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve THE ONE, TRUE GOD THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!