GOD’S EXACT TIMING – ALWAYS WITH REASON & ALWAYS “ON TIME”
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” –Matt. 3:1-3 Then we find Jesus in the middle of his earthly ministry telling his disciples that his “time had not yet come” (John 7: 6-8, 30). Finally, in God’s exact timing, Jesus was betrayed, condemned to death, brutally beaten, and crucified.
It is with awe and overwhelming gratitude that Janine & I take hold of the fact that we do finally have property available on which to develop a Christian camp for children, youth, and adults—this after roughly 7 years of seeking such land without success, as our Chilean team carried out summer camps for children for 5 years in the general region of our current property. We even had a hard time finding a real estate agent as there are no visible offices outside of Santiago. The “pieces of the puzzle” are indeed falling into place in various ways toward the reality of such a developed property:
- Good communication and strong unity of purpose inside of our team with Domingo & Sandra.
- Our initial prior contact with EMI culminating in their trip to Chile with a team of 13 architects, engineers, & a surveyor to spend a week on our property studying, evaluating, measuring, and designing. A long-time friend from our home church, Roger Stokes, was able to join them as well. He has had extensive experience in these types of projects.
- God’s bringing into the project team needed Chilean professionals and trades people.
In the verses selected for this month’s letter we see God’s timing being carried out in Jesus’ own earthly mission, beginning with John the Baptist. Preparations and stages of many kinds always seem to have their place in God’s plans and purposes, and we have so often undergone and seen God’s same hand and order of things in our own mission & ministry in Chile, always inside of his reason for it all and always in his exact timing. Our direct work with “wards of the state” children ended in 2013, enabling us to set aside extra funds towards the camp. Even in those difficult times we see God’s intervening hand at work to carry us to this point! Please join us in our gratitude and please also make no mistake that your prayers and financial support have played a central role in it all!! As we and each of you look at God’s hand in your Christian Kingdom work, the following Proverbs 16:9 verse should come to mind: In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
FEBRUARY GRATITUDES: This year’s camps began with a weekend retreat for teens, Feb. 1 & 2. Eight teens participated, along with a support staff of roughly 12 adults. We used tents for sleeping, and divided the time into a variety of activities and teachings. The nearby river was somewhat cold, but very refreshing. Here below are three photos:
The retreat was followed by a three-day camp/Bible school carried out in the same school in Ñipas that we have been blessed to use the four previous summers. The children were divided into two age groups: 6 to 9 year-olds who participated in the morning and 10 to 14 year-olds who participated in the afternoons. Attendance was good, with 18 children in the morning and 8 in the afternoon. This brought this year’s total of participating children and teens to 34. What a wonderful opportunity to plant God’s seeds and re-enforce Jesus. Photos from the school:
The short, but extremely full week with the EMI team couldn’t have gone better. Every aspect of the 90 acres was studied, evaluated & measured, with corresponding locations and designs included. We and the team were able to stay and work at a very nice live-in school in the town of Florida, located 17 kilometers (just over 10 miles) from our property via a small sand and gravel public roadway. The school itself had two wings for children to sleep (many children in the countryside live too far away from the school they attend to go home during the week) – one wing for boys and one for girls, complete with showers. We had access to the kitchen and wifi internet, and the dining area was ample, with lots of windows for light. We traveled back to Santiago on Saturday, Feb. 29, and the team gave a thorough report using their computer and our television on Sunday morning, with the majority of their team flying to the States on Sunday night. Two Chileans (Manuel, a Christian construction engineer) and Beatriz (a Columbian architect in Chile who will also be part of our project team) attended the presentation. Here are some photos of our week with EMI:
MARCH PRAYER NEEDS
—Currently, our land in Bodeuca has no one living on it, making it impossible to leave tools and supplies there. We are praying for a capable, Christian person (or ideally a married couple/family) to live in the small house located on the land. We first are making improvements to the house to ready it for occupancy. This person or couple will need to have building and agricultural skills.
—Please pray for our team with Domingo & Sandra, and now to include Beatriz and Paola (mentioned in last month’s Prayer letter), and also pray that Manuel (construction engineer) will want to be part of the team as well.
—Pray that Roger and all members of the EMI team are blessed in their going forward and that they are able to complete their final report, containing all technical information and designs necessary to move forward, within the next two months.
—Please pray that with Paola’s help (she has extensive experience in helping not-for-profit organizations deal with Chilean municipalities and governmental agencies) we will have as much governmental cooperation as is needed in this first stage of development and that our good relations with neighboring Chileans continues.
—A Chilean friend from Nipas works with heavy equipment and tractors. We will be meeting him and another friend of his at the property on Saturday, March 14, to look at the area we’ve designated to be dug out for a lake. He will be advising us on that part of the project. Thank you for praying for this impending meeting.
—There are many student and other demonstrations and disruptions expected to occur starting with this first week of March and continuing into the rest of the month in Santiago and other major cities throughout the country. Please join us in praying against violence and major disruptions and for peaceful solutions and communication. This is a renewal of the severe violence and demonstrations between October and December. The country is also voting in April to determine if a new constitution should be drafted.
Again, we are so grateful at how over time that God has taken his mission in Chile forward through us. In all of the highs & lows and disappointments & celebrations, he continues to plan our steps forward. Thank you all for being a part!! We’d like to close with one last photo reflecting our appreciation to God and to you….
Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our Preparing, Planning, Carrying out, Exact-timing God,