Ministry opportunities have come to us these years in Chile through these years in Chile–some planned and hoped for, and some unannounced. One such unannounced opportunity to extend the Lord came in the form of the Feb. 27, 2010 severe earthquake off Chile’s coast, roughly 5 hours south of Santiago just north of Concepción. We, along with much of the country, immediately responded to help rebuild and address peoples’ needs and it ended up to be a short-term once per month trip to Penco, a small town on the coast. Our goal, in addition to helping people nearby with our ministry funds, was to build relationships and especially work with Penco’s children. We were given permission to stay at and use the local school, arriving with teams to do weekend outreaches to them. Our presence was both appreciated and felt, and although no new churches were planted, Jesus was there in many ways. We ended up visited Penco once per month for 2 1/2 years.
A new Children’s Camp & Retreat Center in middle Chile (roughly five hours south of Santiago) is in its initial stages of becoming a reality. The Christian camp & retreat center property, purchased on October 4, 2019 is 37 hectares (90 acres) in size. The land holds MUCH PROMISE AND POTENTIAL INSIDE OF THE BROAD VISION THAT THE CAMP TEAM HAS FOR IT! That vision and focus will be on ministering to children, youth, & adults, in hosting camps and retreats of various kinds, including marriage encounters, church retreats, and special presentations and seminars. The camp will also serve as a Christian Center of outreach to people of the surrounding area such as periodic medical clinics and programs and presentations of various kinds. At present there are few other such outreach-based Christian camps located in Chile that we know of. The camp team is currently comprised of Domingo & Sandra Aguayo and us.
We have already been blessed by the Feb. 2020 visit to Chile of a group of 14 engineers, architects, and a surveyor–professionals from the United States and others serving in Nicaragua. This international ministry is known as EMI (Engineering Ministries International). Their website is http://emiworld.org
Taken from their website,
EMI is a non-profit Christian development organization made up of architects, engineers, surveyors, and construction managers. We use our skills to serve people worldwide through the design of hospitals, schools, water systems, and many other facilities. Together, we are designing a world of hope.
Photos taken during their one-week visit spent with us at our new camp property:
EMI expects to send us their final report by May 2020, complete with detailed site plans and designs and recommendations. In the meantime the team is involved in the following:
- Searching for a Chilean couple/family that can live in the house on our property. Their duties would be varied, ranging from simply maintaining a presence on the property to planting crops to improving the property in other ways, to repairing and maintaining systems such as water supply and sewage.
- Working on repairs and improvements on the small house located on the property. It must be ready to live in as quickly as possible. At the same time we will be working to renovate other buildings and storage structures located near the house.
- Building and furthering relationships with churches and neighbors.
- Forming the Chilean Foundation & board that will take the project forward in the coming years. . The foundation’s name will be “LUZ EN EL CAMPO” (Light in the Countryside).
Our current summer camps: Our children’s camp team, led by Viky & Renata Aguayo (Domingo’s & Sandra’s two daughters) in Feb. 2019 & 2020, with the help of university students and other adults, have been hosting Christian summer camps for children in middle Chile. IT ALL BEGAN IN FEBRUARY, 2016, IN THE SAN IGNACIO AREA OF ÑIPAS, CHILE. Ñipas is located roughly 5 hours south of Santiago between Chillán, Chile on the east and Concepción, Chile on the west coast. Concepción, on the coast, is Chile’s second largest city.
All activites were designed for children of 6 to 10 years of age, and roughly 26 children participated. Our 14-member team outdid themselves, and all children received an illustrated New Testament. Here are some photos of the fun and time together.
IN LATE JANUARY/ FIRST DAYS OF FEBRUARY 2017, TWO SEPARATE VBS’s WERE HOSTED IN THE AREA–one in the same San Ignacio school and one hosted in a local church in the center of Ñipas. Both VBS’s were successful (26 participants in the school and 35 in the church) and our relationships with area children, their families, and two area churches were further enhanced. That year’s theme was La Vida es Valiosa (Life is Valuable!) and many children professed faith in Jesus as Savior & Lord. Here below are four photos–the first two taken during the first VBS and the second two at the church:
IN LATE JANUARY 2018 WE HOSTED OUR FIRST TWO 3-DAY “CAMPS”, with some good steps forward in terms of their design. We included tent camping for children interested (with parental permission. We altered the age range of the children to between 8 and 14 years of age. We also conducted all daytime teachings on the Aguayos’ property in an area covered by many large trees.
The theme was JESUS, THE CREATOR, and our main Bible verse Colossians 1:16. The setting was perfect in the woods as we went through the six days of creation, man’s fall, and restoration through Jesus. Lessons and discussions were tied to the lives of the children. Choosing Jesus, they become points of light now, and one day will know again the same perfect harmony and glory of a good, loving God that Adam & Eve experienced in the Garden in God’s presence. We used Adam & Eve puppets, a snake puppet, and Cain & Abel puppets. We also were awed at night with clear view and presentation of the stars. We had a first camp attendance of 16, with 7 camping in tents and a second week attendance of other children of 19, with 11 camping in tents. THANK YOU, LORD! Below are an assortment of photos from the two camps:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. –John 14:12
The above verse was used to highlight this year’s theme and teaching that God uses ALL of us, including children, who belong to him through Jesus to carry out his work. There is no limit to what he can do through us because we who belong to him have ALL of God in us, including his power. The children needed to know that this is a daily thing—not just a camp thing—all because God loves them and has chosen them and wants them to grow in him. John 14:12 is an important verse for us all to own and practice!!
The above is quite a short summary, of course, of the camps. They included teachings, small group times, games & fun, pajama parties, the outdoors, and lots of support and interaction with the young adults who carried out the activities. The first camp in Ñipas ran 3 days, with 42 children participating with a team of 13 young adults (and me Jack 😊). This was our fourth year of “camp” in Ñipas. This year’s second camp in Licantén—2 ½ hours northwest of Ñipas—ran 2 days, with 32 children participating with a team of 16 of us. Most of the Licantén children were not from the church, but were friends and relatives—another reason to praise God. This was our first year of doing the camp there, alongside of the church.
- Here below are some of the many photos we took:
2020’s SUMMER CAMP TIME WAS ALSO DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS:
We used a variety of verses to know our One, True, God better in and through his three persons: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Our camp time began with a weekend retreat for teens on a property adjoining the local river, February 1st and 2nd. Eight teens participated, the majority of them from non-Christian families. 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.
THANK YOUR FOR SUPPORTING OUR SUMMER CAMPS WITH PRAYERS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT!! EVERY CHILD AND TEACHING ARE SO WORTH IT!!! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEW CAMP/RETREAT CENTER AS WELL!!!
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33: 10-11