¡CAMPO VIVO!

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 we ended in Penco, a small town on the coast, making once per month trips there for 2 1/2 years.  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.

A new Children’s Camp & Retreat Center “CAMPO VIVO” (The Countryside Alive) in middle Chile (roughly 5 1/2 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 evangelistic Christian camps located in Chile that we know of.  Our land is away from any cities and is located south of and between Chillán, Chile on the east and Concepción, Chile on the west coast.  Both are good-sized cities and Concepción is Chile’s second largest city.  Roughly half of Chilean youth either doubt the existence of God or don’t believe in him.  We Christians know the Jesus IS the ONE, TRUE Savior & Lord and children & youth will WANT to come again and bring a friend! 🙂

Abraham & Cata in Pucon1 Pictured here in southern Chile, Abraham & Catalina and their little girl Abril have been living and working on the property since June 2020.

In these initial stages of property development we have already been blessed in TWO HUGE WAYS:

  1.  In Feb. 2020 a group of 14 engineers, architects, and a surveyor–professionals from the United States and others serving in Nicaragua came to Chile to study all physical aspects of the land (including water supply and waste management), to assess next steps & stages of development, and design the construction of all structures.  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 Group & Us  IMG_6583  IMG_6398

We have received EMI’s final report, complete with detailed site plans and designs and recommendations, along with a superb re-capping video of our land and project.  To see it click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Pl-s0kw1g&t=28s

Here also is a link to EMI’s final suggestion as to site layout and building designs: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gl7492b6b7SC9hCCC2utW4SniR8f9OnY/view?usp=sharing

EMI’s rough projected costs of construction, using Chilean peso and cost estimates then converted into US dollars for the above-shown buildings & structures is as follows:

Each sq. meter (m2) could cost roughly $600 USD or more, given inflation and the higher costs of construction materials in the world today.  Suffice to say, as each structure is planned and built we will be able to assess and communicate costs as we go.  With God’s blessing we may be looking at $500,000 for the completion of buildings/structures as we have them currently planned.  We initially also have planned the digging of a lake of five to six acres, along with associated costs of water & septic for the first area of the property to be developed.

Along with the development of the lake, the first building projected for construction is a two-story workshop/garage/storage space, complete with two offices and bathrooms.

Other planned buildings/structures include a large dining & meeting hall, two-story guest house, 8 cabins, an open-air roofed chapel, and an outdoor amphitheatre.

If the Holy Spirit is working on your heart to help by giving funds toward this special project, or by coming to Chile in 2021 to help use your energy and physical gifts & experience, we very much welcome your help!!  You can contact us through our E-mail chilemission1@gmail.com or support us financially by mailing a check to Chile Mission, P.O. Box 11731, Merrillville, IN 46411.  God is truly amazing in how he moves and how he blesses!!  Also be sure to E-mail us if you (church or individual) would like us to visit you!

2.  Abraham & Catalina Salazar are truly the right young family for the job!  Abraham y familiaAbraham was a classmate of our son Jayme in Chile.  He’s a Pastor and has studied construction.  Just as important, he’s a good learner, capable, and humble.  They as a family have also lived and worked in southern Chile churches in past years.  Their 1st child, Abril (April, in English :), was born on June 25, 2019.  Most of  April and May 2020 was spent to ready the small house on the camp land for their arrival, and at the end of May, 2020, they moved in! TYL!!

Amongst other things, Abraham has used these past two+ years to:

  1.  Improve and maintain essential systems such as water supply and sewage.
  2.  Coordinate the moving of electric lines.
  3. Clear out a large 6-acre tract of land on which we intend to build a lake.
  4. Put in three new entrances to the property and three new interior roads.
  5. Complete a other tasks pertaining to the improvement of their house and the property.
  6. Begin building and furthering relationships with churches and neighbors.

In 2022 he has built an extra bedroom/office with bathroom on the end of their present house, with an exterior entrance for workers and others spending time on the property.

Also in 2022, we brought Abraham, Catalina, and Abril to the States for the complete months of June and July to tour Christian Camps and learn more about digging lakes, construction, and otherwise build outdoor recreaional activities such as high & low ropes courses, zip lines, and different types of climbing walls.  We in addition learned about preparations of full & summer staff and looked at different models for bringing in other needed help and staff.  The trip was a total success in many ways and we were all extremely blessed not only in terms of information gleaned, but in terms of special new acquaintances and encouragements of different kinds.

Our past summer camps:  We been blessed to have hosted with others several years of summer VBS camps.  Those camps have all been learning experiences and the children that participated have those years they attended as part of their growing up. 

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