Ministry Opportunities outside of Santiago

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 in middle Chile (roughly six 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, but is located 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:

According to data found online, the average cost per sq. meter at full build out, modestly finished and equipped in Chile is 12 UF (unidades fomento). 1 UF= $27,700 CLP or approx. $40 USD. With that analysis then each sq. meter (m2) = $480 USD.

Therefore: (taking out electric and plumbing)

  • Chapel: even though this building does not need much investment in equipment and or installations, it requires detailed construction experience. We estimate a cost of $300 USD per m2.

o   117m2 x $330 = $38,610 USD

  • Dining Room: This building is the largest and requires the most investment. We estimate a cost of $400 USD per m2.

o   175m2 x $400 = $70,000 USD

  • Garage/ workshop: We estimate a cost of $300 USD per m2.

o   132m2 x $300 = $39,600 USD

  • Individual cabins: We estimate a cost of $300 USD per m2.

o   32m2 x $300 = $9,600 USD

  • Guest house: We estimate a cost of $400 USD per m2

o   128m2 x $400 = $51,200 USD

  • Amphitheater: Depending on the level of detail you want for this area we estimate a range of $150 – $300 USD per m2.

o   134m2 x $150 -$300 = $20,100 – $40,200 USD

As we look forward in 2022 and beyond, we thank God for his faithfulness and plan to reach MANY IN CHILE OF ALL AGES TO & THROUGH OUR CREATOR CHRIST JESUS (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-16) at the camp & retreat center in middle Chile.  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 humble, a Pastor, and has studied construction.  They as a family have been living and working in southern Chile churches and are now available to work with us.  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 already there for their arrival, and at the end of May, 2020, they drove from Santiago to the land to begin living in the house and work on final improvements to it, as other final systems (water supply and internet availability) are put in place!

In 2020 & 2021 (in spite of Covid restrictions in Chile)  🙂 Abraham & Catalina:

  1.  Improved and maintained essential systems such as water supply and sewage.
  2.  Coordinated the moving of electric lines.
  3. Cleared out a large 5-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. Completed a large number of other tasks pertaining to the improvement of their house and the property.
  6. Begun building and furthering relationships with churches and neighbors.

First priorities for 2022 include:

  1. Building 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.  As of May, 2022, it is under roof.
  2. Tear down the present buildings and storage structures located near the house and build in their place in a different location a new 2-story workshop/storage/parking structure, with 2 bedroom/offices and 2 bathrooms.
  3. Build a new 2-story guest house to receive workers and others coming to the land to help in different ways.
  4. Begin the cultivation of crops and initiate the bringing in of animals.

Our past summer camps:  We, along with our children’s camp team led by Viky & Renata Aguayo (Domingo’s & Sandra’s two daughters), began doing summer VBS camps in February 2016, hosting them in Ñipas, Chile, located roughly one hour away from our current land.  Due to Covid restrictions, the last Chile summer VBS camp was hosted in Feb. 2020.

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 over these years:

DSC01489a   P1020322a   P1020316a   P1020328a    DSC01724a

img_2291a    p1020777a    p1020784a

                Licantén 2019 3   Licantén 2019 4   Licantén 2019 6

2020’s SUMMER CAMP TIME WAS 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:

2020 teen retreat3  2020 teen retreat2  2020 teen retreat7

The retreat was followed by a three-day VBS camp 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