IGLESIA DE CRISTO (CHURCH OF CHRIST) RENACER (REBIRTH)
For the past six or seven weeks I have been working with Pastor Salomón and the church he serves in the community of El Bosque. We did a Bible Study on the research paper I did as my final project in a course from Johnson University last semester (Click here to check out the paper). The good news is that I’ll be able to use it time and time again with as many churches as possible. The church involved in the study learned a lot, and so did I. Here’s a picture of our Bible study group together, and another young family—who also attended—with their 5 month old. 🙂
Daniela and I have also been visiting this church on Sunday mornings as well. Here is a picture of Sunday service (now inside because of the colder weather-it’s winter here), and another photo of Daniela and I at their One Year Anniversary Celebration hosted by the neighboring church in La Cisterna.
IGLESIA DE CRISTO – LA CISTERNA
At the church we’ve been working at the longest—in La Cisterna— the current rotation only allows me to share at weekly Bible study once a month. I got to preach the whole thing (my paper) from start to finish. Since I knew the subject so well from all the time spent working through it, I was able to preach right from the Bible without any notes. This was a great benefit for me as I am a slow reader. They understood the message, even through my accent and stopped me when they had questions. We went through it all in 45 minutes and it was a great time. Even though there wasn’t time to fit everything in, everyone kept telling me how good it was and that they learned a lot. It was really encouraging and I think it was a good step in building trust with the pastor and the church. Hopefully next time he’ll allow me a couple consecutive sessions so more details can be shared and the congregation can get more out of the Scripture. But, if not, we’ll keep “jabbin and jivin” with what God gives us. : )
Here’s a picture of us at the Bible study. I just said, “With your permission, I’m gonna take a selfie to share with churches that are partnering with us in the United States so they can see that I’m not at home eating Cheetos all day.” Haha. Actually, I don’t even know if we have Cheetos here…….. It’s important to work towards uniting the Global Church, and that’s what I’ll be advocating in taking more photos of people so they understand that they are not just a number or an object to be kept track of, but rather they are important people that you all are actually praying for, and may even come to meet and serve one day.
IGLESIA DE CRISTO – MAIPO
Iglesia de Cristo Maipo isn’t actually officially a church yet. They’re a group that is being led by our friends Mike and Tabi Boyce and a neighboring couple from their community. They have been working with a group of people and are having a meeting in a couple of weeks to see if people are committed to forming an official church body.
Mike and Jaime (the other elder/pastor of this forming group) had been teaching on baptism and above is a photo of one of two people baptized into Christ last Sunday. Daniela and I have been visiting this congregation a lot as well.
Mike Boyce has been a key member in organizing the monthly pastor’ meetings, which mostly consists of churches from Southern Santiago. We recently reevaluated our goals and are working to build trust and deeper relationships with one another. This is the first step in the long-term goal of uniting our churches and promoting the Gospel.
Salomón has been picking me up on the way to the meetings and he and I have been getting to know each other more and developing a good friendship. Luis (another local pastor) and I were chosen to present the next theme of the meeting—which is “truth”. Trust in this group seems to be developing at a slower pace—maybe that’s because we only meet once a month—but it is developing nonetheless. Please pray the momentum continues. I’ll try to take a picture of all of us at the next meeting.
YOUTH BIBLE STUDY
The two youth are still attending intermittently. It appears they both have jobs for winter vacation, and I have a hunch they’ll be working again this Sunday night. I plan on writing them a message with Dani to ask them more about their work schedules and if they’ll continue working once the semester starts up again. We may have to switch up the day of the study to better accommodate them. Which is absolutely fine! That’s what we’re here for 🙂
In other news, I got to talk with a young friend about his use of drugs and lovingly explained that God wants more for his life—and his relationship with Jesus—than one obscured by the effects of drugs. He has visited with us twice since then and we’re hoping that our relationship and trust will strengthen through more time.
School starts soon, and I’m only taking one class a semester for now. We’ll see how ministry continues to develop over the next year. I’ve already learned a ton and I’m excited to keep passing the information along in Chile.
I should finally be able to start preparing a short video—to show a supporting church who exactly Dani and I are and what we’re doing here. Then after that, I’d like to make a video of the PowerPoint of the Bible study on Corinthians IN ENGLISH and put it on facebook so you all can see the kind of material we’re sharing with the churches.
Also on the list is to confirm Daniela and I’s attendance for the upcoming annual pastors’ retreat. Usually, each pastor is given an opportunity to publicly introduce themselves. This year Daniela and I will take time to explain where each of us are from and in what ways we want to work with the church in Chile. There’s a tendency for pastors to be protective of the leadership position and maybe that’s part of the reason God led me here. I’m not the head honcho type, but I like to find a good head honcho and look for ways that I can support them. I like to try to understand what might be difficult or stressful for them and work alongside them to be a pillar for the church.
Thanks for all your support, in whatever way you give it. Please pray for direction with they youth Bible study. Also, that God would bless us with opportunities to strengthen relationships with pastors and their families here in Santiago and also on a national level at the upcoming pastors’ retreat. Please pray that Daniela and I would be allowed time to introduce ourselves, explain the way we feel lead to serve the church, and express our desire to work with the pastors/ministers.
Peace and grace to you in Jesus Christ.