Step Week 2

Hola! Our second week in Chile has flown by and as a team we are all feeling very welcome in our new home. Although we are settling in well, we are also still discovering new things everyday as we work with German and his team on the new church. However, one thing that has most definitely continued from our first week is the generous and loving attitude of all of the people we have met and their genuine interest in who we are and what we are doing!

This week began with the first trip to Temuco (the nearest city) to buy food for the week ahead! Ben, Alice and Eleanor were picked up late Monday morning by Benja and driven to his house in Temuco where Ruth, his wife, the Latin Link Co-ordinator in that area, prepared a delicious lunch. At around 3pm, the three of us were taken into the city centre by Benja who advised us on what to buy and where to find it. We soon realised that buying for 9 people was a lot harder than shopping for just ourselves at home! Having said this, it was a really fun adventure as we got to experience both modern and traditional Chilean culture.

Meanwhile the rest of the team were cracking on with the building work, de-nailing planks of wood to be re-sold. The day was broken up with a mini apologetics session with German who gave us some challenging questions to prepare us for the evangelism we will be doing in the coming week. The afternoon’s work was set to German’s Chilean music playlist and was made all the better by the arrival of the washing machine. What a blessing! On Tuesday the team was reunited after a tough night apart and the day was spent predominately working on the foundations of the building in very hot weather. In the evening whilst studying Acts 5 and the death of Ananias and Sapphira, German’s timely arrival helped to give us new insight into the passage.

We were joined on Wednesday for breakfast by German and two of the other maestros, Cello and Robin, who brought along a Chilean special: raw Chilli; Nathanael and Mo were the brave ones to try it! The morning was spent working again, but the afternoon was filled with kids’ games and parachutes as we joined the school for their evening service. We introduced them to ‘Our God Is A Great Big God’, a classic, which was followed by many Chilean songs and tambourine playing which is harder than it sounds. After being treated to dinner with the children we played ‘Pio’ (Tag/It) in the rain which was a highlight of the trip so far. It was so much fun, an amazing bonding experience and a real blessing from God. In the evening German kindly showed us how to make chips, in a true personification of Chilean generosity. 

On Thursday the boys joined German and his team as the cement mixing began, whilst the girls planned for the upcoming evangelism with the youth. In the evening England were thrashed by Chile at football! Friday was a continuation of this with everyone working very hard to transfer wheelbarrows of earth from behind the school to the church site. This was by far the hardest working day yet but was survived by everyone with no injuries sustained. One funny culture difference we found was if it even drizzles work is suspended and all the Chileans run for cover and beckon us to come for fear we’ll get ill. We laugh because if this was the case in England nothing would ever get done! It was finished by another game of football against German, Robin, Cello and Isaac (German’s brother) who beat us yet again. German joined us in the evening and made 2 loaves of bread to have with our pasta and to dip in hot chocolate. Afterwards we enjoyed a time of worship with German for our devotional that day, comparing the Chilean and English versions of ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘In Christ Alone’ which German recorded.

The foundations of the church were well underway by Saturday which involved shifting cement onto the site. For lunch we were treated to a traditional Chilean meal of vegetable broth with chicken legs and potato served with a fried bread known as sopaipillas. This was prepared by Gladys, a member of the church and all-round legend. Following lunch, we returned to work for the rest of the day and were able to complete most of the cement laying. Sunday gave us another great chance to build relationships with the church in Tragna-Boroa as Mo shared her testimony in Spanish and we sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘In Christ Alone’.

We all praise God for blessing our team and keeping us safe so far and also thank you and appreciate your prayers for us as we continue to build this new church building and learn more about Chilean culture. Please continue to pray for our team, the maestros and local community in Tragna-Boroa.

Here are some specific things you could be praying for: 

  • Our upcoming evangelism trip to another church in the area.
  • That we would be filled with energy and high morale as we continue the building work for the church.
  • For those of us preparing to take part in door-to-door ministry, that we wouldn’t be fearful, but confident to share the Gospel.
  • For the constant building up and strengthening of our relationships with the local school children and for the opportunity to share our faith with them.

Here are also some things to praise and thank God for:

  • That we as a team are building strong relationships with each other through daily devotionals and during construction work. 
  • That the rain stayed off long enough for us to finish laying the concrete. 
  • The generosity and kindness shown to us by the church members as they showed us how to make bread, gave us food and invited us for lunch. 
  • The opportunities we have had to share our faith with the local school children through games and songs such as ‘Our God is a Great Big God’.

Love from the Step Team