Step week 3

¡Hola! Happy Easter weekend to everyone back home from the Step team! We have had another brilliant week full of fun and challenging experiences, which have really allowed us to immerse ourselves in Chilean culture.

After church on Sunday, we worked for a few hours in the sun to lay down the foundations of the church building. This was followed by an eventful evening of movie watching, pizza and chicken nuggets during which we discovered that we had only brought disc one of Titanic... We are on the lookout for the DVD in Temuco so we can watch part two!

Monday gave us the opportunity to have the day off work to explore the city of Temuco. We reached the beautiful town centre of Temuco and discovered that free WiFi was available, which meant anti-social behaviour ensued and we managed to stay quiet for the first time in two weeks as we caught up with our friends and family!

Following the excitement of WiFi, we met Karyn, a lovely Strider for Latin Link who is currently working in Temuco for the next few months. We visited a traditional Mapuche restaurant for a lunch full of traditional food including horse for those daring enough to try! We later enjoyed walking around a craft market, where Eleanor bought 5 mate cups, which later proved useful when enjoying rounds of mate with German. (Mate is a delicious traditional South American hot drink made from herbs and it is a really fun social activity- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(drink)).

  

Construction work on the church continued throughout Tuesday, which was followed by an evening of fun, food and fellowship as German joined us for dinner. In the afternoon, Benja spent some time training and teaching us how to evangelise using a number of different techniques to explain God’s grace, which we found extremely useful for our trip to two churches in the countryside near Temuco.

Wednesday was an exciting day for Nathanael and Eleanor, who helped cut open a pig for the next day’s asado (BBQ)! That afternoon we planned for the children’s service in the evening. We prepared a song and sketch both of which went down a treat with the kids who were crying with laughter. Hannah and Morwenna then brilliantly explained the sketch in Spanish, sharing that God knows and loves us personally and individually and that we don’t have to pretend to be someone else in order for God to love us.

On Thursday we spent lots of time preparing for our evangelism trip by translating testimonies and bible verses to share with people at the weekend. We also enjoyed the delicious pork asado with everyone at lunchtime - it was a feast! In the evening we were picked up in a van by Ambrosio, the pastor of a different Anglican church nearby. After about an hour-long journey, we arrived at one of the houses we were staying in and were separated into three groups of three to meet our host families for the weekend, who were so welcoming, generous and hospitable.

The following day we met at the church in ‘Las Lomas’ and were organised into groups and were told where we would be evangelising. We were also given an opportunity to practise what we would say to people. We then spent the day visiting homes, knocking on people’s doors, telling people the gospel and praying for them. In the evening there was a service at a different church nearby, called ‘La Iglesia Faro Celestial’, during which we sang two worship songs and were prayed for by the whole church, which was a very special moment.

On Saturday, we spent some more time evangelising and meeting people. One group learnt more about Mapuche culture which included meeting a man who had three wives and another group were asked some challenging questions about why people should believe what we say which was very thought-provoking but a bit difficult. There was also a church service in the evening, during which Grace and Libby shared their testimonies in Spanish and we sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘In Christ Alone’. Eleanor and Hannah then gave a short talk explaining what Latin Link is and during the service, Hannah and Morwenna were unexpectedly asked to go up to the front and pray in Spanish!

There was an Easter Sunday service on the Sunday morning in ‘Las Lomas’, during which Morwenna and Ellie gave their testimonies and we were asked to sing four songs! After the church service we were invited to a member of the church’s house for a delicious lunch and then we were driven back to our little house in Tragna-Boroa where we were reunited with German and his family. One interesting thing we have learnt this week is that everyone in this area seems to be related to or knows each other and we had many mind-blowing moments when we realised someone we had met was related to someone from the church or someone we were staying with!

Thank you all so much for constantly praying for us as a team, we feel very blessed to be here and we have really known God’s faithfulness and protection.

Here are some specific things you could be praying for: 

  • Libby has been suffering from really bad toothache so has a dentist appointment today (2nd April) so it would be great to pray for healing and that she won’t be in any more pain
  • Good health because everyone on the team seems to be catching each other’s colds!
  • For us to understand more Spanish and to be able to communicate better.
  • That all the people we met when we were evangelising would want to find out more about God by going to church and that they would experience His love for themselves. Also that those people we met who are suffering with ill health and challenging situations would know God’s comfort, peace and healing.

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

  • For the boldness He gave us to go out and evangelise in Spanish to people and all the opportunities He gave us to tell people about His Grace, love and mercy. 
  • For the three families each group lived with from Thursday to Sunday. For their overwhelming generosity, love and kindness – pray that God would bless them! 
  • 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