Step Week 5

Hola! This week in Chile has allowed us to try lots of new experiences and meet lots of new people! We have now officially passed the one-month mark and we are incredibly overwhelmed by how quickly time is passing, we don’t want it to end!

On Sunday evening, Morwenna and Ellie did the weekly shop, in Temuco, alongside German and his son German Junior. The rest of the team had a chilled evening, Grace did an entertaining dance and Eleanor did Hannah’s make up.

Heavy rainfall prevented the team from working for the majority of Monday so Hannah and Ben led our study on Acts 10 as we learnt about how the persecution of the early Church fulfilled the prophecy of the gospel being spread in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1 v 8). At mid-day, Ellie and Morwenna’s colossal food shop was warmly received by the rest of the team. The evening consisted of watching ‘Gladiator’ which was followed by Nathanael’s homemade sopapillas (this is a type of Chilean fried bread) - he did an excellent job!

On Tuesday in true Chilean fashion, once we had begun working the torrential rain and stormy winds set in which resulted in us retreating indoors. Meanwhile, we supported Heidi throughout her English lessons at the school next door, which gave us a great opportunity to get to know the young people in a school context. This was followed by inspiring stories over lunch about the local ministry her family are developing here in Temuco. At about 4 o’clock the power cut out due to the weather and German comforted us with the knowledge that the electricity would quickly return in two to three days, not hours like we had hoped. Therefore, we all decided to go out in the rain and play Take Down, where we all got completely soaked to the bone and absolutely filthy. German took a nine minute long video of the ‘crazy English’ whilst all the school children stared out the window. Alice also took down Grace by holding onto her legs at the start of a competitive race to the goal post and back! After unsuccessful attempts to clean up, we received freshly baked cookies made by Eleanor and Hannah. Suddenly, German returned and gave us five minutes to pack for a trip to Temuco where all nine of us would be staying in his house. This was a total surprise to us all but was warmly received as we love staying with German and his family! It was that night that we finally watched the second half of Titanic… result! 

We awoke late on Wednesday morning after finishing part two of Titanic at 2:30am. First, we visited a Mapuche museum, and when we left there was a protest going on outside the university because an unpopular politician was in town. We then went to the shopping mall to have lunch and indulged in Chilean fast food! When Ruth arrived we started to applaud her which resulted in the entire food court joining in…! Ruth then very generously bought us all ice creams before saying goodbye. After this, the team had fun exploring the mall and buying our own designated mugs in the hope of cutting down on washing up.

  

We arrived home early on Thursday to a very cold house. The days work consisted of assembling the roof framework. After a relaxing lunchtime, disaster struck! Our beloved local Labrador, Aurora, (also a new mother to four puppies) ate a large amount of poison which we  intended for the rats to eat. After frantically praying, we asked the locals if we should visit the vet to which they calmly suggested giving her milk hourly. We are pleased to announce that Aurora and her new-born pups are alive and well! We led the children’s service in the evening which included teaching memory verses and new worship songs. We were then rewarded with a very sugary dinner which was hard to swallow since we had already eaten.

  

Friday’s devotional was led by Morwenna and Nathanael which focused on keeping our eyes fixed on God. We spent the day painting and gardening but were also given the challenge to burn the rubbish by starting a fire which, to our parents’ relief, we failed miserably at until Cello showed up with a blow torch! Nathanael then drenched Grace with a bucket of water after strong encouragement from Cello! After lunch, those of the team who felt comfortable learnt how to use power tools – Latin Link approved.

On Saturday morning, we were joined by German, youth from the local churches and Neil and Jenny (the Striders who met us in the airport on our first day in Chile). We split off into smaller groups and went around the area evangelising. This was very successful and many people opened up about their lives and their struggles with the Christian faith. We then hosted everyone round our house for lunch and German prepared us all a delicious barbeque. After this, there was a Chile vs England football match whilst Eleanor and Hannah made cookies (again). Neil and Jenny were able to share some beneficial advice and prayed with us as a team before they sadly departed. Nathanael made the team sopapillas again (even better than the first time, which we didn’t think was possible!) accompanied by more cookies. We then had some light-hearted political and theological chats about the NHS and judgement day before bed.

On Sunday morning, the church was full of new faces which was encouraging to see! There was an emotional time of premature farewells and Alice brilliantly shared her testimony in Spanish. Quickly after the service, the team was whisked away for a time of fellowship and food with Victor’s (the founder of the church) family. We had a hefty lunch of cazuela (pork and vegetable broth) which to our surprise was not in fact the main course as they presented the team with a massive tray of freshly spit-roasted pork. In the evening, we visited one of Victor’s son’s Pentecostal Church service where Libby, Morwenna and Ellie gave their testimonies in Spanish and, much to the team’s delight, we were all given a microphone each to sing four songs.

Here are some specific things you could be praying for: 

  • Unfortunately, the rat situation is ongoing. The rat poison doesn’t seem to be working and the rats have gone as far as to start eating our clothes! 
  • Team enthusiasm and energy for work. The working days are long and physically demanding, please pray that we find strength to keep going whilst maintaining a positive and God-honouring attitude. 
  • Water! At the moment, the water works aren’t working in our house, meaning that we have no water to shower, wash up, drink or flush toilets with.
  • Again, as mentioned last week, that all the people we met when evangelising would want to find out more about God by going to church. 

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

  • The disappearance of bed bugs! We are glad to say that the bed bugs are no more!
  • For Neil and Jenny! They were so lovely and kind to us. Please pray for blessings on them and their mission work in Santiago.
  • The continuation of opportunities to share our faith with the local school children and adults whilst evangelising.

Love from the Step Team