Step Week 6

Hola! We’ve had a long but amazing 6th week here in Chile. Work on the building site has been really successful as we started using the power tools to attach the walls to their metal structure. The week was finished off with a cracking trip to Pucón and an inter-church service on the Sunday. Thank you all for your continuing prayers; God has been so faithful to us here and as we are reaching the end of our time in Chile we are starting to realise how hard it will be to say goodbye to the wonderful community in Tragna-Boroa.

The week started off with a designated rest day in which we were joined by Neil and Jenny (the Latin Link Striders in Santiago) and Ruth for lunch We had a good catch up with them and were able to pray again with them before they left to travel back up to Santiago. They’ve been a real help to us in answering any random or bizarre questions we had and just generally being supportive and offering advice. It was sad to say goodbye; however we are looking forward to seeing them back in the UK for the debrief. Although we had planned to work in the afternoon it started raining so German called it off and we were able to chill for the rest of the day. Libby and Grace went with Ruth back to Temuco for the weekly shop and the rest of us made posters for Heidi’s English classroom at the school.

  

On Tuesday we started properly using the electric drill and saw to measure and cuts pieces of ‘plancha’ (wooden boards to make the initial walls of the church) and drill them to the metal beams German had already constructed. Although it took a little while to get used to, using the tools has been really rewarding and helped us to make great progress with the church. This initial wall will act as a base to drill the outer boards to in the following weeks. As well as this, throughout the day 6 of us went to help Heidi, the missionary from America, teach the kids in their weekly English class. This has been really fun and helped us to get to know the kids even better. Although they find it difficult, from talking to the kids afterwards its clear they love learning English and love even more helping us with our Spanish! Although working with the tools has been a big change, it only requires 4 or so people so whilst the rest of the team worked on the building, cleaned the house or helped Heidi, Hannah and Alice worked on sanding a door for a total of 11 hours over Tuesday and Wednesday. The definition of servant-hearted!!

We started on the back wall on Wednesday which involved using scaffolding to reach the top. It was a bit daunting but God kept us safe and it meant that we were able to almost finish the back wall in one day. In the evening we were treated to empanadas at Gladys’ house (a sister from the church congregation). As well as building friendships with the kids at the school its been great to get to know members of the church family individually and so it was a special moment when Gladys shared a part of her testimony with us. The car ride home was very special: stargazing in the back of a pick-up truck!

We had similar work on Thursday, this time on the front wall of the church attaching the ‘plancha’. More of the team learnt how to use the saw which helped the work to go much quicker. For lunch, 2 sisters from the church brought us a mountain of chicken and rice which was joyfully received. In the evening we joined the kids for their weekly service. After singing the usual ‘Our God Is a Great Big God’ and ‘There’s No One Like You’, we performed a sketch of the prodigal son brilliantly led by Alice and translated by Mo and Hannah. Afterwards we were able to catch up on some personal devotion and rest.

  

By Friday German, Robin and Cello had almost completed the roof and we finished off the walls so our church building was looking nice and well on its way to completion. German seemed very happy with the progress made and as we enter the last couple of weeks the end result is getting ever closer. 

On Saturday the sons of Victor, the founder of the church and school, came and picked us up for a great day out in Pucón, a town just south of Temuco. Although very touristy in the summer, in the Chilean winter the town was very peaceful and we had a great time wandering round the market buying gifts for family members. After lunch we drove up the ‘Los Pozones’, the thermal springs! These were absolutely incredible and ranged from fairly cold to scalding hot. We were all blown away by how beautiful they were and ended up spending over 3 hours in the pools relaxing and playing games. In the morning Hannah had read us Psalm 8 in which David describes ‘how majestic is your name in all the earth’ which couldn’t have been more fitting for us when surrounded by endless examples of God’s works. On the drive back we stopped off at Vallerica, another small town near Temuco, for sandwiches and at night the lake in Vallerica looked really pretty.

On Sunday we drove back to Las Lomas, the church we had visited and evangelised with a few weeks ago. A few times a year all the churches in the local area get together for one big service and so the church was absolutely full and had such a friendly atmosphere. In the afternoon we had our own time of devotion in which we studied Acts 13 led by Hannah and Grace. It was a great and fitting end to a busy but exciting week.

  

Thank you so much for all your continuing support. Our time has flown by in Chile and we are becoming increasingly aware of how hard it will be to say goodbye to all the people we’ve met here. One thing we would love prayer for is that we will use every opportunity and every moment given to us to help serve the people here in every way we can and that saying goodbye to them won’t be too painful.

Here are some specific things you could be praying for:

  • That we will be able to finish the building work before we leave, it’s getting ever closer to the end of the project and we would love it if we could finish the church before we leave, otherwise German will have to continue on his own.
  • Still rats! Unfortunately, although a few of them have died, they are still lurking in our house.
  • Kids work, it can be stressful and tiring doing the kid’s service after a long day of work so prayer that we will have energy for this.

Things to thank God for:

  • No injuries on the worksite!
  • Good progress being made with the building
  • The bedbug situation seems to have been almost fully resolved
  • The never-ending generosity of the people we’ve met
  • We’ve managed to commit to getting up half an hour early for our devotional- thank you to God for helping us sort out a regular routine

Love from the Step Team!