During the last two lunches that we had a the church, we had the opportunity to hear two Chilean families' testimonies on how the church has impacted their lives and brought them to Christ. We felt very blessed to hear their stories and how God is working thru Miguel and the church he leads. The work on Carlos and Elle's house was completed, there was absolutely no leaks when the water was turned back on to the sink, toilet, bathtub and kitchen sink, praise God! The visit to the Roka was wonderful, the family made us a wonderful meal and explained to us their role in preserving the Mapuche history and crafts. The women's card making event went well, there was approximately 18 women that participated and we all had a wonderful time and a few tears shed. Saturday, we met at the church to say goodbye to our friends and their families. The time went by so quickly, it's hard to believe it was time to go. After we said our goodbyes, we went into Temuco to do some souvenir shopping and to have a team lunch before we started our journey back. We had a 5 hour layover in Santiago where David Dwyer met us. We talked, had coffee and a huge banana split while we were waiting. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of God's work down there and thank Miguel and his team for taking such wonderful care of us! And just for Don...we had a lot of fun trying to catch each other sleeping....Don won the award for this trip! We love you!
We are on our last working day here in Chile. Yesterday we were able to weld the six fence panels in place and painted 8 channels for the other team to put on the church. Bob, Rick and Jeff have placed the bathtub, toilet and are currently building the foundation for the sink. Once that is done, they will turn on the water to see if any adjustments are needed. They also placed the forms in place for the concrete sidewalk. We are down to our last 1 1/2 hours to complete our projects. Miguel is taking us to visit a local Mapuche Roka for once, then Mika will lead a women's group in making greeting cards. We praise God for everything we have been able to accomplish here and the relationships we have fostered and built. We thank you for your support and ask for continued prayer as we get ready to leave.
It was another great day for the team. Mika and Mia put the final touches on the fence panels and we should be welding them in place today. Mia really enjoys painting the fences and may choose this as a professional career when she gets back. :) Bob, Rick and Jeff continued to work on Carlos and Elle's house installing the plumbing, insulation and the partition between the kitchen and bathroom. John and Don finished cementing the last three fence poles in place (in between supervising John L and Mac install the wood paneling in the gym). John, Mac and Sharon finished the paneling in the gym, another project completed! Mika baked her famous chocolate chip cookies and placed Mia in charge of guarding them from the team. After work, we were treated to once (evening meal) at Elle's, she cooked us a fantastic soup of mussels, clams, chicken, ham and potatoes with sopapillas to go with them. How she cooked this amount of food when she doesn't have a kitchen amazed us! After this once, we went back to the church to have second once with the new 5 person mission team that came in from California, they will be here for the next 5 days. To finish off the evening, we celebrated Dan's 25th birthday. Dan and Danielle have been instrumental in translating for us and helping us accomplish our work here. They truly are a blessing to have here with us.
Wow....the time is flying by way too fast. We've accomplished a lot in the past two days. We began work on the inside paneling of the gymnasium. Measurements were taken so wood beams and plywood could be installed. At Carlos and Elle's house, the plumbing was installed in the kitchen and bathroom. The team also mixed about 6-7 bags of concrete and poured the cement foundation. We also got three fence posts cemented in place and we're almost done painting all of the fence panels. Before, between and after work, there has been a lot of laughs, memories made, skills and abilities tested and stretched! Thank you for your prayers and support, please continue praying for the relationships we are making, health, safety and completion of the projects we have on our list. Everyday we see God's hand on everything that is being done down here and are so thankful to be a part of it!
Yesterday we had quite an adventure here in Chile. Our team made a pancake breakfast for approximately 75 church members. We brought chocolate chips, peanut butter, powder sugar and made homemade pancake syrup for the pancakes and made scrambled eggs with hashbrowns to go along with it. They really enjoyed the meal and we really enjoyed serving them. After the service and breakfast, we went back to work on a few more projects. Rick, Bob, Don completed the demolition on Carlos and Elle's house so work could be started to renovate their bathroom and kitchen. Sharon, Mia and Deana completed painting the power poles. Mika, Mia and Alejandro painted the new fence panels. After work, we were treated to Lautaro's 132nd year anniversary celebration where one of the church member's was performing. Mika was handpicked out of the crowd to be interviewed by one of the TV stations that was recording the celebration. The Chileans graciously came to Mika's rescue and answered for her. It was a wonderful day, the time is flying by way to fast.
Patty, Bob wanted me to make sure that I told you "Hi" for him :) .
Today, the congregation at the Lautaro church took us to Pillanlelbun, a park near Temucco, for a day of swimming, games and fellowship. This is normally done on the last day of our trip but was switched to today. The entire day was perfect. The day started off with a baptism of one the church's members. The joy that radiated from the parents face was priceless as they watched Miguel speak over their daughter. What a blessing it was to be able to share this moment with them! Afterwards, the Chileans barbequed a fantastic lunch and we played Farkle, cards, tossed a football, played a Chilean version of horseshoe, talked and the children swam until evening. Sharon brought bubbles and bouncy balls that was a hit. It was a great day of fellowship and we hope to see the people we met today throughout our time here. We ask for your prayers for continued prayers for health and safety.
Our first day here was very productive and blessed. While Miguel and John were working out the details of the bigger projects that need to be completed, the team went to work on the smaller projects that could be done. Bob and Don cut pieces of steel that Jeff used to weld 6 fence panels together. We will be installing these around the perimeter of the school. Mika, Sharon, Mia and Deana sanded and painted power poles that needed to be more visible. Mia found a new friend while taking a break. John C. and Don measured and layed out the fence line for the six panels that were completed. Bob and Rick completed demolition of the concrete foundation on one of the homes we'll be working on. Mia got to go watch a youth skateboard competition in the local neighborhood. It was a great first day with lots of fellowship and laughs. We ask for your continued prayer for safety, health and building relationships.
We are here! Last night we arrived in Temuco where Miguel, Dan and Danielle picked us up. It was great seeing them again, we cannot believe that a year has passed already! We went to our host families, had once (which means 11 and what they call their evening meals), showers and went to bed. This morning, we met at the church at 930 and are planning the week's projects.
Today we started our trip to Lautaro, Chile. Our first flight out of Seattle was delayed from 8am to 12pm. We went ahead and went to the airport as planned since we had a ride and was blessed with food vouchers due to the delay. The time went by pretty fast, we had breakfast on Delta Air, played some Farkle and took a nap. Happy Birthday to John Leskajan!!!
From Atlanta, we flew a 9 1/2 hour flight to Santiago, Chile where we were very warmly greeted by David and Michelle Dwyer. They have graciously allowed us to stay at their house to nap, eat and shower while we wait for our next flight to Temuco, Chile in 6 hours.
This year's trip to Chile will continue to support a work that teams from RVCC have joined with for many years. Enjoy these pictures from Chile mission trips through the years. Click on the first picture to open a larger view, then use the arrows to scroll through.