This morning we said our final goodbyes to our host family which was not a easy thing to do. Every year it gets harder and harder to say goodbye. Our flight left Lautaro at 1210 for the one hour flight to Santiago where we will have a 8 hour layover. The team said goodbye to Marcelo who lives in Santiago. In addition to being one of the team members, Marcelo also translated for the team which enriched this trip even more. We are sad to say another goodbye! In Santiago, David Dwyer graciously offered his home to us and cooked a wonderful teriyaki chicken lunch. We will stay here until the evening until we board our flight to Atlanta at 10pm. We will arrive at Atlanta at 6am on Feb 25th and leave Atlanta at 940 to arrive in Seattle ~ 1230. A big thank you to everyone who has supported us thru prayers and words of encouragement and look forward to seeing you all. We give all glory to God in everything that we were able to do and accomplish these last two weeks!
We are thankful to be able to spend two Sundays in Lautaro. Miguel gave a wonderful message and afterwards, the church had a BBQ lunch for everyone. The meal was very good as always and afterwards, we started the sad process of saying our goodbyes to the friends that we met, know and worked with during the time we were here. Miguel gave the team an update on the work being done in Lautaro and then we went home to spend our last night with our host families.
We cannot believe that today is our last work day. The time has gone by incredibly fast! Today we finished small projects and cleaned up the area. Marcelo, Dan, Sharon, Don and Deana put up a fence between the playground and the construction area. Bob and Mika were bending reinforcing steel for the foundation wall , John and Don put flashing on the main door of the gym and Rick built forms for the foundation walls. Rick and Bob went to Carlos and Elle's to repair the DWV under the kitchen sink and extended the pipe and supported the showerhead in the bathroom. We finished the evening with a BBQ at Carlos and Patty's house where Rick, Bob and Marcelo are staying. It was a wonderful night!
The foundation is done! We had two concrete trucks come today and was able to finish all but 2 meters of the foundation. The team went to work and hand mixed enough concrete to finish the project. It was a great to see this completed before we leave. Marta and Mika organized a women's project where Mika instructed the ladies on how to make bracelets and earrings. As always, Mika did a fabulous job and the event was a lot of fun. Sharon made a homemade blackberry cobbler to go with vanilla ice cream for the ladies which was also a hit!
A day of rest! Today we were treated to a trip to the city of Temuco which is about 20 minutes away from Lautaro. Our day started with breakfast at the church, then we went to do some gift shopping. Once we were done, Miguel and Marta took us down to the local museum where we learned about the Mapuche and Chilean culture which is very rich and interesting. Afterwards, the team treated Miguel, Marta, Rachel, Dan and Danielle to lunch. It was Dan's birthday so it was an extra special lunch to celebrate. After lunch we went to the campo to visit with a local Mapuche family. Dan and Danielle (missionaries thru IAM living in Lautaro) do community outreach to the Mapuche in this area. One of the key areas they are focusing on is water availability. Many of the families here go without water during the summer months when their well goes dry. With some expert assistance, Dan and Danielle were able to construct and build their first rainwater collection system that will enable a family to have water during the summer months in Chile. They are very excited to see this project go forward when the rainy season starts. We were blessed to meet the entire family that are involved in this project. By doing this, Dan and Danielle hope to demonstrate the love of Christ thru their actions and involvement in this community.
More Concrete! We had two trucks of concrete come in. We were very thankful that the second truck could use the ramp that Dan built to pour the cement directly into the trenches versus having to wheelbarrow it in. The trenches are ~ 75% filled.
The concrete has arrived! The big project of the day was laying down the concrete. The concrete was poured from the truck into wheelbarrows and the men poured it into the trenches next to the church. It was amazing to watch. In addition to the concrete, Sharon and Mika finished putting shelves into the storage room; John, Rick and Bob fixed the door to the gymnasium, John fixed the main gate onto the church property and Marcelo, Rachel and Deana moved some more rocks to the trenches. It was a great day. We ask for your specific prayer of healing for Miguel, safety as we get this concrete work done and that we grow in our relationships here. We thank you for your continued support!
Blessings to you all! We are almost all set to go for the cement pour, they will begin today and pour Wednesday and Friday. We are very excited to be a part of that. The trenches were finished yesterday by half of the team, one of the missionaries down here (Dan and Danielle) brought their neighbors over to help us with the digging which we are very thankful for. John, Bob and Rick went to work on getting the main door working in the gym. The frame was bent so the door would not open properly. Don and Pedro worked on making J frames and preparing the area for the concrete truck to work. Sharon built shelving into one of the storage rooms in the gym with Deana assisting her. Mika helped Gloria prepare lunch for us and Gloria taught the ladies how to make sopapillas. YUM! Tomorrow, the town of Lautaro will be 133 years old. Every year they have a big birthday celebration with fireworks. It was a perfect way to end the evening.
We are so thankful for the many blessings in our lives and we thank God for allowing us to be a part of His plans down here in Chile. Sunday started off at a slower pace,
the service started at 1130 so we were able to sleep in and relax before the
service. Pastor Miguel spoke on the greatness of His plans and how when we step out in faith, He takes our steps and creates so much more than we ever could imagine especially with this church in Lautaro. The women of the church made a wonderful brunch for everyone. We had a chance to see a lot of people that we met over the last few years and thanked God for that opportunity. We had a few hours left after the service so we all went back to working on the trench surrounding the church. We are about 75% done with the trench so we will finish that tomorrow and will also start some new projects. We ask for your continued prayers over Pastor Miguel’s health and safety as we complete our projects.
Thank you to our prayer champions and everyone that is supporting us! We have been blessed with a lot of laughter, smiles and fellowship since we arrived. We have been told that 8 teams will have come thru Lautaro by the end of July. The growing support of this church and school is very encouraging to see! We had another great day, Pedro, Bob, and Don finished building the rebar cages that will be used Wednesday when the cement is poured. Carlos, Marcelo, Rachel and Rick finished putting up a fence that will keep the sheep away from the foundation work being done. Andreas, Sharon, Mika and Deana worked on digging a 3 foot trench around
the backside of the church to increase the footing. Deana got to take a break and helped Gloria prepare lunch for the team. After lunch, the entire team went to work on the trench to ensure it was ready for Wednesday. We finished the back side of the church for the most part and will continue the side tomorrow. We are looking forward to the Sunday service tomorrow. Many of the church members are using their vacation to help us with the projects being done and we are very thankful for that.