Evangelism Team: The “evangelism team” has been meeting over the past few months, exploring the qualities of being a Christian leader, requirements of salvation, the origins and doctrine that make up other major world religions, and the ideas and doctrine behind the Restoration Movement. Last weekend we spent time at Luis Vejar’s (local pastor and producer of the evangelism outreach) house on the coast where we participated in classes taught by Luis and Mike Boyce and worked on building our relationships together. Following are some is a picture of the group and of Luis and I.
We may have been at the beach, but let me tell you… It was freezing! 🙂 Anyhow, things are moving along, but we still have some work to do for defining our mission, vision, and creating a practical plan for achieving our goals. I do appreciate the passion this group has for helping churches evangelize. Even yesterday the need for this project was communicated to me in a deeper way that I had not understood before. What’s cool is this is a Chilean vision for a Chilean project to meet Chilean needs that only Chilean people would understand, AND MY FRIENDS STILL TRUST ME TO HELP WITH IT EVEN THOUGH I’M A FOREIGNER.
One-on-One Ministry: I’ve been meeting with a friend for over a year, teaching English. We talk about God sometimes, but I’m going to see if he is interested in reading The Gospel of Luke together. He belongs to the Jehovah’s Witness faith, and although they have their own version of The Bible that is permitted for them to use, I’m hoping that we can read Luke together, he with his translation, and me with mine, and practice English in that way, and also grow in our faith together.
Fernandez Family: Unfortunately when visiting with the Fernandez family I typically hurt my back stretching Juans arms or moving him… and unfortunately he seems to often get himself in situations that he can’t get out of on his own, which in turn requires my help, because I won’t opt to leave him where he lay. Thankfully, last week I was able to coordinate a visit with the Fernandez’s while Ross and Raquel (from the ministry sight of the Swanson’s) were visiting, which allowed me to help with other things around the house as Ross is more able to take care of Juan at the moment. I’m hoping to be able to visit with Ross, Raquel, and the Fernandez family again tomorrow, but only if Ross will be there to take physical care of Juan while I help with other things.
Johnson University: This has been a great semester learning about different biblical analyses (or criticisms) as a stepping stone for developing my own exegetical method. The knowledge gained this semester has me reading The Bible differently now and asking questions about the text that I had not in the past. It’s very exciting! Because I fell behind in the course work earlier in the semester, I opted to take an “emergency grade” which means that I’ll have until the US Spring to complete the work for this semester. I am not planning on taking anymore classes until I get caught back up. Which probably means enrolling for more classes next US Fall.
Capitán Thompson Youth: Two siblings attend regularly now and one other semi-regularly. Trust continues to build and Daniela and I are excited that they are showing more interest in participating, even if the change isn’t drastic. They’re bringing their digital Bibles to the meetings and participating in the readings as well. We are going through The Gospel of Luke and every week seems to get a little better. We’re also beginning to work with a newly formed church in the neighboring community of La Cisterna, called El Bosque, within Santiago. This church has two or three younger youth that may want to participate. Were hoping to all have dinner together next week to get to know each other more. Below is a shot of my fiancé’s amazing ping-pong skills while playing with the youth at Capitán Thompson.
I still attend the Thursday prayer meetings at Capitán Thompson and the Sunday night services, primarily to communicate our desire to work with the pastor in community and not to just use their church facilities to minister the gospel.
Visiting Chile’s Dixi Land: Osorno is a region in the South of Chile that I have not known yet. A significant percentage of the Iglesias de Cristo of Chile are located in this city and its neighboring towns. It is important for me to visit there to understand the Iglesias de Cristo better as a whole in its Chilean context. I plan on spending a few days there in April to get to know the churches and their needs better. It may be wise to swing by San Carlos on the way to promote an idea for a website and directory that would help unite the Iglesias de Cristo on a national level and help to promote sound doctrine within the Restoration Movement here in Chile. This idea of organizing a website and a national directory may have to wait until a more opportune time depending on how other ministries are developing.
This update is entitled “Evaluation” because everything must be re-evaluated from time to time to make sure that time is spent most wisely. Please be praying for the above ministries and that God would help Daniela and I see clearly to follow the direction He has for the future.