This past Sunday we had a busy Lord´s Day. We started off by worshiping at the main church, Pueblo de Dios. Right from the start, we felt the presence of God as we started the service with prayer and then entered into an intense time of praise. There is something about the Latino praise and worship that always speaks to my heart.
This was a special Sunday, not only because it was the first Sunday of the new year but because they were planning on taking three specific offering – yes, I will repeat it again – three offerings! I think this is something that we can always learn from other churches. I am constantly amazed at the generosity and the sacrifical giving of God´s people; especially from people who might not have a lot of material wealth but they definitely have a lot of spiritual wealth.
To see the joy in the hearts of people as they gave their offerings, as well as to see their passion for God´s presence, it really humbled me. There is definitely a difference; and I am praying that God will put that same joy and passion in all the HMCC churches, as we seek the Lord together.
After the Sunday Celebration, the team went to their specific host families for lunch. Josiah and I went back to our host family for a Chilean barbeque. At this barbeque, I had the privilege of meeting a pastor who did a lot of ministry in southern Chile. It was great hearing some of the stories of God´s power and testimonies of God´s work in the region.
Then in the evening we ended up going to another Sunday Celebration. This church was planted about 5 months ago by our host church, Pueblo de Dios in another part of Santiago. This is a significance church plant because they are in an area where there is a lot of crime and drug abuse. During the service, we heard testimonies from people who recently came to know Christ and it was an incredible reminder about the life-transforming power of the Gospel.
In our last several days in Chile, we ministered in two orphanages on Monday and Tuesday. One of the orphanages was an all-boys orphanage. It was very sobering to hear that the boys who were in this orphanage were sexual abused and had parents who were in jail. This explained why so many of these boys were struggling with various issues. You just couldn´t help but cry out for them and praying that they would come to know the love of Jesus Christ.
We closed out our time with the Chilean host families and the whole team by blessing them with a great dinner at a favorite restaurant. It was a powerful time of sharing how we were blessed by their love and their generosity. Who would have thought that poeple from two different cultures can love one another in such an awesome way? It was definitely a testimony of God´s love. It was a great night of food, fun and fellowship. What more could we have asked for? God is truly good!
Worshiping with the members of Pueblo de Dios
I had the privilege of preaching God’s Word on Pueblo de Dios’ 1st Sunday of 2011
The team blessed the church with a musical presentation
Pastor Pete preached at another site in a different part of Santiago
Chileans definitely know how to do the BBQs – it was awesome!
This was our awesome chef. He was definitely passionate about BBQs
We gave gifts to the kids of one of the orphanage outreach
Josiah using his soccer skills to minister to some of the kids
Another outreach at a different orphanage – it was an all-boys orphanage
We blessed all our host families with a great Chilean meal