This past weekend I went up to Los Andes on Saturday morning and stayed till late Sunday afternoon to work at the Baptist church in town.
This small stove is the only form of heat for the sanctuary… It gets COLD in there at night!
On Saturday I helped Juan (the pastor) and Elvira (his wife) set up and get ready for the girls who come every Saturday afternoon for about three hours. These girls live in one of three girl’s homes in Los Andes, and Elvira and Juan have been working so hard to love on them, show them the grace of God and offer them a place to come laugh, rest and enjoy themselves for the past few months.
The time the girls spend at the church is divided into three activities: English lessons, a short Bible study and reflection, and craft time. The goal of them coming to church is not only to teach them about God, but to also help them develop skills they can use in the future, like making cushions and selling them, learning how to make paper beads to then make jewelry and so on. These girls come from broken homes, have been taken away from their families due to abuse, neglect or other things, and many blame God for what’s happened to them. Thanks to the love and patience of Elvira and Juan and God’s mercy, they have started opening up more during the reflection time, begun listening during the Bible study and have been given the opportunity to make something of themselves. I know God will and is working mighty things in this small, humble church in Los Andes!
Sunday consisted of the church service and then a delicious lunch! Elvira’s aunt and uncle came to visit them and we all enjoyed the yummy asado (we had smoked pork) they prepared. They cooked the meat in this oven made of mud, something that is very common in Chile. It gave the meat a delicious flavor!
They also baked some bread in there too!
I took the bus (a Chilean equivalent to a Greyhound) back to Santiago and got to sit on the front row! I enjoyed watching the scenery pass by.
I’m going back up to Los Andes on Wednesday and will be staying there till next Sunday. I will be working with the women’s ministry there, teaching a painting class and Bible study, and with the girls as well! Please keep me, Elvira, Juan and the church in your prayers this week.