We have had an awesome start to our project in Santiago. Around 20 people showed up to our information meeting, and everyone who attended signed up and begun reading with us. We also had several readers return who had read with the previous team from North Davis. Each of us has been working with an average of 5-7 readers a day. They are all eager to practice their English, and many are interested in the Gospel message that God is allowing us to share with them. Although many of our readers come from a Catholic background, not very many have actually sat down and read the Bible. It's exciting to think that they're getting to see their faith and the life of Jesus in a new light.
Tomorrow night we are having our first social event, a karaoke party. Scott (one of the missionaries) has assured us that Chileans love karaoke, so we are anticipating a good-sized crowd. Several members of the Provedencia congregation plan to attend as well.
Michel and Juliana, the couple with whom Shevin and I have been staying, continue to bless us with their hospitality. Every evening when we come in, they have a late supper waiting for us, and they are often available to chat. They have made sure that we are comfortable and cared for. I could go on and on about all of the people who have shown us love and friendship (and I may very well do so over the next few weeks). Suffice it to say that the local congregation has gone above and beyond to make us feel welcome and supported in our work. I have been especially impressed with Fernanda, who is super-organized and has helped us schedule additional readers!
I will continue to post here as well as on my Facebook so that as many people as possible can be aware of the work that God is doing in Santiago. In the meantime, I'd like to leave you with a couple of quotes from our readers.
Javier: "I think there are a lot of Samaritans in the world today."
Viviana: "Everyone at this church is always so happy!"
Courtney, thank you for sharing! It is great to hear how so many are hearing the gospel as they practice their English. The karoke sounds like it will be a big hit. The parties are such an important part of LST--we need to practice this more in the states.
Hospitality is a key characteristic of God's people. You are experiencing it there. How hospitable are we?
Love the quotes--and we will look forward to the photos! Thank you for sharing!
I would like to ask everyone to continue to prayer for Claudia's newborn nephew, Lucas Soto. He has necrotizing enterocolitis, a life-threatening condition that can have serious complications. Please pray for the baby, the family, and the doctors and nurses attending to his care.
"Just to clarify, in my previous comment I was not implying that worldly success was of no value. It is very valuable, but while it can show wisdom in particular fields, it is not primary in showing spiritual wisdom and a willingness to love and care…"
"I agree with you that there is a significant lack of qualified/trained elders/leaders. I have found there is a significant lack of those able to discern and lead well within church leadership, and often the theory of Scripture can be left as theory…"
"Leadership is a funny subject. There are many different types and standards of leaders inside and outside the church. Sometimes it is not about who a person is as a leader but what another person as a follower is looking for in and for themselves…"