Friday, June 18, 2010

Chi-chi-chi....le-le-le...VIVA CHILE!

Hola, from Chile! We apologize for our delayed post, but will strive to be more informative from this point on.

We arrived in Concepcion all together, and with no problems. We were WARMLY greeted with hugs and kisses by not only the corps officers, but also staff from DHQ. We were given a slight rest before being taken to a welcome dinner, were quickly exposed to the language barrier we would be crossing. The corps officer of the Cuerpo Hualpencillo (pronounced “Wal-pan-seeyo”) would not allow us to speak English. “No, no ingles!” he would continuously say. Even still, the fellowship was great and we felt more than welcome.

Our second day was spent partly in sleep, but we awoke to find a warm lunch of soup, bread, chicken, and noodles. We must say though, there will be no way we come home smaller than we arrived. The food here is very good and is given in large portions.

After this we were taken on a tour of Concepcion. We could never begin to describe the differences we have seen in Chile from our country. As we drove through the streets, Major Marin pointed out buildings that had been destroyed from the earthquake and were still not restored. The people, though, seemed to be returning to their lives. As we walked through the streets there were vendors selling everything from fruit to Chilean flags (all in preparation for the World Cup game against Spain), and even saw a clown entertaining a crowd of at least 150 people-but the silliness would soon die down.

In the four days since our arrival, we have spent our mornings in Santa Clara. This is a small community outside of Concepcion. Here, there once stood a fish factory as well as a port. Senora Claudia took us on a tour of the depressed area. Places where there could have once been a house are now only piles of mud. We were told that in that area the most destructive thing was not the earthquake but the three tsunami’s that followed. Our work there has consisted mostly of encouragement. The people there are still very much entranced by the loss of their community and lives, houses are still being rebuilt and lives restored.

We have been working within an outpost of The Salvation Army in the community, where workers and citizens alike gather for lunch. Our Spanish has grown in leaps and bounds through our work there. Our first day on the job, many doubted our ability to witness, but the Lord is providing the Holy Spirit for assistance.

We are currently planning for our first “hora de goza” or hour of joy. This will consist of songs, games, a bible lesson, and warm milk- all for the children of Santa Clara. Please pray for the success of this program. This could be a very good start for the Salvation Army in this community.

Other minor details/events to share include our first experience of an earthquake after shock. Now, please calm yourselves-these are completely normal, and even necessary. If the earth does not release its energy it will only be stronger when it finally does. The tremor occurred at about four in the morning on Thursday. Some of us were a little more worried than others (Gabrielle and Melanie), while others of us quickly returned back to sleep (Fabienne, Morgan, and Beracah).

Other things include the witnessing of the victory over Spain in the World Cup in South Africa.

We have also rearranged our furniture to create our common area around the wood stove we have in our living room. They supplied a television, but the fire is our priority. Honestly, it has brought us closer as a team, and can be granted credit for many good times thus far, including devotions, planning, and simply hanging out.

Continue to pray for us, for our work is just “heating” up! We love you all and miss you!

Dios vendiga y VIVA CHILE!! (God bless and long live Chile)

El Equipo de Chile

(written by Morgan Irish - team journalist)


MotheringBoys said...

Praying for you all and knowing your lives will never be the same after this experience. Hugs to all, Kathy Asbery

Lynn said...

None of you will leave Chile the same and neither will those that you minister. TAke care of yourselves. We love Ya and miss you. Morgan's mom

Alethea said...

Morgan, I am so proud of you and know that you will do great things in Chile. I will expect to speak to you in Spanish upon your return. God bless you and your team! Sra. Griner (Morgan's Spanish teacher)

Richard said...

Big smile, very proud. ~RD

Major Art Penhale said...

Hey Guys-
Major Penhale here. I'm reading your post and want you to know that I am praying for you in these days. I only wish I could come for a visit but that is not likely this summer... Keep this verse in mind from King David, My times are in your hands.." As for Man, his days are like grass...but from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's loveiswith those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children. Ann and I are very proud of the work you are doing in Jesus name and can't wait to hear the stories when you get back to the USA.

Major Art Penhale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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