This past Sunday, we attended an ABWE church in San Joaquin with missionary co-workers Scott & Nikki Russell. We were welcomed very warmly by the people there, and we were especially encouraged to meet some couples with a special interest in the work in Northern Chile!
One couple had recently returned from visiting the northern city of Iquique, where we will eventually be working alongside brothers Hugo and Alejandro Armijo and their families for a time. The wife shared with me that after observing the work there, they had been burdened to pray for others to join in the ministry efforts and were so excited that we would be a part of God’s answer to that prayer! They, too, have a desire to move north and be a part of the ministry if God should open the door for them.
The second couple was Hugo and Alejandro’s brother and his wife. They are also praying for God’s direction about the possibility of moving to Iquique and joining the church-planting effort there. It was exciting to talk with them and to think that perhaps one day we might be working alongside one another!
Changing the subject a bit, this is for those who enjoy reading about the differences between Chile and the States. One major difference about church this past Sunday was that Sunday school did not start until 10:30 am. Also, the service didn’t begin until 11:45 am and lasted until almost 2:15 pm! (That was in part due to the special communion service after the message.) At one point during the service, a vendor passed by calling out his wares or services over a loudspeaker, and a deacon hurriedly rushed out to ask him to be quiet … I thought that might be another funny difference to mention! (:
Our girls did really well, going to their class and playing with the children at church. Owen, on the other hand, was a handful and spent most of the service wailing for daddy out on the church patio (I didn’t want to keep him in the nursery where he could be heard loud and clear into the sanctuary!) He didn’t calm down until one of the ladies from church offered him a package of cookies to soothe the wild beast … (: Afterwards, we enjoyed a meal at Ruby Tuesday’s with the Russells. That, of course, is NOT a difference between Chile and the US, but it is a major change from when I last lived here!