A commenter recently asked how the name "Iquique" is pronounced. That question was not an uncommon one during our recent year in the States, so I thought I would devote a brief blog post to the topic.
Iquique is simply pronounced, EE-KEE-KAY. The name is apparently of Aymara origin and means "place of rest." For many Chileans who choose to visit the city on vacation, I suppose it is appropriate nomenclature. Certainly the beautiful beaches lend an air of tranquility to the desert scenery, but in truth the city of today is anything but restful!
Iquique is bustling with the endless building of high-rises and bursting with buses full of foreigners arriving daily to find work. It is dancing in excess and drowning in debt. Drugs are often smoked openly and unashamedly, and discotheques overflow into the early hours of morning. The cost of living is high, and the cost of the mining industry's schedule and demands to the well-being of families is often higher.
Yet even amidst these struggles there is a solidarity in the city as people live, work, study, celebrate, and seek a brighter tomorrow together. There are frustrations, but there are also hopes and expectations. There are problems, but there is much potential. Potential, however, which we know can ultimately only be realized in and through Jesus Christ.
We are excited to be here (in EE-KEE-KAY.) We can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the needs and responsibilities before us, but we can't imagine being anywhere else. We believe GOD is going to do great things in our midst. We are feeble, but He is strong!
I love that Iquique has its very own hymn. How many cities do you know that can say that? In one of our supporting churches, we played the video below (that we found on Yo*tube.) It is fitting to share it in this post as well, because in that particular church there was one wonderful gentleman who especially struggled with how to pronounce our city's name. If nothing else, the chorus on this anthem should help clear that up! :)
Enjoy ... and remember to pray for "Iquique, Iquique, Iquique!"