A key aspect of this trip for us was to connect with the people in Chile. Not all of the people, of course. But we wanted to experience, in some measure, the flavor of the people and possibly be used by God to bless others in our path. God gave us the taste of the sweet and the bitter. We were able to be a blessing as well as to be very greatly blessed by those we met on the way.
OK, they weren't from Chile but Joey and Jamie served us a wonderful anniversary dinner in their home before driving us to the airport as we began our journey. Jamie made us feel very special, and it warmed my heart to see Joey helping with the dishes (he only cooks cold cereal and ice cream). They wouldn't let us lift a finger.
Through stateside contacts, we met up with Omar and Susana (along with translator Evie). Omar pastors a small Reformed Baptist church in Santiago, a city of 6 million. We were limited by the language barrier but blessed by our common love for Christ.
Patricia gave us a tour of one of the two children's homes we visited. The love that she (and Daniel in the other home) have for children is evident. We were inspired to consider ways to imitate some of their methods with needy children in the US.
Jorge was the name I associated with Chile. Keith spoke of him frequently as a business associate and we spent time with him and his family. They did not treat us as if we were business, they treated us as friends. Coyi cooked and served the most amazing meal I've ever eaten. It was a "lunch" that took two and half hours to eat. We did not just eat, we talked and savored the company as much as the food. You can see three glasses of fresh juice (grape, peach, and raspberry) at my place, made from the fruits that they grow. Keith is sitting here with Jorge's son Rodrigo and his girlfriend Paulina.
Here is Keith with Jorge and Coyi. They were so good to us while we were in Chile that it is doubtful we could ever pay them back for all of their kindnesses. One of our bitter moments in Chile was an orchestrated mugging that only lasted about thirty seconds but left us without Keith's wallet and with a heightened sense of fear and suspicion. Jorge was ready to drive several hours to get us, but Keith convinced him that we were fine (and we were). He did however, see to it that we got cash and took care of all of our needs with our non-English speaking hotel staff.
This is probably one of our worst pictures, but I couldn't resist using it. It is obvious that neither Coyi nor I are expecting the picture to be taken, but neither are the llamas! This picture also shows just how tall I was compared to the Chileans. We were stared at everywhere we went.
A man gathering bait for fishing while his son sorted them into little "sand ponds" he had made.
This may be Rex, a college student on exchange from North Carolina for a semester. He walks seven miles one way to spend his free time surfing the waves at Renaca.
Andres and his wife, Fabiola, had been praying specifically that God would send them help and support for the small work that is trying to get started in Vina del Mar. We were praying specifically that God would show us how we could be used in some way to minister to the lives of those whose paths we crossed. God brought us together for twelve hours last Sunday. It seemed to be a direct answer to our prayers and we are excited to see where God will lead us in this relationship.