Sunday, November 28, 2010
Greg's Nov 2010 Newsletter: La Llama, Vol 3
LA LLAMA (The Flame”): November 2010
Happy Thanksgiving from La Serena, Chile, and welcome to the 3rd volume of my monthly newsletter ‘La Llama.’ I hope you have a great Thanksgiving this year with your loved ones, and are able to thank God for His goodness in your life this year. I know it has been difficult year for many, due to so many different things, and yet God is always faithful to see us through if we turn to Him.
Down here I’ve been explaining the Thanksgiving tradition to Pepe & Gislaine and they love the idea. In fact Gislaine wants to have our own Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving too, so we’ll be looking for some turkey to cook too. I also want you to know that I am so thankful to YOU for your love, prayers, encouragement, friendship, and financial support. Without all of you, the ministry of Fuego Urbano simply would not be possible. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
FIRST: Fuego Urbano began a couple Saturdays ago and we are now meeting regularly. We’ve only met twice so far and our group is small but committed and excited, so I would ask that you pray for God to guide us and open doors with the young people here in La Serena. So far we have been talking about the vision for Fuego Urbano so that those who come are clear on what we hope and pray Fuego Urbano will be. Below is a photo from our first meeting:
SECOND: We’ve decided to focus our efforts in La Serena in the area known as ‘La Compañía,’ which is where the skatepark is located and where we have developed lots of great relationships with the local youth. La Compañía is the poorest area of La Serena and has the highest rates of violence, drugs, crime, and gang activity in the whole area. In fact the reason the city built the skatepark and the sports facilities next to it (see photo below) was to try and get the youth out of the destructive cycles of violence, drugs, and crime, and into some more healthy and productive activities.
On top of that there simply no evangelical churches in this area; because of these realities, along with the incredible relationships we have been able to develop with so many of the youth in the area, we have talked and prayed and feel like we simply MUST focus on that area of La Serena, even though it’s further away from our house. So that is what we are now doing.
I’d like to share with you about the whole skatepark experience for us in La Compañía so you know that it’s like. We only started going there 2 weeks ago but already when we show up now it’s like walking into a house full of people who are so glad to see us and greet us as we walk in. It’s hard to put into words but God has really been at work opening the kids’ hearts and minds to both us, and to the hope in Jesus that we share with them. We’ve shared with them about Fuego Urbano and how we’re trying to set up meetings in their neighborhood and almost all of them want to come. Once, as I was sharing our vision with a bunch of the kids, a young skater of 10 years old raised his hand as if he were in class and asked: ‘ Y puedo venir?’…meaning: ‘And can I come?’ Another BMX’er who I’ve gotten to know well offered his own house so we could meet there. So you see the kind of responses we’re getting from these young people who are so spiritually hungry. And another young skater, Henry, who is about 16 has taken me under his wing to teach me all about skating the bowls. This has been a huge blessing because Henry is the best bowl-skater there and I’ve been able to develop my deepest bond with him; and as the best bowl-skater, he holds lots of influence with the others.
So Please Please Please pray for us because the city built the skatepark, and as part of the general facilities they also built a large multi-purpose room with 2 basketball/soccer courts, 2 ping-pong tables, and a pool, right across the street from the skatepark (See picture below). We are currently talking with the administration about allowing us to have our Fuego Urbano meetings right there, which seems too good to be true, but they have already offered to some degree. So please pray God would open the hearts and minds of the administration to let us use these facilities for Fuego Urbano. And if they do, we would also move our upcoming summer ministry programs to this same neighborhood and to these same facilities, which would be an unbelievable blessing and opportunity! So please pray!!!
THIRD: Online payments on my blog were gone but are now available once again. However, we still cannot do automatic payments so I’ll have to ask you who prefer to give online to do your best to remember; you might want to let my monthly letters/emails be your monthly reminders? Just click this link https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_sxclick&hosted_button_id=VCHCHFWQNYLPN or go to the 'Donate' button here on my blog. And as usual, checks may be made out & mailed to ‘Fishers of Men Fellowship’, PO Box 9284, Newport Beach, CA, 92658.
FOURTH: The House is coming along but is still only partially furnished, though we have the basics covered. Thanks so much for those who gave more so we could get settled! We still only have plastic patio chairs and a matching plastic table, but things are coming along and we appreciate your continued support for all these things!
Thanks so much for all you love and support; we all wish you the best this Thanksgiving,