Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Greg's Dec 2010 Newsletter: La Llama, Vol 4
La Llama (The Flame): December 2010
Merry Late-Christmas & Happy 2011 from Chile!!! I hope you got our Fuego Urbano Christmas Card via email or my blog last week, and that you were able to enjoy the true gift of Jesus with your loved ones this Christmas. So much has happened lately so I’ll do my best to sum it all up for you.
First: We’re still waiting to hear back from the city about using their facilities for our Fuego Urbano meetings. The room and facilities we have asked to use are right in front of the skate-park in Las Compañías, the part of La Serena we’re now focusing on, but it has not been easy to get city approval to begin meeting there. All government workers across Chile went on strike for 3 weeks right when we began the application process, which meant we simply had to wait until the strike ended to process our application. The strike is now over and we’re waiting to hear back from the city about our application, so Please PRAY PRAY PRAY that they would approve us as this would be an ideal situation. We would be able to have our Fuego Urbano meetings right in front of the skatepark in an amazing room that would give us lots of options and opportunities.
Second: We’ve adjusted our summer sports-ministry plans to try to better serve the Municipality & the community of Las Compañías. We’ve been planning on running our own summer-sports ministry all along but have now offered our services to the City Programs instead. The city built the skatepark and the surrounding facilities with the goals of hosting their own summer sports & recreation programs; they are planning on doing something very similar to what we wanted to do, except they are doing it without the spiritual connection we would have included. After discussion and prayer, we’ve decided the best way to bless and serve the Municipality we’re trying to get approval from, as well as the community we’re hoping to reach out to and get to know, is to offer our services free of charge to the Municipality programs. This would avoid any unwanted competition between the programs, and allow us to serve in unity and cooperation with the Municipality and hopefully, open more doors for us there as well. So that is what we have done.
Gabriel with some of the younger kids at the skate-park
They have already planned some programs like soccer, basketball, and drama classes, which we’ve offered to help with at no charge; but there are other activities we could offer for them that they have no way of providing, such as: Swim Lessons (they have a pool and want to have swim lessons but don’t have anyone to teach), English classes/workshops, Portuguese classes/workshops, Guitar, Baseball, American Football (Passing & Flag Football), and even Surfing if we had the necessary equipment. Granted that we’ve offered to do this for FREE, we’re hopeful they’ll want to partner together. Please PRAY they do, as this would be an amazing way for us to reach out to and get to know the whole community. In 3rd world countries where there are more basic needs and fewer resources, it is extremely rare for people to offer something for free, with no strings attached, as we have done for these programs. So please pray God would open their hearts to allow us to serve them and the community in this way, and that they’d see the love and heart of Jesus in us!!!
A night out & messing around with some of the ‘fellas’
Third: Our First Fuego Urbano meeting in Las Compañías will be on Jan 1 in the open air right in front of the skatepark itself, so please pray God would open peoples’ hearts to Him and us. We’ve developed so many great relationships with so many of the young people in the community of Las Compañías around the skatepark, that we’ve decided to not wait any longer for Municipal approval to the facilities we’ve asked for to begin our meetings up there; instead we’re going to begin next Saturday in the open air at the park right in front of the skatepark, and we’ll gather there each Saturday until our approval goes through or we hear something else. Please pray God would open the doors for people to come and stir peoples’ hearts to want to come hear more about Him, and that God would give us opportunities all week to invite people and let them know.
Fourth & Finally: As the end of 2010 approaches I want to thank you all for your love, encouragement, prayers, and support! This story we’re writing together in Chile would be impossible without the key roles each of you have chosen to play, and I want you to know how appreciative and grateful I am for each of you, and how excited I am to see what chapters we write together in 2011!!
Thanks so much and I wish you a very very blessed and joyful 2011,