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Chasing the Wind A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu

Chile Day 3 - Las Tias

CHILE | Thursday, 8 May 2014 | Views [490] | Comments [1]

Today we finished the flower bed.  It was wonderful to know we were making this once broken-down place into a beautiful site where a community can come together and fellowship.  At home, we take for granted how safe and relatively clean our neighborhoods are (mostly).  Super cool to see the flower bed being finished from the beginning (really a pile of dirt, rock, and garbage), to the hand-mixed cement, to building up the brick-wall borders, to more dirt being moved and shoveled and moved back, to finally adding the final touches of planting the flowers.  Oh, and in my enthusiasm to dig, I pick-axed through a pipe.  Which I then learned how to re-pipe.  (Super happy it was the kitchen pipe, and not the bathroom).  We were told El Faro is located in a zone of very furtile land, so anything we plant (lucky for them as I'm involved in this) will thrive.  The dirt however was full of all these rocks.  But as we planted, it was a cool metaphor I think for ministry in general - we dig and sweat to get through the good soil, and find rocks along the way, but the flowers we plant still grow and create beauty for us!  The tias are a great example of this!

Tia Mirella and Tia Teresa are the women who work at El Faro. They are there before any of us, and do not even eat their dinner (an early once) until after leave after we have ours.  I keep speaking about the people at El Faro as having so much joy, and it is so evident in these two women.  They really take care of us, and they truly love the children here.  Tia Mirella came here about 12-13 years ago, having been invited to a Mother's Day service (El Faro functions as a church as well).  Though not being a Christian prior, she says after that, she just never left.  And Tia Teresa also was not a Christian, but she worked next to El Faro.  She kept hearing the services happening at El Faro, and one day decided to check it out--also about 12-13 years ago.  She kept coming back, and eventually started working at El Faro.  Today, they showed us all the hand-knitted scarves and hats they have been making to sell.  They are raising funds for their own mission trip to Ecuador, where they hope to teach the women there how to knit and sow and do the same to create a sustainable living.

The back-story for El Faro is that it was founded around the same time the tias came to be there.  They have seen several changes of leadership in that place.  The first was due to the pastor opening the doors and giving and giving and giving to the community.  But eventually, when that pastor left, even with new leadship in place, the people had come to expect to keep getting what the former pastor gave (mostly meals).  The problem with that was not encouraging the people who came to sustain themselves.  El Faro shut down for a while after that.  With David, he is very intentional in teaching people to work for things, to understand consequence, and to be there for people to help them through things, and not just give handouts.  

The tias, and David, are some of the hardest working people I know.  They do it completely out of the love for Christ, and for the community they are serving in that place.  Their trip to Ecuador will cost 4 months of the tias' salary, but they are so creative.  They make these scarves and hats (a good portion of which my group bought, and have orders in progress to be finished before we leave!), and sell empanadas in la feria.

La feria is the farmer's marrket that takes place every Thursday and Sunday right on the street in front of El Faro.  We took a stroll right before lunch through la feria and it was such an amazing sight to see all the organic produce, all those colors, and every single vendor smile and say hello to you.  Chile is not exactly third world, but nor is it first world.  The streets around El Faro are not very clean, and there is graffiti everywhere.  The transformation happening at El Faro has the community curious, and they ask about what goes on there, and El Faro is becoming exactly that - the lighthouse.  Today's note was from Sean, another community group friend, and his prayer for me was to learn more about God this week, to grow closer to Him.  And I am!  I see Him in how faithful the people are, day in and day out, first in, first out, to serve others.  How am I doing this in LA?  

Tags: chile



Sitting at Republic of Pie waiting for Melody to go on stage... fired up my laptop and just started reading. :) I've enjoyed all your updates and add me as one more friend who's now praying for you, the team, and the people of El Faro. So encouraged by your reports of what the Lord is doing in that hemisphere.

  Benjamin Friday May 10, 2014 12:41 PM

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