Friday, June 8, 2012

Chile to Argentina Part I: The Lord always knows where we're going even if we don't

Our gorgeous 42 hour ferry ride 

Chile was full of amazing adventure and provision, we always had what we needed when it was time.  Almost as soon as we entered Chile I was sent ahead of the team to meet my good friend and new family member, Amanda, who was flying into Santiago.  David and I took a bus from Iquique to Santiago that took 36 hours and once we got there we didn’t know where we would stay that night.  But we followed through with the plan and picked Amanda up at the airport then waited to see what the Lord was going to do and where we were going to stay until the rest of our slow-moving caravan could catch up.  We called a friend of a friend but there was no answer, but we knew that the Lord would provide.  A few minutes later we called again and not only did they want us to stay with them but they came to pick us up at the airport.  It was a huge blessing, we were all sleep deprived from the various forms of travel and David and I had just ran out of money, spending the last of what we had getting a taxi to the airport.

Our days spent there were quiet and relaxing, in the afternoons and evenings we would sit and talk with Valeska, the lady of the house, for hours.  Valeska would be home most of the day by herself but she was so glad to have us there, as her husband and son were not believers and she was very lonely.  So each day we would encourage her and we prayed with her before we had to leave and each one of us was blessed to have the time that we did.  We came across many individuals and families that were more than willing to help us while we bless their country and spread news of how good the Lord is and we are so grateful for all those that blessed us.
One of many bus stations, our stuff and Zoey
            Once our team was all together again we began making preparations to head south, packing what we could in our backpacks leaving our vehicles behind to travel by bus and boat, as it would be more cost effective and faster to travel without them this time.  The goal was to reach Ushuaia, Argentina ministering to anyone and everyone along the way and relying on the Lord to show us how to do it. 

            After days of travel, while stopped at a random bus station in Argentina, we were forced with two choices.  We could spend the night in this town and bus directly to Ushuaia in the morning. Or, we could board another bus within the hour and take a less direct route to Ushuaia, stopping in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas along the way.

Team meeting in Punta Arenas

After praying we felt like we should take the route to Punta Arenas, not really knowing what the Lord had in mind.  Upon arrival to Punta Arenas, a few of my teammates went to find a hostel for our group, and we ended up across the street from a small church.  I hadn’t even noticed it when we arrived, but the following morning, worship music flooded the air.  Taylor noticed some familiar songs and was overcome with a desire to worship.  He walked over to the church, hoping to sneak in for a few moments, worship and then head back to the hostel.

            However, his plan to remain under the radar was quickly interrupted as he was approached by several people from the church who wanted to know more about him.  A teenager who spoke English asked Taylor some questions and relayed to the pastor that Taylor was a missionary passing through.  The church had a desire to send out missionaries and asked Taylor if they could pray for him, excited to be receiving a missionary in their church.  Taylor went up to the front to receive prayer; and afterwards, he spoke a few prophetic words over the church.  As he spoke, several people began to weep, amazed that this young guy from the states was speaking the very words on their hearts.  It was clear that the Lord was moving.

When the pastor found out there were twenty more of us across the street, he was very excited.  He invited us all to worship at the church later that evening.  We were greeted by several youths who warmly hugged and kissed us, as well as offered us warm drinks and sweet cakes.  I liked this place already.  As we spoke to the youth, we realized that we had the same heartbeat for ministry.  The parallels between our vision and theirs were so strong that I was overwhelmed by God’s divine hand in this connection.  Turns out, the church began to receive prophetic words in 2010 about lighting revival fire, starting at their church, and blazing throughout the rest of the continent.  Jesse and Tanya had birthed almost an identical vision in 2010 while living on the other side of the world in Mozambique, Africa.  As we compared timing and vision, we realized it was no accident we’d been re-routed to Punta Arenas.

Caitlin and our Chilean sisters
Though we´d planned to just pass through and quickly find a bus to Ushuaia, the church asked us to stay for a week, offering to host us in family homes.  We gladly accepted, and my friend Caitlin and I were put in a house with three little girls.  The girls were extremely excited to have two new roommates, playmates, entertainers, and live-in jungle gyms.

Throughout the week, we partnered in ministry with the church in various ways.  One afternoon, our team gathered with the youth to worship and pray together.  Afterwards, we broke up into small groups to minister in the streets, praying before and asking the Lord for direction.  When I prayed one of the pictures the Lord showed me was someone with a bruise on their face and someone else saw a red jacket. 

While praying for a woman who the Lord also pointed out, a man with a red jacket and a bruise on his face walked by with his family and entered the restaurant that we were standing in front of.  I looked at my group in shock and excitement, once we finished praying with the woman a few of us entered the restaurant and began to explain what we were doing and letting him know that the Lord had him on His mind.  He and his family were so blessed and each of them received Jesus and their countenance had changed.  Also, the youth that we were ministering with had never done anything like this and were timid at first when going up to people but by the end of the night all the youth were talking to people, encouraging and praying with them!  It was a great night and there were many other groups that also had amazing testimonies that came about by just asking the Lord.

The rest of our time with our families and the church was so encouraging and such a blessing to each of us.  And through this church we had a contact to a church and YWAM in Ushuaia which we met up with, the Lord always knows where we’re going even if we don’t. 

To Be Continued... 
Our team at the end of the world