April 2013 Update
Pedro & Stephanie Garcia (2002)
Dear Praying Friends,
Last weekend was an extremely busy, but fulfilling time of ministry with our church. On Saturday morning, the men met for their first breakfast of the year and one of our deacons did an excellent job sharing God's Word. On Saturday evening, the ladies met for their first "once" (teatime) of the year and enjoyed games, fun and fellowship around God's Word. Stephanie had the privilege of teaching. Sunday morning, we finally were able to begin our "Bible Hour" before the service (thanks to water service - PTL!) A good group gathered for the series on Biblical parenting, and in our worship service we had close to 100 in attendance. That evening, our college and career group met again and it was exciting to have visitors - Mitchel, a college classmate of one of our young men, and Alan, a neighbor of one of our families. Alan came to Christ in jail and in seeking to rebuild his life on solid ground.
This weeks holds many more opportunities for ministry. Please pray for our current individual discipleships: Stephanie with Pamela on Mondays and Jocelyn on Fridays; Pedro with several of our college-aged young men (Sebastian, Jaime and Christopher) according to their schedules each week; and together as we meet with Abram and Pamela, a newlywed couple on Wednesdays for marriage counseling. This Sunday evening we will have our first members' meeting of the year and are excited to add a number of new members who have recently completed baptism and membership classes.
Recently we had the opportunity to do a little "dreaming" on the pregnancy center front as we took time to venture downtown and look at the exterior of several properties for sale. We followed up on one by visiting it with the realtor on Tuesday. It was in an excellent location, easily accessible and between two streets which have recently undergone urban development. In the immediate neighborhood we saw at least two or three high schools, with half a dozen more in a slightly larger radius. While we cannot say with certainty what our timeframe is for the pregnancy care outreach due to recent changes on our ministry team, we do want to be prepared when that time comes.
As we are researching, we want to share this information with you so that you can pray and "dream" along with us. To explain the nature of downtown Iquique a little more, most buildings are still historic two-story wooden frames. Many times banks will not extend credit for their purchase because of the fire threat. To give you an idea of cost, on the same street one of these old wooden home was for sale for 126 million pesos (about $265,000.) The house we visited had been rebuilt at one time and is now a one-story duplex made of concrete, costing 95 million pesos (about $200,000) for one half of the duplex. The buildings we looked at on the outside were much larger, as we consider also the possibility of a church or a church/pregnancy care combination. Their initial costs ran from $345,000 to $600,000 USD and would require major renovation.
Needless to say, this is a big "dream" and one that only God can bring to fruition in His time! In the meantime, we do ask for your prayers for our first pro-life conference to be held at the end of June. Our goal is share what God teaches about the sanctity of human life, and to share with our own church and sister churches the vision of establishing this type of ministry in Iquique. Pray that God will call some to partner in this ministry, both from our churches in Iquique and even new ministry teammates from the United States. He is able!
With faith in Christ,
Pedro & Stephanie
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