This post makes me sad. :( We have two more days of on-campus ministry left, and only twelve days left in country. :( We fly back to the States on the night of July 2, arriving in Dallas the morning of July 3. I get back to Phoenix about noon if everything goes according to schedule. And this post, for the record, is a little more introspective than previous posts. But please, bear with me. :)
This is tough for me. I miss my family and friends and want to see them again, but I LOVE Chile and don't want to leave. The people here are absolutely amazing, and I love the culture and the lifestyle. It's weird because I normally hate big cities, but I love Santiago. Before you think I'm still in the midst of the honeymoon phase, let me assure you that I am not. For the first two weeks, I will freely admit that I was in the honeymoon phase and that I thought everything was wonderful and coming up roses. But after adjusting to the lifestyle here and getting over culture shock, I can honestly say that I love this city. I feel at home here and surprisingly, I haven't missed the United States that much. And I'm a homebody. So that means something. (and for the record, I am coming back here someday. most definitely. hopefully soon.)
ANYWAYS, away from my nearly melodramatic introspection. ;) Those feelings are better left for another blog after I get back to Arizona. Through three weeks of on-campus evangelism, we have seen 20 people either come to know Christ or rededicate their lives to him! We're trying to follow up and transfer them to local staff so they can continue to grow and learn more about their new faith, but we are still doing some evangelism.
The strike mentioned in my last post is still going. In fact, of the three unis my team (or what we've dubbed a groupito) works on, two are not only en paro (on strike) but also on toma (which literally means "to take", but in this case means that the students have basically taken over the school). By the way, I have no idea if I used that phrase correctly. My Spanish still needs work. haha. Because of the toma, we can't really go to those unis. As for our third uni (USACH), it is probably the most volatile uni in the city. If a protest breaks out, it'll likely be at USACH. Ergo, we have trouble getting to our universities in the midst of this mess that is the protest/strike. Speaking of protests/strikes, there is supposed to be a nationwide strike/march tomorrow, which could make things very... interesting for us tomorrow. Please be praying!
Speaking of prayer requests, please be praying for Accion Urbana, which is a collection of service projects we're doing this weekend. We will be helping out a special needs school, homeless people, and working in an orphanage. It will be an amazing way to show God's love not only to the people we will be helping, but also to non-Christian students who decide to come! Please be praying that God uses it to bring people to Him and that we can be examples of His love for the world.
I think that's all I wanted to update you on. Please continue to pray for our team and that we can finish out our time here strongly and that we don't get burned out. Please also be praying for the local staff and the new believers and that God would continue to work through Vida Estudiantil in Santiago, Chile!