Day One of the Santiago Conference

Monday, January 22, 2018
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Today is the first day of the Latin American ministerial conference here in Santiago.  It is held and the Church hall. 
The church hall is a very nice and functional building.  It is part of a property that includes the church office, beautiful reception area, meeting hall, internal garage for parking and the pastor’s home. It has a wall and gates around it.  On some of the wall there are artistic depictions that to me are drawn Urban Art style.  It is very interesting. 
Graffiti art is ALL OVER the city of Santiago.  The artists have taken over!  I do not find it mean-spirited or vandalism.  It is simply artistic expression.  Walls of buildings become huge canvases.  This type of art was illegal and people were arrested and put into prison for a day or two, but now the police looks the other way. The artists respect one another.  And, there has a kind of “coordinated” way, I believe, where they work in harmony and do not deface each other’s work.  I personally like Urban Art as it is a reflection of the city’s soul, if you will.  
As you drive you also see jugglers and dancers at stop lights and intersections.  They entertain drivers who are stopped and hope for a tip.  People are generous tippers.  Much tipping in the city.  Some really neat jugglers and dancers, too!
We drove up to the church hall….about 35 minutes from the downtown hotel where we are staying.  We were met by Raul Machicao, pastor of LaPaz and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He also travels to the few people in Lima, Peru. We really appreciated getting to know him and talked to him a few times through the day.  He speaks good English and we were able to communicate most of our mutual thoughts. 
He is a civil engineer, architect and consultant. He has worked on the design of big multi-story buildings in LaPaz.  He owns a home which has adequate space for the LaPaz church which is about 25 in number.   He is a faithful and devout man and you could easily see that strength in talking to him.   I have only heard his name, but was so thankful to get to know him. 
In the hall we had the other ministers…. Gabriel Garcia and his wife Andrea from Mexico City.  Jaime Gallardo and Mara, pastor of Santiago, Jaime Diaz from Temuca.  We connected by Webex to Jaime Salek in Colombia, Israel Robledo in Guatemala and Scott Hoefker in the United States.  
Today’s lectures were not only for the ministry but for all who wanted to come and I would say that maybe a third of the congregation came. 
We had four lectures and questions and answers.  I gave the first lecture about the mindset of service.  Then Mario followed with leadership principles from Nehemiah.  In the afternoon I spoke about the importance of BEING a disciple before we can MAKE disciples. Then Mario concluded with leadership principles from Timothy. 
There were good questions about practical Christian challenges about how to know that God has been working events in the life of our life and Church.  How can we know? We had questions about the minister’s wife’s role in counselling.  A good discussion ensued about the Millennial generation taking over the reins of leadership in the Church and I answered that we are to look optimistically to those who are and are maturing.  They bring a special desire to become involved that perhaps other generations did not show as strongly. 
Between AM and PM sessions we had a fabulous lunch prepared by the ladies in the Church.  
After the meetings there was more fellowship. Raul Machicao is most interesting.
Then the Seiglie’s and us went home.  We dropped Caty off at her mother’s so she could spend some time with her. Mario, Bev and I went up to the 23rd floor hospitality room at our hotel for snacks.  We were not that hungry after the nice big lunch we had.  
Great day!
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So good to read and see how the work is doing across the pond.