It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning in Santiago. Folks are back out to three different work sites today. La Colonia. Painting Downtown. And Campamento David (which I will tell you about today; be sure to read that part!). The weather has been great. It has rained some in the afternoon most days but nothing that has hindered any work. It’s just gotten us a little wet running from our rooms to the dining hall. We did experience a unique occurrence of nature yesterday…2 really small earthquake tremors. So small that I didn’t even feel either one. I’ve been assured by several folks it’s nothing to worry about, though we had a brief earthquake preparedness chat with the students last night just in case. Small tremors along the way decrease the likelihood of a big earthquake coming one day so it’s actually a good thing for the area.
We have had remarkably few injuries and illnesses this year. Praise God! No one has missed a day of work. Bethany was sick for a day but is better now. Josh, Christian, and Sarah Haverly all hurt some part of their foot (though none actually occurred working at the work sites). Sarah may need an x-ray today but her foot is better today than yesterday. Please pray for all of them to be totally healed and for no injuries and illnesses. Pray for stamina and focus on the work sites; now is when the students start getting physically and mentally drained. Pray also for Greg & Georgia Love who left today an hour ago travel back to the US; they have a commitment in DC.
There are a few people who I really want to thank who have played a significant role in this trip. Wayne, of course. John Carmichael, our travel agent. You can imagine the details he’s dealt with getting 90 folks to and from another country. David & Susie Glanville who own the Posada in Santiago. They and their staff are so good to us. Amelia Dansby is usually here with us on the trip but is 7 months pregnant and couldn’t make it this year. She helped in many planning aspects of the trip. And Pam Barnum, our student administrator at Christ Chapel, who keeps track of paperwork, money, etc. for all 90 folks. Finally I want to thank all the leaders who are here on the trip. They are some of the most tremendous believers and friends I’ve ever met. You’ve already gotten to see multiple pictures of Wayne. But I did include pics of the rest of them:
Our high school volunteers: Anne Monaghan, Jared Kesler, George Montague, & Greg Love.
Our high school staff: Jon Dansby, Kara Burr, Sunni Sonnenburg, Andrew Haverly, Brandon Stewart, & me
Our Life Stage 1 Student Pastor: Joey Turner
Our doctor and nurse: Joe & Molly Burkett
CrossPoint Youth Minister: Dixon Jowers
Christ Chapel Missions Administrator: Sarah Haverly
About Campamento David
Finally, I’d like to tell you about the only work site I have yet to tell you about: Campamento David. The story and work at Camp David is (for me) the most meaningful. In March 2005, David Phillips (our late Life Stage 1 Student Pastor who was killed in a car wreck in February 2006), Amelia Dansby, & Jon Dansby went with Wayne Huff to visit a piece of property the young people at Alfa & Omega had purchased. The young people wanted to build a soccer field to play soccer and share the Gospel with their lost friends. In July 2005, our CCBC high school students cleared the land and helped begin preparing the field. CCBC’s college ministry has worked there since as well. Eventually the vision for the area expanded to include a basketball court.
Because of Dave’s years of close relationship with the Alfa y Omega church, they named that area Campamento David in his memory. Our high school students worked at the site last summer. And this year Christ Chapel gave money for land to be purchased to make Campamento David not just a soccer field but a retreat center…soccer field, basketball court, cabins, swimming pool…to reach many more lost and encourage believers. Now here’s where the story really gets interesting.
On October 5, 2005, Hurricane Stan sparked mudslides which destroyed many homes and killed many people right here in Santiago. Furthermore, the government evaluated the Santiago area and declared some additional areas disaster areas because future mudslides could easily destroy more homes and take more lives. The government has been looking for a place to move these families. Just this morning Wayne spoke to some government surveyors. The government is planning to move 900 families to land that directly borders Camp David. The government plans to break ground in the next 2-3 months to build a market, schools, homes, etc. That will be almost 4000 people living next to Camp David: a place where they can hear the Gospel. Wayne has talked with Alfa & Omega and they are considering also buying some more land at Camp David to build a church. God’s providence and sovereignty are clear.
It’s tough for me to think of a more fitting tribute to God’s glory and Dave’s memory than Camp David. Dave loved students, loved the Gospel, and loved missions. Last night Stephen Wilson gave glory to God for Dave and Dave’s influence on his life…specifically putting in him a heart for missions. There is much work and much need at Camp David. Yesterday we started clearing the new land which is covered with much brush and trees (see the pictures I included). We could all stay a month and not get done simply clearing the land. Pray that the money and resources needed to develop this land would come quickly. Work like this often takes us years and the families will be there sooner than we are usually able to complete this work.
Please continue to pray for us. Praise God for his providence and sovereignty. And, as believers, rest today in God’s working for His glory and your good, whether you are able to “see” it today or not. My prayer for all of you is Psalm 73:28 … that you would make the Sovereign Lord your refuge and tell of all His deeds. “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:28
Soli Deo Gloria,
High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas