The Shalom Center is a non-profit Foundation of the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC), a long-standing Global Ministries partner. Its lodge, cabins and restrooms are located among Chilean mountains, forests and waters in the rural 7th region of Chile, about 90 minutes from the city of Talca. The beautiful setting near a national nature reserve, with native Chilean trees and animals, provides an environment conducive to the Shalom’s mission to create a safe space through learning for transformation to facilitate peace education, environmental education and spiritual development in an integral way, and so strengthen the dignity and resilience of individuals and communities within the Pentecostal Church of Chile and society at the national and international levels.
The Shalom Center has identified five institutional values that are central to its work and activities. These values are:
- Faith for the Shalom Center is to believe in God, in the best in people, and in restorative processes.
- Dignity for the Shalom Center is the inherent value of each person as God's creation.
- Safe space at the Shalom Center is the commitment to create, respect and care for the community covenant.
- Creativity at the Shalom Center is the expression of the breath of God in individuals and groups.
- Transformation in the Shalom Center is the invitation to healing and holistic development in people, groups and systems.
The Shalom Center is an important space of reconciliation, after decades of repression, poverty, injustice and disasters. It provides educational and transformational opportunities for individuals and groups through retreats, trauma-healing, leadership courses, camps, marriage retreats, conflict resolution training, and environmental educational activities. Throughout each encounter with staff and participants, the Shalom Center continues to generate opportunities to form holistic health in body, mind, spirit and fruitful relationships with God, self, others and nature.
Read more about one way your gifts were used at Shalom Center in 2015
Read donor stories supporting the work of the Shalom Center:
- United Christian Church, Englewood, Ohio
- First Christian Church, Pensacola, Florida
- First Christian Church, Arlington, Texas
Update November 2018
The Shalom Center team began 2017 looking forward to a year filled with workshops, retreats, and camps. Fourteen were scheduled throughout the year. Unfortunately, January wildfires gripped Central Chile, where the Shalom Center resides. The fires spared the campground, but caused 11 deaths and destroyed over 1,000 buildings in the wider region. Some of the Shalom Center’s summer programmatic agenda were canceled due to this emergency.
Team members visited the nearby communities most affected by this emergency to assess the situation and deliver immediate relief. The Shalom Center provided clean up supplies and counseled victims. It also welcomed congregants from affected churches to capacity building workshops. At the annual assembly, a Shalom Center oak tree sapling was presented to representatives from the affected churches to symbolize the regrowth and healing that the Lord will allow in the fires’ aftermath. A representative brought it home and replanted it as a symbol of resilience for the community.
Workshops, Retreats, and Camps
Shalom Center events included leadership workshops, marriage enrichment retreats, men’s retreats, youth camps, pastors’ kids camps, arts and crafts retreats, and international peace camps. Conflict mediation workshops were held for church leaders. Conflict transformation workshops hosted those willing to use various tools to discover innovative ways to solve interpersonal conflict. The center even held three-part intensive trauma healing workshops to provide spiritual accompaniment to nurture hope and develop resilience in the midst of conflict. National and foreign instructors helped train team members and participants on topics including first aid, risk prevention, and finding hope after trauma.
Team Member Testimony
One team member shared what serving others at the Shalom Center means to her:
“Being part of this beautiful Center has shown me that we can conceive, enjoy, and learn from different people and cultures. The work I do for God and others is to give my best effort with much love and happiness, delivering a smile that has served to transform sadness into joy. That is more than enough to know that my work has not been in vain. When God allowed me to be part of this beautiful team, I did not hesitate for a moment. The God of this beautiful forest has gradually shaped me. I have learned resilience and maturity."
An attendee of a Shalom Center men’s retreat shared:
“Participating in the men’s retreat was a unique experience for me. Shalom is a wonderful place that allowed us to disconnect from everything and to feel the presence of God through nature. In that place, we bonded as brothers as we took the time to look into each other’s eyes and to listen. God and the team prepared a valuable invitation for us to come and know Shalom.”
Update June 2020
The Shalom Center continues to provide a space for reflection and education. Recently the center has provided spiritual retreats and workshops at churches, as well as leadership courses, youth camps, trauma healing courses, and conflict transformation programs on site.
Additionally, the Shalom Center is building strong relationships with schools in Curicó through an environmental education program for children between the ages of nine and thirteen. Children work through a curriculum written by the center throughout the year, and at the end of the year they come to the Shalom Center for an overnight visit.
The Shalom Center has been accompanying church leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic and have created several resources for use in congregations by video. Watch their most recent video update, which also includes an explanation of the work of the Shalom Center.