Eric Kirkegaard - Chile
It is now our second Sunday in Chile. Last week I was preaching in the Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile here in Talca. Talca is about three and a half hours south of Santiago in the heart of wine country where we are partnered with a tea-totaling church... ironic huh? This week there is no church and everything is closed because they are holding national elections, a very important thing in a country which is still recovering from the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet, more on that later...Read more
It is now our second Sunday in Chile. Last week I was preaching in the Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile here in Talca. Talca is about three and a half hours south of Santiago in the heart of wine country where we are partnered with a tea-totaling church... ironic huh? This week there is no church and everything is closed because they are holding national elections, a very important thing in a country which is still recovering from the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet, more on that later... Our trip was uneventful enough, the girls were WONDERFUL, of course for the long haul from Dallas to Chile they were flanking Laura and she might have a slightly different opinion. It did take them quite a while to fall asleep on the plane, but then they got a reasonable nights rest. Really the only excitement was when I realized 30 minutes before boarding time in Dallas that we had left our video camera in the overhead bin of our little wee plane from Milwaukee (a long shuttle train ride and then a bus away from our gate...) The gate attendants were only mildly helpful, not! One of them told me, well I guess the only way you'll know if it's still there is if you go and find out... great help. I took off at a dash, sprinting through the airport desperately praying that I would both find the camera and perhaps more importantly that I would make it back in time to catch our flight. Well, I found the camera but as I dashed up the stairs to the shuttle train and watched the doors close a few feet in front of me I knew that I wasn't going to make it back before they were to close the doors on the plane to Chile... With tears in my eyes, and visions of Laura's desperation at the gate (she told me later that just after I took of at a run, the gate agents asked her what she was going to do if I didn't make it back, was she going to go anyway... I had Berit's passport -clever me - so there really was no option) Well, there I was praying, and waiting realizing that there really was nothing that I could do to speed up an automated shuttle. As I arrived back at the gate 10 minutes after the plane was to have closed it's doors, I came dashing down two flights of stairs hoping beyond hope and... the door was still open, everyone on board, the gate agent grabbed my ticket and raced me down the jet way to Laura and girls waiting just outside the plane. Whew! As we settled into our seats the pilot let us know that it would be a few more minutes, that an O ring was missing from the toilet cap on the outside of the plane and lest we have our effluent trailing down the side of the plane we needed to wait for the part. Sometimes it feels that God has a particularly good sense of humor, that prayers our answered in truly unexpected ways. No sooner than had we gotten all of our things stowed and caught our breath and the pilot was back on the intercom telling us that they had installed the part, fixed the problem and we'd be pushing back from the gate. Thankfully this has been the most trying part of the trip. We emerged from customs and immigration with no problems even with our two 50 pound suitcases of gifts. As we stared out at the crowd wondering what next we heard a voice from above calling out "Pastor Eric". We were greeted and warmly welcomed by the family we will be living with for the next two weeks, wonderful people with 3 delightful sons Jose, Mattias, and Jairos. We will be "helping" to teach vacation bible school with them and spending a few days on vacation with them at the thermal springs nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Laura has spent this first week exploring around our home away from home here in Talca, Elena's home actually. They call it "the gathering place." It's a little house with lots of beds and people have been steadily streaming in and out as this place functions as the staging place for the Shalom Center (Elena's primary project in Chile these days) Elena is our missionary here, she has been terrific. So this firsRead more
Dear Friends and Family,
During my studies at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute organized by Eastern Mennonite University, I participated in a class called Theatre, Ritual, and Peacebuilding. One of the rituals, created and lead by the Rev. Grace Cangialosi was called, "Love the questions." You can imagine it by listening to the sounds of…
water tinkling over rocks in a glass bowl.
three people whispering "love the questions" over and over again.
each person in the circle reading a question out loud and then placing another stone in the glass bowl.
There are many points of view here in Chile about the possibility of a war between the United States with its allies and Iraq. I have listened to Chileans with the opinion that the Muslims are gearing up to take over the world, and that we should do everything we can to eradicate this threat from the earth, and to others who feel strongly that the United States is once again playing the role of the global bully. Some say that the Chilean president should call for a national vote to let the people decide what path to take, while others fear that terrorism will come again, as it did before, to their country.
Global Ministries’ missionary serving in Chile.
READ: 1 John 4:18
I crouch in the aisle of the dark church, my heart thumping with excitement. The music begins and the voice of God echoes, “One day I thought of you and decided to give you the gift of life. As the earth turned, I blew into your heart, and you were born.” The lights come on slowly, and I join the youth group in a theatrical dance presentation they have created and produced. Now three teenagers hold brightly wrapped packages which represent this divine gift of life. Some of us look at the package from the outside, satisfied with the pretty paper and bow. Others unwrap the box, but pick and choose only those things that seem comfortable or familiar. Still others embrace the whole gift, savoring the challenges and obstacles, joys and pains, loneliness and relationships.
An exciting statewide conference on Israelis and Palestinians living in peace as neighbors.Read more