Between November 11-12, the short-term volunteers arrived, only a week after the cluster reached the field after training. We quickly got to know each other and were oriented to Antofagasta. The first full day was set apart to cover the city in prayer.
For the Prayer Adventure, we split into two groups and covered seven sites around the city in prayer. Together we lifted up the needs of the cluster, the pastors, the buildings, and people around Antofagasta. We walked several miles, getting to know a little bit of the city and blanketing it in prayer.
We prayed over the 40/40 house, where 11 people in close quarters. It is also going to be the site of the church until their permanent church building is completed. The pastoral house was covered in prayer, focusing on peace and rest and protection over the family.
We also prayed over the future construction site for the church building. We will get to be a part of “deconstruction” over the next two weeks as we begin the process of demolition on the house that is currently standing.
We prayed for university students at the Universidad Santo Tomás, for government workers at the municipal building, for Jesus to destroy the work of Satan and open the hearts of unbelievers at the Plaza de Armas, and at the dock we prayed for complete revival to sweep the hearts of the people of Antofagasta.
It was an amazing time to gather together as the family of God and pray for His will to be done in this city. We are excited to see what He will do over the next 10 days as we get to be a part of the beginning of this amazing ministry.
Day 2, November 14, 2016
A rat, a bird, a mouse (fortunately all dead) and dozens of spiders and cockroaches (unfortunately, not all dead) were found out at the construction site on the first day. More accurately, it could be called the “de-construction” site since the short-term team is working on tearing down the building that is currently standing on the property where La Puerta Abierta building will be built.
Years ago, someone tried to plant a Nazarene church in Antofagasta and even bought property. He was unsuccessful at that time, but thankfully for the team, the Church of the Nazarene still owns the property! So the current building, which is not appropriate for our use, is being torn down, and a three-story church building is in the plans for the near future.
The first day was dedicated to taking out as much stuff from the building as possible. We filled up two big truck-loads and an entire room in the house with materials we pulled out, from left-behind furniture to ceilings, walls, and roofing. Our leader, Mark Miller, said we got more done than he thought we would on Day 1. All 10 of us were covered from head-to-toe in dust and dirt by the end of the day! Needless to say, we slept well that night.
While the demolition was going on in the afternoon, the 40/40s were out meeting the neighbors. They had baked cookies and packaged them up as a way to both meet the people in the area and apologize for the coming construction. They were well-received in many homes. People were grateful for them coming and many good conversations were had. What a fantastic start for relationship-building in Antofagasta!