IFES Latin America has recently appointed a new Regional Secretary, Carmen Castillo. Based in Chile, Carmen will be supporting 20 Spanishand Portuguese-speaking IFES movements across Latin America to reach and serve students. Please pray that she will strengthen fellowship in the region, invest in the national movements and enable leaders in the region to grow and develop in their gifts in their service to the Lord.
Praise God for the cohort of students who have recently completed “Euangelion”, a four-week evangelism training course run by GBU Chile. They have been looking at the Bible to understand the gospel and taking steps in the preparation of a 10-13 minute evangelistic talk. Pray for the students who will hear the gospel through these young people to have open hearts.
Please pray for IFES national movement students and staff in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and in one other country who are pioneering student ministry in new cities and on new campuses with resources from the IFES Breaking New Ground* initiative. Please pray that God would provide local Christian students who will get involved in this ministry and invite friends to study the Bible, and for protection and energy for staff and volunteers travelling long distances to support the new groups. *The Breaking New Ground project was launched in 2018 to support and resource pioneering ministry by awarding grants, by identifying and training people and by mobilising prayer across IFES’s global network.
In recent months there have been reports of several chemical spills at multi-national factories located in low income areas of Chile. Although local inhabitants of these areas have protested, little has been done to challenge the multi-national companies or make changes to the factories’ working processes, leaving the local inhabitants in danger of serious health problems. Please pray for justice in the face of these struggles.
Millions of people around the world do not have access to the Bible but long to have a copy of their own. The Bible-a-Month Partnership is a commitment by the Scottish Bible Society to twelve different projects each year where Bibles or Bible-based resources reach those who need and want them. The November Bible-a-Month Partnership project is in Chile. The ‘Light at Sunset’ project brings comfort, care, and community through God’s Word to older people who are being encouraged to gather together to study the Bible. Pray that they will find renewed joy in scripture by reading the large-print bibles provided.
Give thanks for the Born to Love project being run by the Chilean Bible Society to promote Christian and family values among children and teenagers. Pray, as these young people read God’s word together, that many lives will be changed as they meet with Jesus.
Over the last two years Chile has received immigrants from different parts of Latin America and Africa. Regrettably some of these immigrants have faced discrimination and prejudice. Several churches and Christian organisations are starting Spanish courses and offering legal advice and advocacy. Pray that the Lord will touch the lives of the immigrants through the preaching and testimony of the church, and that he will challenge the prejudices and xenophobic attitudes in sections of the wider population.
IFES movement in Chile recently employed Pablo as staff in Punta Arenas to support student ministry there and, working with the Argentinian movement, to pioneer across Patagonia. In January, Pablo and a team travelled 4000km around Argentinian Patagonia, making contact with many believers, including Matias, soon starting university in Comodoro who is keen to start a group there. He organised a meeting to encourage believers to start Christian groups on campus, and his friend’s non-believing girlfriend came. Pablo writes: “It wasn't the most appropriate place, maybe it wasn't the most appropriate talk for a non-believer, but that young guest gave her life to Jesus. It was not within our plans, but God is full of grace.” Ask God to continue to draw students to him across Patagonia.
Over the last two years Chile has received immigrants from different parts of Latin America and Africa. Regrettably some of these immigrants have faced discrimination and prejudice. Several churches and Christian organisations are starting Spanish courses and offering legal advice and advocacy. Pray that the Lord will touch the lives of the immigrants through the preaching and testimony of the Church, and that he will challenge the prejudices and xenophobic attitudes in sections of the wider population.
Lately, we have been giving away copies of The Way to God (D.L.Moody) and More than a Carpenter (Josh McDowell) in an evangelism effort to reach thousands of people in our country. Please pray for those who have received, or will receive, one of these books. May God be revealed to them as they read, changing perceptions, and encourage them to pass the book on to more friends and family.
Most of the children who attend Los Trigales (The Wheatfields) school are vulnerable: they come from homes where parents are alcoholics, abusive, or in prison, and live in an area rife with drugs and theft. The school was started in the 1980s by Encuentro con Cristo (Encounter with Christ) church, and aims to improve the educational and spiritual aspects of the children’s lives. Every day starts with a prayer and there is frequent Bible teaching through RE lessons and assemblies. The pastor often visits the homes of children who are sick or in particular need. The school also gives the children a hot meal at lunchtime. Pray that the love of Christ will penetrate the lives and hearts of these precious children.
Mission partners in Chile ask us to pray about big social changes proposed in Chile. Last week Civil Unions became law and President Bachelet has tabled a bill in Congress to legalise abortion in cases of rape or when there is a threat to the mother’s or the baby’s life. There is currently a total ban in Chile, as in seven other Latin American countries. These issues are painful and often divisive. Please pray into the situation.
“In Chile 70% of students will be the first generation of professionals in their families. That means that in 5 years time there will be a new society, a new culture, a new mentality and new expectations being born...” (Evangelicals, Politics and society in Chile, Fediakova, 2013). Please pray for the church in Chile, that it would have an influence in the new country that is being born. Pray that the church in Chile will get a vision from God to be an influence to those who will be leading the country in the next generations with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The sounds of laughter, conversations, and the clinking together of dishes drift through the door and to the streets of Loja, Ecuador. At El Sendero (The Path) many young people are hanging out and enjoying a snack, talking, and playing games. It is becoming a popular place for the hundreds of university students that populate this small college town. El Sendero is a unique place in Loja. Although the city has a large population of students, there are very few safe places for them to socialise, and even fewer resources for them to be cared for, counselled, and introduced to a living relationship with Christ. Please pray for the students who come to the café and for the conversations that take place.
Population: 18,006,407 (2015 es)
Official languages: Spanish
GDP (PPP) per capita: $24,797 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 79 years
Religions: 71% Catholic, 15% Protestant, 8% Agnostic or Atheist, 6% other religions