Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pastor's Retreat in Villa Alemana

It would be a huge understatement to say that the Churches of Christ/Christian Churches in Chile are fragmented. I arrived in Chile on Friday, August 3. I slept a couple hours before taking a bus to Villa Alemana (about 2 hours from Santiago on a bus) to participate in a Pastor's Retreat. Just about everybody from the different factions of the churches in Chile was invited, but participation could have been much better. I was pleased to be able to participate, however, and there were members from various of the corporations in the country. I hope and pray that in the future, there will be a wider participation. Fernando, si estás leyendo estas palabras, quiero que sepas que levanté tu nombre.

Julio Carreño, adopted son of Bertrand Smith, the pioneer Restoration Movement missionary to Chile, organized the event. Julio is doing a tremendous job of serving God in his homeland, and promotes unity on diverse levels. He had invited me to share with the members. I got to teach somewhere between 4 or 5 hours, and found the group very receptive to my teaching. The title of the study was The Christian Worker and Personal Transparency: a Theological, Cultural and Generational Perspective. The main question I was asking was this. To what degree should the Christian worker be transparent, willing to show his or her own personal weaknesses? My thoughts were influenced by the following works, in addition to the Scriptures:
  • Mayers, Marvin K. (1974). Christianity Confronts Culture. Zondervan.
  • Howard, J. Grant (1979). The Trauma of Transparency. Multnomah
  • Lingenfelter, Sherwood & Mayers, Marvin (1986). Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Baker Book House.
  • Scott, Mark R. (2006). The Self-Disclosure of the Preacher in the Sermon: Teaching Undergraduate Bible College Student Ministers to Disclose with Discretion, doctoral dissertation, Denver Seminary.

I had not taught on that theme before, but enjoyed the preparation and the teaching itself.

I managed to catch myself a cold. I understand that the Joplin area is facing an incredible heat wave. Here, Chile is experiencing a winter with record cold temperatures. I had to wait until this afternoon to shower, as the pipes of the house where I am staying froze quite a bit last night.

I returned to Santiago on Sunday evening, and spent Sunday evening, and all day Monday and Tuesday visiting friends. I am now in Lautaro, Chile, and will return to Santiago on Sunday night. I will meet with Doug Kallestad, Director of the Iberoamerican Institute on Monday morning, then have lunch with my long-time friend, Jack Mitchell, whose mother, Lola, served as our forwarding agent for many years. Lastly, I will meet another pastor friend, Lito Farías, at a hospital to visit Victor Garcia, another long-time friend, who was assault on March 30, shot twice, and left paraplegic as a result. Despite his situation, his brother-in-law (another friend I had not seen for many years until last Tuesday) tells me that he testifies about God's goodness on a daily basis.

Below I will include some photos taken from the Pastor's Retreat in Villa Alemana:

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