Adiós 2013!!!

Wow, this year went by fast!

Hello friends, I hope that you are all doing very well and blessings to you as you read this update.

For me, I can only be thankful for the year that we have had at El Oasis. 2013 has been a year full of blessings and joy for all of us in the ministry.

We have had the blessing to be able to share the love of our Creator with a large number of young people this year. During the second semester, we were sad to say goodbye to our friends and coworkers, David and Claudia Ossa, who started a time of studying in the seminary, and sometimes we felt that it would be a different semester, possibly difficult, as they were are huge part of our community. However, God gave us a lesson in his faithfulness, being with us and accompanying us throughout the whole semester. We were never in need at any point and he gave us the opportunity to meet a ton of new friends who we were able to share the Gospel of Christ and love of God.

Evy… She arrived to El Oasis after receiving a flyer passed out to her one day, and was very interested in the English classes and the happiness of the people that gave her that piece of paper. She was very interested in the story of Jesus, for her He seemed to be very interesting, but she still had many doubts. In the past, she was Buddhist along with her family several years ago… but as her mother was dying, her mother accepted Christ in her life, and then planted this seed in the heart of her daughter. During the entire semester, it was great to accompany Evy in her growth and strengthening of her faith. At the end of the year, we had the blessing to be part of her public declaration of her new faith in Jesus as her Saviour.

Evy

It was a beautiful moment that God gave to El Oasis. Another point to make about her: after a while of coming alone to El Oasis, she started bringing her brother Fabian, a student with Down Sydrome who is really awesome. He is always bringing happiness to the house and it is great to see him sharing with the rest of the students. He’s always wanting to help by acting in the skits and dancing like Michael Jackson.

Fabian open

He has been a beautiful part of the community this year. A few days ago he spoke with us about how he wants to be baptized just like his sister. We spoke with his family about this (considering their Buddhist background) and they were accepting of his decision. It has been great to see his energy and excitement with the discipleship studies. Evy has helped us a lot during the studies and we are so happy that Fabian can feel the love of God and consider himself a beautiful creation of God. Evy and Fabian have been a huge blessing for us!

Fabian Sirviendo

Nazaret!!

Honestly, I am not sure how Nazaret arrived at El Oasis. All I know is that when she did arrive, I have seen here at all of the EO events. She is studying special education, and it has been amazing how she has become involved in the community, how she has made so many new friends so quickly!!

nazaret con Evy

She is a very happy person that enjoys talking with everyone. Her faith background is also Buddhist… but she has so many questions and is so open to discovering where the “good vibes” from the EO community come from. This fills us with happiness to see how she is becoming closer to Christ through the relationships and conversations that she has had in El Oasis.

nazaret

This year, one of the challenges for the ministry was the group of male students. They have been a bit lazy during this year. At times it makes me sad and upset. When I say ‘lazy’, I mean to say that these Christian men, most coming from Christian families, with a real commitment to sharing the Gospel of Christ with others, do not show any interest in doing so. And their fellow friends need to hear it!! (I know because I was one of those friends before I became a Christian). Our focus for 2014 will be to break the comfort zone with these guys and help them realize the meaning of sacrifice of Jesus Christ for each one of us. We must focus on motivating these Christian men and sharing with them the importance and relevance of the Word of God for the lives of their neighbors!! It is a big challenge!!

Baby… Guaaaaagua!! (Esp)

I would also like to share something very importantwith all of you that Amy and I have been waiting for for the past few months, the birth of our child! We decided not to find out the gender until he was born, and Amy had her suspicions that he was a he, but we couldn’t confirm it until December 28! Joaquin Wesley Valencia was born at 11:30am and weighed 3kg (6.5 pounds) and was 49cm long (19.5 inches). Amy and I chose Joaquin because it means “God will provide” or “God will establish” and Wesley was chosen as his middle name for Amy’s grandfather.  Amy’s labor was about 11 hours long, she was expecting it to be much longer but we were both pleasantly surprised that it went quickly and without any problems. He has all 10 fingers and toes, is very healthy, very beautiful and very loved. We are so thankful to God for him, for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth. Thank you to all who have prayed for us, we know our journey is just starting, but we feel very blessed that God has chosen us to be Joaquin’s parents.

portada

Now that 2013 has ended, I wish with my heart that you have all had a wonderful time celebrating the arrival of our Savior and also celebrating the blessings that God has given you this past year. I hope that 2014 brings you blessings in your lives and that His wishes come first. This year you have all been so important for me and for the entire ministry. I give thanks for each one of you for your encouragement, support, and being present in this ministry.

I want to add a ‘thank you’ video that our 2013 interns have put together for you. They had a great year in El Oasis and they want to share a few words with you through the Indescribable Gift Campaign for 2013. They have felt the support and help of God in their lives through you…so much so that they have decided to continue serving in the ministry for 2014. What an Indescribable Gift!!!

To see the video, please click the image…

Click Here

Categorías: News
 
 

With everything!!

Hello my friends!!

Our second semester kicked off great with our classic Choripanada.  Every March and August, we mark the start of a new semester with the Choripanada barbeque.  Since I am the grill master, I was in charge of making sure nothing got burnt.

We did a lot of Facebook publicity in the weeks and days following the big event, as we are really trying to get our students motivated into inviting their friends, Christian or not. The Choripanada is a great way to invite new friends, because it is a free event that involves food, a lure for any college student. Our hope is that newcomers make connections at these first events and our current students work hard to make them feel welcome and invite them to come back. It is more difficult when new students come near the end of the semester, because summer break is 3 months long and winter break is 1 month long, and sometimes they lose interest or forget about El Oasis because they only attended a handful of times.  So, the month of August is important for us to capture their attention and get them excited about the ministry and the fun activities we have all throughout the year.

 Connecting

We kicked off the evening around 6:30pm on Monday, and there was a great turnout of about 80 students.  I saw a lot of new faces, and our students were able to meet our two new exchange students, Markie and Rachel.

 rach_markie

They are living with a host family not far from El Oasis. They seem enthusiastic and happy to be here, and even though it was the first official event of the semester, they had already made a ton of new Chilean friends over winter break! El Oasis is really happy that they’re here.

 ChicosNeos

Some of the activities this semester are a soccer tournament, camping, our spring retreat, open mic night, and our annual ‘Fonda’ barbeque for Independence Day in September to raise money for missions projects during the year. You can never run out of reasons to have a barbeque in Chile!!

look2

sorry… Do you know where is El Oasis???

look1

Nice!!

Categorías: News
 
 

Top Moments of the semester in El Oasis Chile … Until now!

How are you my friends!?

I’m sitting here in front of a cup of coffee to tell you about what is happening in this country and community at the end of the world!

With love and lots of emotions, I want to share what for me were the TOP Moments of the semester in El Oasis Chile…

Baptism of Pancho!

The year started in a great way…  during our first Tertulia of the Year (the main event of the week) Pancho (Francisco) decided to be baptized in front of a group of students (103).   Pancho has not had an easy life. He is the oldest of six brothers who have not had a father figure in their lives.   Due to a fast and deadly cancer he lost his mother, but Pancho was always a fighter, and always has worked to support and help his mother and siblings.  A couple of years ago He came to EO and we had the blessing of being with Him through the most difficult moments for his mother and his family…  during this time He came closer to the peace that only Christ can bring in difficult times,  and we could be part of the pain and at the same time of the blessing of Jesus as the Son of God in his heart…  after the end of a very, very hard 2012…  He decided to start 2013 in the best way, giving his life to Jesus Christ in the middle of El Oasis´s patio…  TOP Moment!

Pancho

Tabo Retreat

Without a doubt the Beach Retreat every year blesses us in different ways… This year 77 students were part of a really awesome group of people.  A lot of students were with us for the first time at a retreat and that’s always a great motivation for us.

gente

Phil Tatum, director of GS, was commissioned to deliver the message, and did a great job encouraging students to make a decision for Christ despite those opportunities where everything may not be going well, in those times when we believe that we have failed God and are not worthy of his love (this is something very strong in the minds of many Chilean students).

Phil charlas

The El Oasis band did a great job during this retreat, as praise is always one of the high points during the trip… it’s great to give praise to God with more volume because at home we had to turn the volume down because of problems with our neighbors. This makes the praise of the retreat a moment awaited by everybody!

banda

It is always a blessing to start with a good retreat at the beginning of the semester it leaves many conversations open and challenges a lot students which allowing us as El Oasis’s team to always invest time in them. This year the challenge has been to motivate our students to be active in sharing their faith and believes with those who do not have Christ in their lives.  That may seem obvious for a Christian but in cultures with a lot prejudices, as ours, this is a very difficult challenge for a young Christian student.

bautizos 1

bautizos 2

El Tabo Retreat … TOP Moment!

Diafna and Katie’s Baptism!!

During the El Tabo retreat, two of the girls in our community made the big decision of showing the world a choice in their lives.  They reaffirmed their love for Jesus who gave His life for them.  One of the girls, Katie, was an exchange student from Georgia Tech.  

Katie

She and the other group of exchange students were truly a blessing for our students, and at the end of the semester we saw all of the Chilean students crying when the exchange students had to return to the USA.   It brought me a lot of memories from the story of Paul in Acts 20:36 when the people of Ephesus cried when he left.   And I thought of how incredible the impact the word of God is when it penetrates to the deepest part of relationships when it is given with honesty and love.   It makes me happy that these exchange students can give so much in such a short amount of time (6 months) and undoubtedly I give the glory to God, because it is because of Him! Katie is very kind and loving with everyone and shows God’s love in a way that I would like to and was a great help with the girls this semester.   Our team has less women members each and every year.

Recently I have been able to invest more time with Diafna and get to know her better before her baptism. I had already known that she was brave, as she had already made the decision be baptized and give her life to God.   This bravery is characteristic of the women in my country.   After more time I have been able to get to know her better, talk a lot, pray together, and at the same time, to earn her trust.   She has been through a lot in her life in the past, and it is difficult to accept the idea of an God’s unconditional love for her.   It is difficult for her to experience the concept of a love that is so much bigger than anything she has ever experienced in her life…  so much bigger!!

Diafna

I ask that you pray for both of them, for their lives and decisions so that this TOP moment transform their lives and the lives of many others!

A New Van… by faith!!

As you may remember, it’s been a long time that we have been trying to buy a “new” van (used) for the ministry.  Our old van was at its lowest point of its life and it was giving us a lot of headaches and budget problems for the ministry.  However, we arrived at a point where we began to stop focusing on the huge amount we had left to raise and the goal we had to purchase a new vehicle and we focused more on praying and communicating with specific supporters.   We made the big decision of selling the old van, obligating us to start to look for a new vehicle and trust in God to provide for us.  We received specific donations for the van, we used the funds already donated, we took out some money from our emergency fund and finally we were able to find a vehicle in great condition to help us with our daily routine at El Oasis: our trips to campus, mission trips, etc.

van

The entire process…TOP moment!!

5K for GlobalScope!

This will definitely be one of the TOP events of the year…  I am talking about the 5K fundraising race for GlobalScope or the “El Oasis” around the world…  This is a great and fun way for you and your family to help our missions.   Just for  U$25. – you can be part of this race, receive a shirt and help a missionary of our organization (mentioning his name at the registration).  Even if you are in another state or in another country, you can sign up, support a missioanry, receive a t-shirt and run the 5k in spirit as a ghost runner… Let´s go run!!… or walk!! 😉

5K

Mini Frizz on the way!!

You probably have already heard, but my wife Amy Fulton and I are very excited and happy with the news of being parents!! It is something so beautiful since the moment I found out (just before giving a Tertulia message). I feel that my life has changed thanks to God’s faithfulness and love. Amy is doing very well and is more beautiful with each passing day. We have arrived at week 16 and at the end of the year we will be meeting this great gift of God!! We give you thanks for those who have been accompanying us in prayer during this time, for the baby’s development and our preparation for parenthood.

Baby Frizz 2_fb

Great, right? I will be sharing more news soon!! 😉

Categorías: News
 
 

The Faces of the Month…

 

Hello friends…

We are finishing a year full of blessings in El Oasis…  It’s been a year where God has done made wonderful things in the ministry and in  our students’ lives… This time I want to talk about  some important friends.

  • She is Caroline, a student who has been involved in El Oasis for over a year, she was always a very shy girl, who shared only with her closest friends.

Caroline

One day she seemed quieter than usual, and we started talking in the house.  She had some painful and complicated emotional problems…  so we talked for a while about these things, her life, her insecurities and what it really means to give a life to Christ.  Honestly I wish I could better express how special she is…  she is the kind of student that you that know is paying attention when you’re giving a sermon,  you can see that every word that she is hearing is a confirmation of God´s voice speaking directly to her heart.  I was very happy that day in which she expressed her desire to get baptized…  In front to a lot of people on our last El Oasis retreat, we got into the cold water of Vilches Bajo (a town in the south of Chile), and she made public what she felt in her life and heart, a faith in that Jesus is the Christ… The Son of God, and that her life has a much bigger purpose in Him.

  • My friend here is Rubén, Karla´s boyfriend.  When she started coming  to El Oasis, he stayed outside the house, smoking a cigarette waiting to take her back home.  Gradually he started to walk into the house, and gradually we started having relevants conversations.

Ruben

We got to know one another and we talked about his doubts and big problems…  One day he had a car accident and miraculously had no injuries, but something changed in his heart, and he realized he needed a greater purpose in life and felt God was calling him. We ended the year with the baptism of Ruben.  Now he is closer to Christ and he is guiding his decisions in Him. It is good to have Ruben inside  of the house now…

This year has been a great year of growth in all areas. In the ministry it has been a blessing to see students discipling other students of the community … a community that is becoming more and more horizontal. We have seen God using the community even in difficult situations, in sicknesses of students or their relatives, and months ago during Kamilo´s attack.  Together we have been able to find meaning and the importance of carrying this mission forward every day through the lives of students … And you have been an important part in all that has happened in the ministry during the 2012… Thank you so much!!

I want to introduce you to some very important people.  They are our future Interns at El Oasis, they are students who have found the purpose of serving God in our ministry for a year…  it´s a big challenge, it is not easy, to put themselves second and put the interests of others first… but they took that challenge that Christ has given us!

  • Our American Intern is Stephanie Doyle.  She grew up in a Christian family in a rural community of Mendon, IL.  She studied Nursing in Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, MO.  This past summer CMF contacted her to wanting to know if she was still interested in missions as a female campus minister in Chile…  And so God gave her the answer.  Right now she is raising support for her mission, and you can bless her directly here.

Steph Doyle

  • The Chileans…  This is Cynthia, a student who has long been involved in the ministry. She studied Graphic Design… and she has always been one of the students willing to help with everything. She was a member in my discipleship group for a year and then started her own Bible study with other students during 2012…  She is really good with girls and she has a great testimony to share with them!

Cynthia

  • The man of the group, Abraham… he´s a passionate Christian musician and has a great spirit of service.  He has been involved in the ministry since two years ago. Since the beginning he has always showed his passion for sharing the Gospel with the guys in the community. He was working as a bikes salesman, but he didn´t find meaning in this job. He now wants to serve Christ in El Oasis, which is what really gives meaning to his life.

Abraham

You can help our friends Cynthia and Abraham serve in Chile and be a blessing to other students.  They decided that this work is worth it and they are happy to praise the Father in the El Oasis ministry…  Who better than they to know the real needs of Chilean students of Christ!  During this Christmas Time you can give an Indescribable Gift to our students through them by clicking the link below…

Interns Project

Thanks guys for taking the time to read my update! Sometimes I cannot talk or write just a little bit, so if you are at this point in the blog,  I really appreciate it… Just as did in other updates, thanks for your comments and words of encouragement. This year I had a difficult time and those words have given me great encouragement and it has shown me the faithfulness of God at the same time!

Thanks friends … I hope you are having a beautiful month of holidays and celebrations with your family!

Merry early Christmas!!

Categorías: News | Etiquetas: , , , , ,
 
 

Kamilo…

Hi friends!

This week I want to share a story with you about the power of God, community and the impact that our students have on other students.

A few weeks ago, a group of students (Chileans and Americans) went out dancing. It’s normal for our students to organize a fun weekend event like this: community!

At some point during the night, a drunk man started bothering one of the girls in the group, and it was obvious the girl was very uncomfortable. One of our students, Kamilo, told this man nicely that she was not interested and they would just like to dance with the group they came with. Well, this guy didn’t like what Kamilo said, and even worse, began to act violently. So, Kamilo pushed him to get him out of the way, and the guy left.

The group kept dancing but the drunk man came back with a broken bottle which he used to cut Kamilo’s face and neck. Kamilo tried to defend himself and it worked, but the attacker escaped from the party and no one stopped him.

Kamilo was rushed to the emergency room, very bloody, where he was looked at and stitched on his face, arms, and the worst, his neck. The gash was a mere 5 millimeters from his jugular vein. The doctors said it was a miracle the wound didn’t reach the vein!

During the past couple of weeks, we have been praying constantly for him within the community and individually for his health and life. Many students went to visit him and bring a bit of happiness and support. Thanks be to God, Kamilo healed quickly. He experienced moments close to God during his recuperation, and he was always with the El Oasis community, in prayer and support.

Kamilo experienced special moments in relation to forgiveness. Various neighborhood and college friends of his offered to look for the guy and seek vengeance, but Kamilo rejected their offers. He maintained strong in Christ even when he started praying for the man, for his enemy. It was not easy for him.

Last week in Tertulia during our “Our Father” cycle, he shared his testimony and how the Lord showed him why we need to forgive those that hurt us the most instead of letting a grudge grow in our hearts. It was great to see the rest of the students hear his message and listen to the great example of an Oasiano going through such a difficult moment but staying firm with Christ!

Kamilo went to our Open Mic event, and played a song on his guitar that did nothing but glorify God in front of all those present. To God be the glory for Kamilo’s life!

Here, I want to share these photos taken during our Open Mic night that really give you a good idea of what our community is like, hilarity and all!

-a group of our student performers, but our friend Mauricio is missing!

-now the photo is complete!

-ok, let’s take a crazy picture, but everyone be careful

-BE CAREFUL!!

-Now we have to pick Mauricio up off the floor….!

This is El Oasis Chile…

Categorías: News
 
 

Here We Go!

The semester has begun in the ministry!  El Oasis is full of students, the events have begun with lots of new visitors.  The start of the semester is always exciting and is without a doubt one of my favorite times of the year!!   There are new friendships formed between students, new friends that finally accepted the invitation of their friends to come to El Oasis, and lots of typical questions, “What do you do here?” “Why is the food free?”, “When are you going to start charging for this?” “What do you believe?”…

It is always great to have the opportunity to share the truth of Christ. With more and more students every week, we share Christ in a way that they understand and have a chance to accept Him.  It is our purpose as a ministry, and the fact that we have so many new students encourages us greatly.  And what’s more, students in Chile are starting up again with “student movements” with the objective of pressuring the government to give Chilean citizens free and quality education.  These “movements” make schedules very irregular in affected universities, they give us headaches… and the majority of students, too!

Students protesting

On Monday, we had our first meeting with my discipleship group. It’s a group that I like a lot (Juan, Plácido, Rodrigo, Caro, Carla, Cynthia, Susana, Israel  y Greg), and this semester we took on the responsibility of being a direct part of the “evangelizing” part of El Oasis, like in Acts 6, disciples that were chosen to help in the mission. The students that are a part of my group took on the challenge to be proactive in the search for the best opportunities to share God’s love and the work that He has done in their lives with those that don’t know the Lord. What better way to take on this challenge than share the news with El Oasis students that don’t know Christ. I ask that you pray for my discipleship group that I care a lot about, that they experience the power of God in their lives during the rest of this year. Amen!

susana, cynthia and an el oasis friend natalie

placido, seth, rodrigo, christian and taylor

It is always great to share mission trip experiences that El Oasis continues in the city of Iloca. Two and half years ago, the 8.8 earthquake hit Chile, but there are still families in that area that don’t have a solution to their living situation and are still suffering from the effects of the earthquake. A group of El Oasis students made the trip to construct a basic house for a family that was in great need. It is always wonderful to see that there are always students willing to sacrifice their weekend (usually spent relaxing with friends and family), to help those that are still in a great deal of need in this southern city. I admire these guys, and they show me how great is the love of God.

Building the house

The family with their new house!

Our group of students

Jorge and Greg

Working hard!

Categorías: News
 
 

Back Home…

Hello my dear friends,

After a beautiful and blessed time in Chicago, spending time with lots of beautiful people, family and friends, after being able to recover strength after a long time with no vacations, and after joining my life with the most beautiful woman in the world, Amy Fulton… it is time to go home!

I’m excited and also anxious to return to Chile, many challenges will come along for me and Amy to start our family living together in Santiago … I am happy for this time, and obviously sometimes many things go through my head but I have a feeling of peace for the future that I really thank God for. He has been in our relationship in multiple ways and I am sure that He will be under control!

On the other hand at El Oasis, the challenges are not small. On Thursday we will have our first Bible study, the first Tertulia the 2nd semester and I am especially happy that finally Greg Klass and Brent Vokes have reached the necessary funds to come back to serve in the ministry. I’m sure God will do many things in ministry through these awesome guys!

  • I ask you friends a lot of prayer for my trip back to Chile tomorrow at 9am, and for Amy’s flight on August 14th.
  • I ask for special prayers for the beginning of our family life in Chile, for Amy’s transition moving to Santiago, for her to find a job for her as soon as possible and strength in our relationship and faith.
  • Finally, for a new semester at El Oasis, which God continues to bless us with the possibility to glorify Him every day.

Thanks for taking the time to read and follow this blog… I will be in contact soon.

Blessings…

Andrés

ESPAÑOL 

Hoola mis queridos amigos,

Después de un hermoso y bendecido tiempo en Chicago, USA. Pasando tiempo con mucha gente linda, familiares y amigos, despues de poder recuperar fuerzas luego de un buen tiempo sin vacaciones, y luego de unir mi vida en matrimonio junto a la mujer más bella del mundo, Amy Fulton… ya es tiempo de regresar a casa!

Estoy emocionado y al mismo tiempo ansioso de volver a Chile, muchos desafios se vienen junto a Amy al comenzar nuestra familia juntos viviendo juntos en Santiago… estoy feliz por este tiempo, obviamente muchas cosas pasan por mi cabeza pero tengo un sentimiento de paz por el futuro que agradezco a Dios. Él ha estado presente en nuestra relacion de multiples formas y no dudo que seguirá entando ahí!

En El Oasis, por otro lado, los desafios no son menores, mañana jueves tendremos nuestro primer estudio biblico, la primera Tertulia del 2°semestre y estoy especialmente feliz ya que finalmente Greg Klass y Brent Vokes pudieron lograr reunir los fondos necesarios para volver a servir en el ministerio. Estoy seguro que Dios hará muchas cosas en el ministerio a traves de estos chicos tan bacanes!!

  • Les pido amigos mucha oración por mi viaje de regreso a Chile mañana a las 9am, por el vuelo de Amy el proximo 14 de agosto.
  • Oración especial por el inicio de nuestra vida familia junto a Amy en Chile, por encontrar un trabajo para ella lo mas pronto posible y fortaleza en nuestra relacion y fe.
  • Por un nuevo semestre en El Oasis, que Dios nos siga bendiciendo con la posibilidad de glorificarle cada día.

Gracias por el tiempo para leer seguir este blog… estamos en contacto pronto,

Bendiciones…

Andrés

Categorías: News
 
 

The Day is coming…

My dear friends …

On July 27, Amy and I will be joining our lives in marriage, this is a really important and exciting moment in our lives. It is a moment that fills my heart with happiness. We are making the last preparations for the big day (although Amy has done most of the work), but I never imagined that a wedding would have so many details! Even still, God has been with us and has put all things in place so that we can celebrate this great moment in our lives.

I want to share my joy and ask you keep us in your prayers during this time of preparation and celebration!

I pray all of you are well!

Mis queridos amigos…

El proximo 27 de julio Amy y yo estaremos uniendo nuestras vidas en matrimonio, esto es realmente emocionante y me tiene muy feliz… estamos haciendo (realmente Amy ha hecho gran parte) los ultimos preparativos para el gran día, es una gran cantidad de trabajo, nunca imaginé que una boda tendría tantos detalles, simplemente increíble, pero Dios nos ha acompañado y ha puesto todas las cosas en su lugar para que podamos celebrar este gran momento de nuestras vidas.

Quiero compartirles mi alegría y pedirles tenernos en sus oraciones durante este tiempo de preparación y decisiones en todo ambito.

Un abrazo grande mis queridos amigos…

Categorías: News
 
 

Hello Amigos!!!

Hello my dear friends…

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, I have made some changes and I hope the new site is useful for you and allows you to see what God is doing in the lives of our students in El Oasis (and also in my life…) I hope that during this time you can join me in this beautiful journey in thethe mission of the ministry in my life.

The first semester in El Oasis is over, it was a semester with many challenges and blessings. For me personally, it was my first start of the year as Team Leader, and one of the biggest challenges was to maintain and put all the work in the ministry for only 6 missionaries when we’re used to having at least 10. We had a lot work, our legs were weary, but our average head count at Tertulia was 80 students (a real blessing)! This made it a little difficult for the staff to spend quality time with every student, with about 12 students to every staff member. Anyways, the semester was awesome and with the help of our student disciples we could count on student leadership and maintain a strong community centered on God…

The high point of the semester was the arrival of many new students, which represents a nice challenge and blessing for the second semester, but let me tell you a little about our past semester…

Tabo Retreat

During our fall semester we have our traditional El Tabo beach retreat, and 80 students joined us on this trip this year, which was really good turnout. It was great because most of these guys were first timers on a retreat with El Oasis. This helped to bring about an enjoyable atmosphere because everyone really wanted to share and no one was left out.

The sermons were given by Pastor Francisco Retamales and he brought his ventriloquist dummy “Panchito” along with him. Together, they told the history of God’s request to Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. This story showed trust and faith of Abraham in his relationship with the Father. It was a great message for our students. They were very happy and they had a very good connection with Tío Pancho. His visit was definitely a blessing to the ministry.

During our free time that weekend we had a lots of fun games in order to create bonds between the students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The traditional bonfire was also a high of the weekend. There has been a longstanding tradition of team singing, like a “name that tune” game. It is one of the funniest parts of the weekend for everyone! Everyone is so competitive!

Carolina

In this retreat we had the blessing to share with the community Carolina’s baptism. She is part of my discipleship group and she made the important decision to be baptized after being involved with ministry for some time. Carolina is a very introverted girl who has slowly been getting more involved with the discipleship group and the community in general.

She’s always willing to help with anything. Even though she is shy, she has grown so much in the past few months, and has even had the courage to share with our discipleship group and the rest of El Oasis. I am very happy for her and for what God is doing in her life.

This retreat was great because of all the new faces and great attitudes. We had some really good conversations and made first steps in friendships with the newcomers. It will be a blessing to see what happens with them next semester!

More news to come!

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