“I am not beautiful, don’t lie to me”, she said to me. “No, Alicia, you really are beautiful, you are a child of the King. That makes you a princess.” Shaking her head, I gave her a hug and silently prayed for her in the back of the classroom. Five orphanages in La Pintana send their children to one school as well as other children in La Pintana, Alicia comes from one of these orphanages. Yet all the kids come from broken homes.
One girl in the 7th grade classroom lives with her older brother who is 32 and he has two sons, but she lives with her brother because her mom is an alcoholic and she has no idea where her father is. Another girl in my 7th grade class told me that she found out a week ago that she is pregnant. She is probably 14 years old and the father of her child is her ex-boyfriend. She is scared and doesn’t know if she will be able to stay in school with a baby coming soon. During one typical day I was asked if I drink or smoke, one kid was kicked out of class, and another boy took his shirt off in the middle of a lesson for no apparent reason. This is a normal day at this school. But I am bombarded with a hundred hugs each morning and enjoy working here even though it is difficult. There is so much darkness in this school. So why work here? Because you have the amazing opportunity to partner with God and be a light in this school and physically manifest the love of the Lord to these Chilean children. These children crave love and need to find it in the Lord, they need Jesus desperately.
Working with Vision for Chile in Santiago has been at times, overwhelming but working for the Lord whole heartedly should be. Overall, it has drawn me closer to the Lords heart for his people and hopefully I have drawn others to His heart as well during my time here. Involvement in the House of Hope, Hogars (orphanages), School and Church has shown me more about the Chilean culture and things of the Lord. This ministry is truly seeking to glorify God in everything. The House of Hope invests into girls who desire further education and builds them up to be well-rounded, God-fearing women. Chileis a beautiful country yet there is a lot of brokenness within the homes. You are needed to reconcile all people to God’s heart (Romans 10:14-15). God is the Great Redeemer for these Chilean children, but how will they know if no one tells them that they are loved?
Working here in La Pintana is not only necessarily providing food, shelter or clothes for the people in Chile. The basic needs are met, but there is so much more to life than basic needs. They crave love, attention, care and a simply a true friend. They need to know who Jesus Christ is and they need role models to show them what a life with him looks like. You are not going to be passing out literal water, but instead be showing them how a life with Jesus quenches all thirst.
I truly recommend this ministry to you, not only to change the lives of the children in La Pintana, but to change your life as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Vision for Chile and hope that you will join the team in bringing truth, love and overall Christ to these broken and desperate areas of Santiago,Chile. Will you join in the longing of the Lords heart for reconciliation and healing here?
By Marie Ardill.
International school. Runner. Azusa Pacific University. Third Culture Kid. Christ follower. Psychology major.