Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chile Update March 2

Thank you to all of our brothers and sisters around the world who are praying for the disciples and the entire country of Chile.  We continue to need your prayers. Here’s an update of news from today:

Adriana was found!! Thanks so much for praying for her. Her bus stopped in a smaller city between Santiago and Concepción and she was unharmed by the earthquake.

Our list of uncontacted disciples is down to 5. Today members of the church were able to locate and talk to about ten more brothers and sisters. Thank God that little by little everyone is being found.

Christian Amestoy traveled today to Concepción. He left Santiago at 2 pm so he should be arriving right around midnight. A trip that normally takes 6 hours now takes 10 due to detours, road outages etc. He is carrying a truck full of food, water and other provisions to our brothers and sisters in Concepción. He spoke with them again today and they are all fine. They have food and water for the next 3 to 4 days.

In both Santiago and Concepción the situation has become more dangerous. In various neighborhoods in Santiago armed bands are threatening to loot homes that have been damaged by the quake. Some disciples have had to work together with their neighbors to protect their homes. Also in Concepción the looting has gotten worse. Supermarkets and other stores have been attacked and looted. Also vehicles that have entered Concepción have been attacked.

Please continue to pray for the disciples in all three churches. Pray also for Christian and that he may have a safe and encouraging trip to Concepción.  Pray also for Claudio and Leslie, another couple that is traveling to Concepción to locate and help their family.

If you or your church wishes to donate financially to help in the recovery you can donate at www.HOPEww.org or you can contact me directly, John.Hoyt3@gmail.com

Monday, March 01, 2010

Chile Update March 1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the Earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Truly God has been our refuge and strength in these difficult times and we have witnessed how his has protected us as his children. Here is a report on the conditions of the churches in Chile.

Santiago -  Of about 200 members in the church, only 15 are still unaccounted for. We have been calling and trying to communicate, but there are still many parts of the city without electricity or phone service. Although the cell phones are working, the service is not constant. There is special concern for one of the sisters, Adriana, who was traveling to Concepción in a bus on Saturday morning when the quake struck. Please pray for her as there is no news of her yet.

As we’ve talked with the disciples, there have been no major injuries. Most of the damage has been to the houses and apartments. A handful of disciples’ houses have suffered severe damage such as walls collapsing, large cracks etc. Two apartments of disciples have been declared unlivable, one because of structural damage and the other due to flooding.

In Santiago, the general situation is calm. In some neighborhoods there has been looting of supermarkets and homes. As far as we know, no disciples have been directly affected by these events. Stores continue operating as well as most other businesses. 

Viña del Mar – All of the disciples are safe and accounted for. None have suffered injuries. One couple’s apartment suffered severe damage. They spent two nights with family and are coming today to Santiago to seek housing with other family members. Viña is very close to Valparaiso, one of the older cities in Chile. The buildings there suffered a lot of damage due to the weak construction and age.

Concepción – Almost 300 miles south of Santiago, this is the region of Chile that has suffered the most. The earthquake struck about 70 miles to the north of the city and has affected the entire region. Our church there has 13 disciples and as of today we have confirmation that all are ok. One young couple with a baby spent two nights on a nearby hill without water or light, but have now been united with the rest of the disciples. 10 of the 13 are staying together in one household. Tomorrow, Christian Amestoy, one of the leaders from Santiago and the founding minister of the church in Concepción, will travel there to bring food, water and other supplies to the disciples.  I will write another update as soon as possible with information from his trip.

Needs -   Right now the greatest need is prayer. Although the situation has been devastating in the south of Chile, God has protected us in so many ways. In the next few days as more needs surface we will continue to communicate them. Please pray for the safety of all the disciples. Pray for Adriana to be located and for communication to be restored with the rest of the disciples. Finally please pray for us to be the light of the world in these dark moments.

Thank you to all those who have sent emails, Facebook messages, phone calls etc. We greatly appreciate your concern and support.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Video from our trip to Patagonia, Chile with Dan, Mary and Rita

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A little bit about our lives...

Recently Justin, an 11 year-old from the U.S. asked me the following questions and I thought the answers might be interesting to post:

What is your church like? Why did you become a missionary? What is life like in Chile?

Our church is made up of about 200 members. About one hundred of those are married couples. The other hundred are singles, campus students and teens. My wife and I lead the campus ministry. We have about 20 students. It is a great church that is very devoted to God.. The people are very hard working and are faithful to God. They have a great sense of respect for God and his will. We meet together on Sundays and Wednesdays. With the campus group we get together on Friday nights to have devotionals. Every one speaks Spanish. The church is made up of people who live all over Santiago, some travel more than one hour (in bus) to come to services.

I became a missionary because God put it on my heart and then opened the door for me to do it. I started studying Spanish my freshman year of high school and I had become a christian right before that. That same year I got to travel to Brazil and be part of a conference with our church. The next year I went to Mexico City also with our church. Both of those experiences opened my eyes to what God was doing all over the world. As I studied Spanish the desire grew in my heart to help in Latin America. My wife and I actually met on that trip I took to Mexico City and we both had the desire to be missionaries. As we dated in college and then got married it had always been a dream of ours. We expressed this dream to friends and leaders in our church in the U.S. and one day one of the ministers asked us if we'd be willing to move to South America to help the churches. After a lot of prayer and seeking advice we said yes. God brought us down to Santiago, Chile in July of 2007 and we've been living a great adventure since then.

Life in Chile is great. Santiago is the capital and the biggest city with over 6 million people. We live in the very center, near the downtown business district. There's a lot of smog and traffic, but that's normal for a big city. Chileans are warm, friendly people. The love to talk especially if they can do it over a cup of coffee or a meal. We've adapted to the chilean eating schedule. In the morning we have coffee or tea with a sandwich of some kind (ham & cheese, butter & jelly etc). At lunch (around 2pm) we have a big meal (sorta like dinner in the US) of something like spaghetti, rice and meat, soup or chicken. The food here is not spicy. They eat a lot of vegetables with their lunch. Then in the evening the normal meal is "once", coffee or tea with a pastry or sandwich.

Life here is a little more simple, not so much technology and very few people have cars. In the church about 25 of the 200 have cars. We walk or take the bus or the subway everywhere. We've learned a lot about the chilean people in our time here and they've also taught us a lot about ourselves. Relationships here are more important than tasks. People are almost always late to any kind of gathering.

We thank God every day for the opportunity He's given us to live our dreams.