In January we had our annual missionary retreat. This year was our regional retreat and the first ever combined Peru/Chile missions teams retreat! It took place in Chillán, Chile which is 5 hours south of the capital, Santiago. Our retreat was at a ski resort with cabins, a trampoline and a pool. Since it was summer, the weather was very delightful! We were about 31 people with our speakers and boss included in there. The theme for the week was the Father heart of God and taking another look at the story of the prodigal son. It was a pretty basic theme but it was amazing to see how often we look like one or the other of the sons who distanced themselves from the Father's heart! The speakers for the week were Darrell and Sherrill Hostetter. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, swimming in the pool, playing games and of course: EATING!!! We ate lots of fruit because the fruit was so yummy and cheap in Chile.
Destiny, Abby and Oriana
During one of our morning sessions together
After our week at the retreat I took a 3 hour trip on Saturday up to Pichilemu where my friend Joyce and her family live. There is a huge YWAM base in Pichilemu and my friend and her sister have been served at the base for several years. I hadn't seen my friend or her son for 6 years (since my YWAM school in Venezuela) and it was so fun to connect with her. She has since married a guy from Uruguay and they have a small house in Pichilemu. It was so sweet to feel welcomed in their home, eat Venezuelan arepas again and see the sights of Pichilemu. It's a regular beach town with the summer crowd that swarmed the downtown at night. The only thing is that it's really cold! Even though it was summer, it got cold at night. I can't imagine it in winter. I just stuck my feet in the frigid water and walked along the black sandy beach. Hello again Pacific Ocean!!
My little friend Moises (who was a baby the last time I saw him) and my monkey friend Sunny at the Casino in downtown Pichilemu
Marcelo, Joyce, Moises and Sunny
Posing in front of the Pacific Ocean again!
Chile is definitely much different than Peru. It's a lot more developed and really looks a lot more like the U.S. than a Latin American country! There are supermarkets and nice highways and the landscape really reminds me much more of the states. The people are lighter skinned and more European looking. It was definitely a different culture than Peru. I really enjoyed my break and chance to get away but there was something nice in coming back to Cusco and feeling sort of like I was: HOME