You Get a Car!

You Get a Car!

Have you ever seen the Oprah episode where she gives a car to every single person in her audience of teachers? She screams:

“You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!” etc. 

Can you imagine being in that audience? What an experience!

Even more so, can you imagine having the means to be able to give such a powerful gift to so many people?

Just yesterday I opened my email and let out a squeal of joy when I saw an email entitled “vehicle donor” in my inbox. Several more squeals escaped and actually brought my puppy running as I read about a donor who is considering helping the Chile Kingdom Workers Team purchase a car. Whoot! Whoot!

Our team has been talking and praying about the idea of a church car for some time now – a car that would belong to the Kingdom Worker volunteers and would be used to support the local congregation and the Linares mission.

This might seem a strange concept because we live in a city small enough to easily walk everywhere. Within a 5-15 min radius of our house is everything we need: corner stores, places where we pay our bills, meat & vegetable markets, church, parks, government buildings, bus stations, the empanada man (= etc. In fact, our city is so small that sometimes fruits, vegetables, and milk are delivered to our door by a man driving a horse and carriage!

When we first arrived in Chile I would have never thought that we would need to invest in a car. However, as time went on, our team slowly realized the impact that a church car would have on the Chile mission in Linares.

The gift of a car would help us to:

1. Support Members

Our church membership consists of families, elderly, and those who live too far from church to walk (especially during the rainy season). It is the culture of our church for members with cars to pick up the others for church. The problem is that there is usually only one regularly available car on Sundays. This one car is often used to pick up everyone! Additionally, the driver of that car is the President of our church who is also in charge of organizing and running the church service. By having a church car, we can help bring members to church and give our president the time he needs to prepare for Sunday services.

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Church members enjoying a meal together after a Sunday service. 

2. Support Prospects

We have been blessed to build relationships with several prospects who are regularly participating in bible classes. Many of these prospects have small children. We have noticed that on the Sundays these prospects are offered rides, they join us at church! Being able to offer rides not only helps prospects physically get to church but also encourages weekly conversations and encouragement: “When can I pick you up on Sunday for church?”

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This is some of the men who meet together every Tuesday night for bible class. 

3. Grow Church Prospects in the Neighborhoods Surrounding Linares

Our church and home is located in the city of Linares. However, we work as English assistants four days a week in the neighboring region of Longavi (about 30-45 minutes away by bus). Our roles in Longavi have allowed us to build relationships with teachers, students, and parents who live in and near Longavi. In order to grow these relationships and potential church prospects, it is important to be able to visit these people in their homes. However, the buses between Linares and Longavi stop running at 8:00 pm (and around this time is when Chileans usually begin to eat their dinner!) This travel restriction makes it difficult for us to foster relationships outside of Linares.

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Jon with several of his co-teachers and a student. 

4. Church Activities

A church car would also greatly help with church activities such as Youth Group, VBS, etc. A car allows for rides and easy transportation of materials. A car would also open up opportunities like hosting a VBS in Longavi! Imagine the potential of having a VBS in Longavi where all of the students we teach live!

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I am sure many of these boys would love to participate in a summer VBS or Christian Soccer Camp! 

The items listed above are just the things that our team has brainstormed within the last 9 months. With more time and opportunities a church car can and will be used in many different ways to help serve the Chile mission in Linares.

You get a car! Those are words I never thought I would hear in my lifetime and probably never will.

The Linares Mission gets a car! Those are words that would have an immense impact on the Linares congregation, members, and prospects.

 

 

2 thoughts on “You Get a Car!

  1. Bill Stiefel

    Jon–besides picking up members for worship, one of the best things you could do would be to set up periodic Bible studies at homes of your members—where they invite their friends, neighbors, relatives. Maybe a 6 or 8 week schedule… and a particular book or doctrinal theme in the Bible. After teaching school all day—yeah–you would be one busy and tired person. It is the best kind of busy.

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  2. That’s a great idea Bill! We have been really struggling with this idea of how to use a car in a way that can be beneficial even after we leave some day. This idea makes total sense as well plan for the future! Thanks.

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