Following our region’s Chile Mission Encounter in 2004, The American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky initiated a Mission Covenant with The Convention of Baptist Churches of the Chilean Mission. We formally entered this covenant in February of 2007, committing ourselves to seek to pray for, encourage and assist each other in our ministries over the next five years.
Since 2001, churches in our region have had the opportunity to participate in seven Chile Mission Encounters and have been privileged to work with and to support three different missionary families serving among the Chilean Churches. During this time, we have carried in 860 Spanish Bibles for distribution in the churches and have created specific prayer partnerships involving 32 churches in each country. We have helped fund Language Recovery Classes among the Mapuche and provided for the purchase of New Testaments in their own language to serve as their textbook. Our initial Mission Encounter Team were the first “buyers” for the women of the Weavers Project and our visits to 20 of the churches of the Chilean Mission have encouraged and strengthened the Convention as a whole.
Barbara Bolick envisioned what has become the Girls Clubs Program while visiting in our churches across Indiana and our teams have been privileged to fund and participate in several of their annual events. In 2010, the ABGirls of Indiana adopted the Girls Clubs as their state project and raised money for their craft needs. Our American Baptist Women learned of the Bolick’s need to replace their failing car with a new 4 wheel drive vehicle that would hold up better for their work in the rural areas of the Mapuche churches. As a result, they adopted this need as their own 2010 State Project with a goal of raising at least $30,000.00 for the new vehicle.
These are just some of the ways that we have partnered with our missionaries and our Baptist brothers and sisters in Chile to encourage and support what God has been doing in their midst. In turn, each of us who have taken part, and each church that has partnered in our missionaries’ ministries, have been touched by and encouraged in our own ministries by the example and vitality of their ministries and their commitment to serving the Lord Jesus Christ in their own unique setting.