Two nights ago (Wednesday, 8/8) —
10:30pm Our next door neighbor, Paola, called. “Do you see it?”
10:40pm Our friend, (Pastor) Eduardo called. “Do you see it? Do you have it in your neighborhood? Everybody’s outside in the streets!”
11:00pm Max’s taxi driver asked, “Is this what it does in NY?”
11:15pm Adults outside, playing around, enjoying it
After over 50 years, the wait is over for our Chilean friends. Snow covered the ground here in the city! For millions of people, this is the first time they have ever touched snow. They have seen it cover the peaks of the Andes Mountains during winter, but because they don’t own a car and it’s too expensive to take a taxi or bus, they have never had the opportunity to feel snow.
It is a joy, as a missionary, to experience a historic, national event with the people of the country you are serving in. It allows you to feel connected with them; it allows one to feel their emotions and see their reactions. It allows one to be a part of a special, unifying moment in their lives. Now we have a happy memory to talk about together. Now we have a shared experience, a connection.
However, as with any experience, like we chatted about in “Letting Go”, there is also sorrow in this experience, as a missionary. Because we are outsiders, we have the privilege of seeing multiple sides of this culture. We see happy faces around, yet we are thinking about the sad faces that also fill this city today.
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people that, after the excitement in the streets last night, returned to their homes that had the same temperature inside as it was outside. There is no central heat in the vast majority of these homes (including ours). Many can’t afford a space heater, like the one we are blessed to have (see photo). It is against the law to use a fireplace or have an open fire here in the city because it contributes to the intense smog problem.
Max and I were excited this morning, yet saddened. We prayed for our dear friends, Rodrigo, Carola, their son Samuel, and their little 8-month old baby that has already fought bronchitis and pneumonia this winter. We were praying for each face that popped into our minds – from our church congregations and neighborhoods – that couldn’t get warm.
I’m going to head over to the Prayer page and add this praise and prayer request to our list. Thanks for praying with me!
Luke 2:7 (NIV) …and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
P.S. Here’s the link to see some of the pictures: Santiago Snow Pictures