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The Santiago Ministry Center is envisioned as a place where God’s people engage the community through the bold proclamation of the Gospel and holistic (body and soul) ministry. The Ministry Center consists of three elements: 1) Church building; 2) Rehabilitation center for the developmentally disabled (Casa Betesda); and 3) Lutheran Hour Ministries outreach office. (See details below for layout and construction vision).
We made plans, but God had something else in mind! First, we planned to build a school for the developmentally disabled as “Phase 3” of our Santiago ministry, starting in 2018 or 2019. God wanted it done sooner, and provided a surprise grant in May 2016! Construction on the classrooms is nearly complete! See our “photos” page for a photo update. We are now in need of about $10,000 to outfit the building with the special equipment and supplies needed to run a rehabilitation center for developmentally disabled young adults.
Our plan was to build an office for Lutheran Hour Ministries, a valued ministry partner. LHM agreed to rent the office that we build, which will provide cash flow to enable ongoing construction. God had other plans! A nearby house (see map, below) came up for sale. After careful study and deliberation, we decided to make an offer well below the asking price. We trusted that if God wanted us to have the property, He would make a way. And if He did not have that in mind for us, then the offer would be rejected.
The offer was accepted!
The house has ALL of the conditions needed by Lutheran Hour for their ministry. The building we were planning to build was about 450 sq. ft.; the house has about 700 sq. ft. It is located no more than 20 yards from our church. It is on a well-traveled CORNER LOT. AND, in the future, it can serve as a parsonage for the eventual pastor of the congregation we are planting! WOW!
The asking price was about $70,000. We offered $62,000. We had $31,000 saved for the construction of the LHM office, leaving us with a $31,000 shortfall in funding. We know God designed this and has a plan in mind — we just didn’t know what it was!
The church planting ministry known as the Santiago Lutheran Mission began in the year 2007. Missionary pastors Cristian Rautenberg (from Argentina) and James Tino (from USA) form a missionary team. Rev. Rautenberg has been at this mission since its beginning, while Rev. Tino joined the ministry in 2014. The mission currently serves about 80 members, and has an ever-growing list of evangelistic contacts (now around 500). A unique feature of this mission is the close connection with Lutheran Hour Ministries.
In 2015, we purchased land for the Santiago Lutheran ministry. We are in an ideal neighborhood location, right at the center of what has been the evangelistic target area of Lutheran Hour/ Lutheran Mission for the past several years. Many of our evangelistic contacts now live within walking distance of the church! Our vision is to enable the church and the Lutheran Hour to continue to work closely together in order to reach more and more people with the Gospel.
In order to keep costs down, the members of the Santiago Lutheran Mission will oversee the construction effort, and will build as much as possible through volunteer labor. Here is our original vision:
Phase I of the project is the construction of a “temporary church”, completed in April 2016. See photos of the inauguration service! This was accomplished by setting two converted shipping containers on the land, then building out the space between them. See pictures of the Phase I construction process!
Phase II was to build office space for the Lutheran Hour outreach office.
Phase III is the construction of a school for the handicapped, consisting of two classrooms, special bathroom, infirmary, and kitchen. This was projected for late 2017 or 2018, but God had other plans!
Phase IV will be the complete build-out of the property, including a beautiful sanctuary! (see drawing, below).
To support this project financially, click the GIVE button on this page, then select from the list “CHILE: SANTIAGO MINISTRY CENTER”.