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3 ways we're changing lives in Chile

(Translated from original Spanish by Kimberly Magsig & Elise Gross)

Hello, my name is Carla Alegría and I am excited to share my thoughts with you in this blog. I am the Community Manager for the Health and Wellness Support program in Chile. In this role I connect the community to our program work so that people become familiar with what we offer. This is why I actively participate in both physical spaces and online with social media.

In every aspect of our work, we do all we can to share the gospel, promote Christian well-being, and invest in meaningful relationships. We do this because these three main values are the basis for all work at Kingdom Workers.

 

Sharing the gospel

Personally, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to use my gifts for His glory through my work at Kingdom Workers.

I think the most beautiful part of my job happens when I get to share the hope of the gospel with someone who is walking through a difficult time.

One time when this happened was with a woman named Jessica. Jessica lives very close to the "Unidos por la fe" church where I am a member. When our program started in 2019, I invited her to participate. At the beginning, she did not have much interest in it because she had a lot to do between her family, her son, and her work. But I was sure that she would benefit from being part of a healthy community. Eventually she joined and participated.

 

I think the most beautiful part of my job happens when I get to share the hope of the gospel with someone who is walking through a difficult time.

 

One day she called me worried and crying on the phone. She told me that she needed to talk to someone she trusted. She said she thought that God, on many occasions, spoke to her through me. I felt a great responsibility when she said that, but also a great opportunity to share the gospel.

Over time, Jessica has shown more closeness to the gospel and participates in church activities. She is not yet a member of the church, but she trusts the gospel and is comfortable asking me questions. Every so often she contacts me to ask for advice. She also continues to participate in our program and talks about it to her colleagues at her work.

As a human being, I’m sure that I judge and am too quick to speak. But when I speak with clarity to someone who is hurting, I’m sure it’s the Holy Spirit working through me.

I have had the opportunity to hear many people’s life stories. Each one has its own complexities, pains, and hopes. Being able to share the gospel with people who are struggling is amazing. There truly is power in the Word.

 

 


Before 2020, Wellness Circles met face to face. But online groups still offer a sense of community.


Christian welfare

It’s also important to us that we establish real relationships with people. When we serve one another in love, we exemplify the love that God showed to us. I think that this is what Christian welfare is all about.

For the most part, we work with people who have at least some knowledge of who Jesus is. Our Wellness Circles (support groups) create spaces for us to get to know one another better so we can encourage each other in our relationship with God. 

Wellness Circle groups meet regularly for four months. During this time, the group facilitators encourage people as they develop new healthy habits for a better life. Habits like exercising for 30 minutes a day, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and reading the Bible each day. Discussions give people the training they need to succeed, as well as the support they need to keep going during difficult times.

For people like retired nurse Inés, this work has been transformational. She told me how, “All my life I’ve taken care of others. And now at 68 years old, I understand that God also wants me to care for myself.”

But we also know that many non-Christians are watching what we are doing.

That’s why we are always willing to talk with those who are unsure about faith, to ease their doubts and encourage reflection. We start by using passages from scripture as our guide. And if someone has a difficult question, we connect them with a pastor who can explain things better.

 

 

Carla, pictured here, does whatever she can to create spaces for people to connect with the program work in Chile. This event from 2019 brought in a large group of community members to learn about living a healthy life. 

 

Meaningful local relationships

Right now, I am working with Hernan, a television producer. He told me that he is atheist but that he used to be Christian. It is often difficult for me to talk with him. But it is also a beautiful opportunity to be with him so I can respond to his questions. 

You might be wondering, “How did I connect with someone like Hernan?” We actually connected after one of our Instagram Live conversations on Kingdom Workers Chile. It’s incredible how God works! And I hope that we continue to build trust in our friendship so that I can keep telling him about Jesus.

Other people in similar spiritual situations have also connected with us via our social media channels. They learn that our program focuses on four fundamental topics: nutrition, physical activity, Christianity, and living in community.

It’s not a requirement that participants be Christian, and we do our best to not make people feel uncomfortable. We want to create a space for real conversations about faith to take place—free of judgement. And creating those meaningful relationships is incredibly helpful in making that happen.

 

 

Looking towards the future

It’s incredible what has all happened in such a short amount of time. This program has only been around for 18 months, but we have already seen so many lives changed. People’s health has improved and many now are much closer to God.  

My hope for this program is that in the future we would have healthcare professionals on staff as well as full-time spiritual counselors. Also, as a society we are lacking in many areas of health, especially mental health. I know addressing people’s mental health struggles is something we can work to do more in the future.

I am amazed at the changes I have seen in my own life as a result of this program. As I said earlier, it is a blessing to get to serve others. I feel like God has been blessing me as I work to care for the people around me. I feel that I am growing in my understanding of who God is and how to learn more in His word. I also worry less.

 

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

 

I am confident that everything we are doing in this program is for God’s glory. And I pray that by reading this blog you now understand more and can pray over us that we would continue to find joy in our work.

 

 


Carla Alegría is the Community Manager for Kingdom Workers Program in Chile. She loves to constantly be learning more about God's Word and enjoys working for His glory. She is an innate learner. She has lately taken photography and makeup classes, and is looking for baking classes specifically to learn how to make vegan brownies.

 


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