Back to Bolivia and Chile
Our sense of heritage in God’s plan is alive and well.
In a rerun of the visit made to Bolivia and Chile in November 2022, it was the turn of the brethren in Chile on this occasion in 2023 to celebrate a baptism, while the brethren in La Paz, Bolivia, continue in the one faith waiting for our Lord’s return.
The theme of the two visits—apart from the baptism, was our heritage of faith and where it began. It is very easy to pass our days without a direct sense of connection to the events of the Bible. The challenge can be greater for isolated ecclesias and brethren in places like Bolivia and Chile.
We reminded ourselves that our heritage of faith began when Abraham believed in God and left his house. We are here today because Abraham believed in God. We become heirs to the promise when we are baptized and participate in an unbroken line of events and faith.
In both small and great ways, the continuity of the story of this world is with us every day, and we are reminded that we are very much a part of that unfolding story in which Abraham, David, Jesus, and the Apostles take part.
When we acknowledge the month of August, we are reminded of the great Caesar Augustus, who decreed a census and helped establish a world peace that allowed the Gospel to flourish. When we acknowledge 2023, we give witness to the years since the Lord´s birth. When we strum a guitar, it strikes a chord right back to the days of Daniel, Kitara of Babylon, and the New Testament times.
We see the influence of Cyrus the Great and Xenophon’s epic “The Education of Cyrus” in political thinking right down to the modern world. We share bread and wine, as has been done continuously for 2000 years, and we have been invited to witness the testimony of the Jewish people who remain central to the continuity. Many of the inflated issues of today are put into their true perspective when our sense of heritage in God’s plan is alive and well.
So, when eight brethren met in a rented room in La Paz in the center of South America in 2023, the link was real. Some have a natural heritage through the Indigenous people, and thus via the great migrations from Asia to America are a part of the story that began after Noah.
Others have a heritage back to Spain, a place that the Apostle Paul wished to visit, and which today bears witness to the influence of the Roman world of the New Testament in place names like Zaragoza (Caesar Augustus). But their new heritage is with Abraham, through the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, this group, with the support of Bro. Shimon Spina, who participates from afar, lives the heritage of faith in our Lord.
Further south in Chile, the center of activity on the visit to that country was a small farmhouse outside Villarrica, near Temuco. On this occasion, six brothers and sisters, as distant physically and temporally from Abraham as you could possibly imagine, slotted right into the continuity of heritage and brought another sister on board.
Sis. Antonella Rossel González was baptized in a small, cold pool on the land of Sis. Gloria and her husband, Fernando. Antonella had studied for some years and steadily moved toward this moment. She lives in Santiago, a heaving and burdened metropolis.
Hence, the peace and natural beauty of the southern lake district of Chile and the prominent snow-capped mountains provided a fitting metaphor for the new man in Christ in contrast to the old man left behind.
After a special weekend with our new sister, the brothers who traveled with her returned to Santiago. The city where she lives is named after a fisherman. Not any fisherman. This was John’s brother, a Son of Thunder, who Herod killed for following his Lord. James, the son of Zebedee, gives his name to this modern massive city.
Let’s never forget our heritage of faith. It is as real as the seven days of each week. Abraham would have loved to stand where we do today and see what was triggered when he believed in God.
CBMC Link for Chile