Harry Hamilton has worked as a missionary in Santiago full time since 1991 and has been associated with mission work since 1982. His mission has been to establish churches and be involved in leadership training. Bertram has supported Harry many years. The following report is the most recent provided by Harry.
Report - August 2019
Report From Santiago, Chile
August 29, 2019
Greetings from Chile. We are finally making it through the winter.
I mentioned it briefly before, but I am going to repeat it again. My mailing address is: Calle Pastor Ponciano Yañez 1549. Aires de Buin III. Buin. Chile.
Two of our young men, Daniel and Raul, held a conference in Uruguay. Unfortunately, Raul caught a virus and was pretty sick. Milton held a conference in Peru. He had a medical emergency, and was sick. Fortunately, he is better and participated in my class Tuesday night. Currently, several of our young people are participating in a youth conference in Ecuador. Pablo was invited to give a conference in Ecuador.
I gave a week-long conference in Temuco during July. I talked on various themes. One was spiritual leadership. Biblically, the spiritual man is a servant. Spiritual leadership is not based on the authority-obedience dynamic, since Jesus says in Matthew 20:26 to not do it. In the same passage, in verse 28, Jesus says that he came to serve. So the better dynamic is one of love and submission, such as we find in Ephesians 5:21-33. The Christian leader helps the Christian be the best Christian he can be. Since we had several participants who were not members of the church, I also talked on faith, and the relation between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The latter was especially important because many people do not understand the difference between the two. The Christian religion is the religion of the new covenant, not the old. I tell people all the time that we are not Jews. We are Christians. The importance of the theme of the faith is that many do not ask themselves why they believe what they believe. In teaching on faith, I repeat many times to people that the only reason to believe in something is because it is true. Many people believe because they want to, but they never ask themselves if what they believe is true. If you believe in something that is not true, it is either a fantasy or it is a lie. After the conference, one of the brothers, Sergio, thanked me for the spiritual profundity of the presentations. I should also mention that we had an excellent barbecue on the last day.
Our effort to build a church building passed another step. The municipality in La Florida approved our next step, whatever it was. Thankfully, Marlene has a lot more patience for this sort of thing than I do. She, along with her husband, Alan, have been instrumental in getting all of the red tape done.
The ladies of the congregation in La Villa had a Ladies Day. We have a bunch of wonderful young ladies, and Elizabeth, Marlene, and Pilar are doing an excellent job of helping them to become better Christians. Elizabeth taught the class on that day. She taught one of the themes from my doctorate. As a result, Raisa decided to be baptized. Over the last few weeks, we have been working with her to bring her to a faith in Jesus, and to an understanding of what it means to obey the gospel. I find her to be a mature young lady. In our studies with her, it was important to lead her through the vast thicket of confusing concepts that accompanies much of religious thought. For example, questions such as: How can I know that I am worshipping the real God? How can I know that the Bible is the Word of God? How can I know if the church is the one that God established? These and a million more questions were on her mind.
This points out one of my functions as a preacher. Sometimes as a preacher, it is as important to raise questions as it is to answer them. The goal is to stimulate a person to think in the various concepts that come from God, so that they will be converted. Many think of evangelism as giving ten lessons and we’re done. The real goal of evangelism is to transform the mind of people (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) so that they will obey the gospel. The obedience is a product of the new understanding, which is a result of learning what the Bible teaches. Elizabeth did this with the lesson on formation, deformation, and transformation, which came from my doctorate. I used the play on words to develop a point. Every person is created by God, which is the formation. The first relationship which every person has with God, whether they want it or not, is that God is our Creator, and we are his creation. When Adam and Eve sinned, they destroyed that relationship through sin, which is the deformation. This results in a need to be transformed, which is God’s goal for us. In Romans 6:3-4, when one shares with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection, through baptism, he is raised as a new man. The way this plays out in reality is that when we talk about sin, most people realize they are not perfect. Most also realize that they would like to be better people than they are. What many do not know is that they can be better people than they are. Sometimes they do not know that God wants to forgive them, that they can be the people that God wants them to be, and that they can have a hope of a better life.
This is why it is important to have classes, and sermons, and invite people. Here in Chile, most people will decline if you invite them to study the Bible. If you say to someone, would you like to study the Bible for an hour every week, people get that panicked look in their eyes, and they start thinking of what excuse they can give. But if you ask them to come to a Bible study where all the brothers and sisters are going, and if you mention to them that there is also an once (tea and sandwich), most are happy to participate. In most of my classes, there are people who participate who are not Christians. In the worship services, we generally have several who are not Christians. One of the excellent things about the Church here in Chile is that many of the brothers and sisters are evangelistic. We have a lot of excellent brothers and sisters. I consider it as an important part of church life that everyone is as active as possible. An active church grows.
Thank you for your support May God bless you.
Report- December 13, 2018
Greetings from Santiago, Chile. I hope that all of you are doing well.
I spent September and October, 2018 in the United States. While in Houston, I taught 1 John in Spanish at the Hidden Valley congregation. I have taught there several times over the years. I also gave presentations to several congregations.
While I was in the States, the ladies here in Santiago hosted an International Women’s Conference. Ladies from all over Latin America and the United States participated. Even though I was not there, I had several ladies stay in my house. During the conference, seven ladies were baptized. Several of our ladies gave presentations in the conference. I helped Elizabeth and Yesenia with their presentations. Everyone told me that they did a great job. I am always inspired by the spirituality of our excellent sisters and the great work they do. Over the years, I have worked with a lot of people, both men and women, to help them be better servants of the Lord. It is in the interest of the church that we raise up as many spiritual men and women as possible.
Shortly after I returned to Chile, we held our annual retreat in la Villa. I presented the theme of the Holy, referring to the Hebrew word, kadosh, which means holy. I explained that the holy life begins with knowing what our limitations are. In Leviticus, God distinguishes between the pure and the unclean. The identification of that which is clean and that which is not teaches the people of God the distinction between that which is acceptable to God, and that which is not. We need to be aware of what lines to not cross. I talked first about God being holy. Then I explained that he allows us to be holy, which is possible through the sanctification of his people. Several things that we participate in are holy, such as marriage and the church. They are holy because God allows us to participate with him in them. I ended the retreat with a sermon on Sunday morning from Ephesians 4:17-24. Through the Word, God renews the understanding of his people, which results in his people being a holy people for him. During the retreat, one young man, Arturo, was baptized.
We also held an area wide church service, which the congregation in La Villa hosted. Our brother Marcos preached. He did a good job, but it was a long sermon. I visited with several people that I do not usually have a chance to see.
One of the things we are doing in several different congregations is we are having a visitor’s day, on the first Sunday of each month. It has brought several new people in, some of whom have been baptized. In La Villa, I think we have had fourteen baptisms this year. In the other congregations, I have not heard yet.
Except for the time I have been in the university, I have spent all my adult life in Chile, which currently is twenty-eight and a half years. I have known several of our young adults, such as Romina, Rodrigo, Paulina, Javiera, Tomas, and several others all their lives. Needless to say, I have a lot of love and affection for them. One of the things I love to tell them is that I have been in Chile longer than they have. They probably hate that. One of the young adults that was a part of our group is Milton Andres. He spent a good portion of his life living the rebellious life. Just like everywhere else, one of the difficulties that we have in Chile is passing our faith on to our children. I learned that Milton Andres was baptized while I was in the States, which made me very happy, as well as a lot of other people.
Another one of our young adults, Tomás, whom I have known all his life, had a conversation with me, where he told me he wanted to turn his life around, so he confessed his sins, and we prayed together. He had been baptized several years ago, but strayed from the path. His desire to return to God also made me very happy.
Another young man from that same group is Daniel. He has been helping with a lot of things at church, including he helped with the retreat, in leading singing and some things like that. I think he would like to be a minister, but I have not had that conversation with him yet.
Another young man that I find impressive is Mauricio, Paulina’s husband. Many of the things that he says shows me that he has spent a lot of time thinking about godly things. He has a friend that he really wants to convert, but the young man has not shown much interest yet. I do not believe in giving up on anybody, so the thing to do is be patient. There are a lot of people here in Chile who told me that they would never be members of the Churches of Christ, that are now members of the church.
While I was in the States, I learned that my sponsoring church of twenty years will be ending our relationship in a year and a half. So at that time, I will lose my sponsoring congregation and over two thousand dollars a month. Obviously I am looking to replace that loss. It is my intention to continue as a missionary in Chile. When I returned to Chile, I learned that a couple of our ministers also have lost their support. In addition, I understand that the only other missionary in Chile lost his support and will be returning to the USA. So I will once again be the only missionary here in Chile. I am looking for any congregation or individuals that would like to help the work in Chile, so any suggestions that you might have toward that end would be helpful.
One of the blessings of being a missionary living in Chile is that I am a part of the lives of a lot of people here. The greatest blessing about being a missionary is seeing people´s lives change.
Thank you for your support. May God bless you. Please remember the work here.
History of Work
“My ministry in Chile began on April 18, 1982. I spent two years in Chile (1982-1983) working with a teamin Santiago, the capital city. I then returned to the United States. In 1991, I returned to Santiago in 1991 with the intention of working on three goals: ministry leadership, establishing acongregation in the southern part of Santiago, and working toward the evangelization of the entire country of Chile.
Over the years, I have helped many members of the church become ministers. These men have been active in spreading the góspel not only in Chile, but also in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. Two ministers, Pedro Sanchez and Milton Muñoz, have even held meetings in Mexico and the United States.
During the time that I have been in Chile, the church has grown from a metropolitan church located primarily in Santiago to a national church with congregations from the northern city of Arica to the southernmost city of Punto Arenas. In addition, we have had hundreds of baptisms.
The congregation in La Villa, which is the congregation that I work with most, has grown over the years. We recently bought a property and are desirous of constructing a building, as soon as we can get the funds. The number of members is increasing. We recently had over 80 in attendance.
I also work with other congregations such as the church in Rancagua, which is to the south of Santiago, the congregations in Domeyko, Los Nogales, and La Florida.
The church in Chile is growing. For that we can give thanks to God.”
Bertram Church of Christ is supporting Harry monthly.
Preaching at Los Nogales in Santiago 03-2019
Sep 7, 2018- Fine Christian Women
Both young ladies moved here from another country.
Chile Young Preachers