Chile: Vibrant growth in the Patagonian tundra

Jesus told his followers to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Pablo Galaz is taking that command literally.  He lives in Punta Arenas, a small port town on the Chilean side of Patagonia. While its extreme southern location is the perfect starting point for Antarctic expeditions, it creates a challenge for those pioneering new student groups. Wild mountains and cold islands bar this region from the rest of Chile. If Pablo wants to reach another city, he must board an expensive four-hour flight to Santiago or drive three hours to Argentina. The location is not ideal, but Pablo believes that a vibrant student movement can grow in the cold tundra of the south. 

In 2019, Pablo became the pioneering staff worker of the Breaking New Ground initiative in Chilean Patagonia. Since then, he has spent a large portion of his time driving long distances to other towns and cities in the region, helping pastors and leaders understand the value of student ministry through workshops and teaching. Since his city is much closer to Argentina than his own country, he hopes a partnership will develop with Argentinian churches. As revival has come to many churches in Patagonia, the spiritual soil is fertile for student ministry. Pablo’s mission is to help them develop a heart for students.

He has already established many of his own strong relationships with students in the Chilean part of Patagonia. On one of his long road trips to Argentina, Pablo brought along Nicolas, a second-year student wrestling with questions about his life and future. Staring ahead at the open road, the two of them dove into rich conversations about life, ministry, and the enormous mission of reaching students. After their road trip, Nicolas became one of the most faithful student leaders in their group.

Student leaders like Nicholas make a huge impact on the progress of planting new groups in Patagonia. But the region is isolated, and many students leave once they graduate. Yet Pablo remains firmly planted in his vision for many active groups throughout the region. One of his projects is a church plant which will value and reach out to university students. Symbolically, they call themselves El Arbol, or The Tree. Pablo hopes that with time, this church and many others will grow deep roots in the cold soil of Patagonia, to foster dynamic movements of students. Pray with us as he continues to break ground in this isolated region. 

  • Pray for perseverance for Pablo and his student leaders as they continue to meet with church leaders in Patagonia. Pray that these churches would understand the need for student outreach.
  • Pray for new opportunities for leading workshops in the cities of Rio Grande and Ushuaia.
  • Pray for more student leaders to become invested in the mission.
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