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The Constitution

A week from today Chile will vote on a new constitution. The choice is either “rechazo” reject or “apruebo” approve.

This current situation started in October of 2019 when Kent and I happened to be here. I was riding the metro and when I walked out of the station there were lots of young people gathering and protesting. I asked a young lady if everything was OK and she told me the students were protesting. Over the next two to three days it turned from normal protests to millions of people gathered together marching in the bigger cities. However, some of the activists began rioting and causing social unrest.

The situation was quite scary for me since I had never seen anything like this before. We were put under a curfew. The stores were all boarded up. There were long lines at the gas stations and grocery stores with a limited number of items you could purchase. Some areas of the city had buildings lit on fire and burning tires put in the middle of roads.

From these events, a constitutional group was voted on and formed to try to solve some of these issues by writing a new constitution. And now almost three years later, the voting day has finally arrived.

Peaceful demonstrators

So far, we have seen signs up and people waving flags on the sidewalks for what side they are supporting. I have only seen peaceful protests with one more week left. However, several friends have encouraged us to fill up on the basics because they believe we will have some social issues next week.

I have an opinion on the constitution and will vote next Sunday. (Kent and I are able to vote since we were permanent visa holders.) And as much as we love this country, it isn’t our country. It’s surreal in some ways. I know the outcome will effect us but it doesn’t seem like it’s real. The effects could be huge because there is an extreme difference between rechazo and apruebo.

Please pray for Chile. It is such a lovely country . Since we started coming here almost 10 years ago it has seen lots of changes. I think the people are tired because covid came right after the unrest and they were under extreme lockdowns. There were months when they were only able to leave their house for food and essential medical appointments. The police would come to check homes and stop people in their cars to make sure they had their pass to be out. They still have a mobility passport that is only available to those who have taken three to four booster shots.

Are there things that need to change? Of course. It’s like that in every country. I wish there was a way to fix every injustice in the world. However, God is just even when we don’t understand and can use everything that happens for His glory. We are just praying that whatever the outcome, He uses Kent, me, and the church while we are here.

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