For the past 20 years, Timberline Church has partnered with missionaries Jim and Ester Mazurek as they reach at-risk children in Chile and raise up leaders throughout Latin America. In addition to financial support, a construction team went five years ago to build a church building. In the spring of 2016, the partnership will continue with another construction trip, this time to expand the Children’s Outreach Center. Jim and Ester visited Timberline Church this past weekend and provided an update on their ministry efforts.
Ester Mazurek is the founder and director of the Santiago Children’s Ministry Outreach Center, a ministry that reaches out to at-risk children in Santiago, Chile (pop. 7 million) with evangelism, discipleship, hot meals, educational reinforcement, medical and foster care, shelter, and rescue from child prostitution.
Jim shared that the largest unreached people group in the world today is children with the 4-14 window (age 4 to 14) representing the biggest challenge and opportunity in missions today. The Mazureks are currently building a facility that will house a church, school, athletic area, and overall ministry offices and are seeking funds and construction teams to complete the project soon.
Meanwhile, Jim Mazurek is also the Adjunct Coordinator of the Christian Education Service of the Assemblies of God and gives oversight to a variety of ministries ranging from Sunday Schools to graduate school. Each year he travels extensively and teaches seminars throughout Latin America including Cuba.
Sixty miles south of Santiago sits the city of Rancagua (pop. 217,000), a “dormitory town” for the workers in the world’s largest copper mine. Despite the prosperity the mining industry brings to the city, the children are the ones to suffer most when criminality, alcoholism, and drug addiction persist. In 2012, the Mazureks began outreach ministry to the children of Rancagua and in 2014 were able to rent an events center building near downtown. These ideal facilities are now for sale for under $100,000 and the local church of new believers is stepping up with the down payment for a loan while praying for provision to reduce the balance due quickly.
Both locations are already making plans to bless 200 children with a Christmas celebration and special gift for each. Many of the children come from environments marked by poverty, drug addiction, alcoholism, absent fathers, domestic violence, and neglect. For some, the present the Mazureks and their ministry provides is the only gift they will receive. A gift of just ten dollars would secure a gift and snacks for one child.
How can you help their ministry?
1) Pray for provision for their ministry and personal safety as they travel to dangerous areas in Santiago and the region.
2) Connect so you can stay aware of their ongoing needs and project reports. Visit their website at www.reachingandraising.com, Facebook page under Jim and Ester Mazurek Missions, or sign up for their e-newsletters.
3) Give towards the costs of a particular project through links on their website. Ministry costs money and Jim shared that they pay $6.50 for a gallon of gas!
4) Go with a construction team to help complete the Children’s Outreach Center. Stay tuned for more details as Timberline Church is sending a team in 2016.