Santiago & Farewell

“In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.”

Isaiah 65: 21

I was talking with one of the Gallery owners in Alegre, he was a medical Doctor, who loved art and opened the Gallery because it was his passion. As we walked through the rooms he explained to me about each artist’s work.

The conversation somehow moved to family and I discovered he was Basque. We discussed our families and when I told him my family name was Barrenechea, he laughed. He said there is a District in Santiago called Lo Barnechea, settled by Basques. He told me it was a very nice part of town and that I must visit it while I was in Santiago.

We packed up the last of our belongings early on Saturday morning before heading to breakfast, our last meal on the ship. The trip was a wonderful experience, and met our expectations, but, after 21 days we were ready to spend some time on dry land. We left the ship for the last time and boarded a bus for the 1 1/2 hour ride to Santiago from Valparaiso. The drive was scenic through the hills and across picturesque valleys dotted with farms and vineyards, with tractors moving through the fields.

As we arrived in Santiago the vast city was laid out before us. We dropped off at a hotel which would be our departure location in the evening for the airport. We met a friend of ours Steve who lives in Santiago and he showed us the town on the final day of our trip. We visited the Basque Club (Mary-Beth’s father had spent time there in the 1950’s) for lunch with Steve and his two daughters. We shared an authentic Basque meal and then headed for Lo Barnechea.

The taxi dropped us off at a corner cafe where we went in a had dessert and coffee. The Lo Barnechea District was nestled at the foothills of the towering Andes. They almost did not look real, more like a painting as they soared into the sky. Wow, it was impressive!

Santiago is a bustling modern City of almost 7,000,000 people. We enjoyed the summer heat, a nice contrast from Southern Patagonia. It was great to see this impressive city and learn some of its history. Most of all, it was a fine place to end our journey to the end of the world. Thanks for joining us for this journey of a lifetime.

Home Away From Home…One week in the BVI

"In Recess" at Jost Van Dyke
“In Recess” at Jost Van Dyke

A long-time dream came true for me this last week as I have been made my home on a 41′ sailboat, sailing through the British Virgin Islands.

The opportunity came a few months ago when a friend of mine invited me to to crew on a boat for the week sailing in the BVI.  I checked the calendar, talked to my amazingly generous wife , figured out a flight using frequent flyer miles, and the trip was a go.

It has been an unbelievable week,  I stand in awe at God’s creation and power as a result of all I have seen and experienced in the last few days. The pristine beauty of this part of the world amazes me.

Our first day out we snorkeled over the “Wreck of the Rhone,”, a British mail ship sunk  off of Salt Island on October 29, 1867.  Seeing the massive 310 foot ship lying on the bottom of the sea like a filleted fish was amazing!  Seeing the anchors, huge steel prop and metal framework made me think how incredible the seas power is to destroy such a huge ship.  Then my mind wondered about the men & women who were on the ship, both passengers and crew, what were they thinking, what must have endured.   Over 123 souls perished when the ship sunk.

Sailing to Wreck of the Rhone
Sailing to Wreck of the Rhone

My first time at the helm, we were sailing to Marina Cay through a gale.  As I stood at the helm, I could feel the power of the sea and the wind as I tried to keep the ship on coarse.  The wind was so strong…at one point the ship was leaning significantly to port, I slipped on the wet deck, my feet went out from under me, and I was hanging on by the huge pilot wheel.

God made His mighty power evident to me that day in the torment of the sea!  I saw His power up close and personal.

Me On "In Recess"
Me On “In Recess”

As a part of my schedule, I am taking a seminary class on the Book of Isaiah, with Dr. Van Gemeren, at Trinity Divinity School (a fantastic class).  This week, the BVI has been my classroom.  What a place to study about our creator and His purposes for His people!  God is teaching me many things through the book of Isaiah (more on that later).  No question about it, God took me to school this week.  He showed me amazing and wondrous things through His Natural Revelation (creation), and wondrous things through His Special Revelation (the book of Isaiah).  I am grateful for both.

Kane Garden Bay, Tortola, Island
Kane Garden Bay, Tortola, Island

Here are a few of the lessons I learned this week, 1) God is good and sometimes If you are patient, dreams can come true.  2)  Time with good friends is priceless.  3)  I still like 80’s music.  4)  Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see God or know Him, but, God has revealed Himself, His nature and character in the things he has made as well as the things He Has said.

My home away from home was a gift for which I am extremely grateful!