Greetings from South America! We hope this finds you well. We are so thankful for your prayers and your partnership in the gospel with us.
It’s Winter Break here in Chile. This is a downtime in the culture: schools are out for semester breaks, lots of people travel on vacation, and ministry activity nearly comes to a standstill. It’s a good moment both for family time and also to reflect on the ways the Lord has been guiding us with ministry opportunities since we got here.
Family: Last week our family got a much-needed four days at a cabin in Cajón del Maipo, a valley next to the Andes mountains. It was a time of fun, snow, and refreshment. It was also something of a ‘last hurrah’ as major changes are coming in the days and weeks ahead. Our daughter, Mary Beth, is moving to Tennessee this Friday. She’ll be living with my sister and her family while she completes here senior year of high school. This was a hard decision to make – but one we’re convinced will be best for her in the long run. Amy will accompany her to get her settled in. She’ll be returning just in time for our 21st wedding anniversary (August 3rd), only to see me travel a week later to help Joseph (our oldest) move into college. He’ll be attending the University of Alabama at Huntsville, studying computer science. We need a lot of prayer for all the transitions.
Ministry Opportunities: We have had abundant opportunities to serve. In local ministry, we are grateful to be plugged in with the Iglesia Trinidad de Reñaca (Reñaca Trinity Church, Reñaca being the name of one of the towns here). As we get more involved in our local church we are also having more opportunities for evangelism and one-on-one discipleship.
In May I was able to participate in a church planter assessment center, set up by City to City (a ministry of Redeemer Church in New York). Through the assessment we were able to approve 5 couples for church planting ministry. Coming out of the assessment, I am now mentoring two of these church planters, and Amy is engaged mentoring one of the wives. I also have occasional preaching opportunities, and Amy continues to be minister to church planters’ wives through Parakaleo.
Regionally, I continue to serve our various missionaries throughout South America. In early June, I had the opportunity visit to Bogotá and Bucaramanga, Colombia. It was an encouraging visit as I got to meet two newborn missionaries, got to see some of our youth specialists in action as they ministered to missionary kids at our first-ever Americas MK Retreat, and then got to engage with an exciting church planting work led by Colombian pastor John Sandoval in Bucaramanga.
A group hug with missionary Andrew Lupton to end the retreat!