Monday, February 16, 2015

February update

Standing on an old lava flow in Chile
At the end of January we had the opportunity to go to Lican Ray, Chile for our annual missionary conference. It was a pleasure for us to meet many of our fellow missionaries in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay as well as fellow ministers of the gospel in the U.S. and Ireland.  We were challenged each day with messages from Pastor Bob Philbrick.  We encouraged one another as we shared in common struggles and victories.  The kids really enjoyed the opportunity to meet all of the other missionary kids in GMSA. It was a joy and welcomed reprieve from Spanish as they (and we) were able to communicate with everyone in English. We praise the Lord for the strength that He gives us as “iron sharpeneth iron.”

Actually getting to the conference was a challenge in and of itself. It was a two day drive that turned into four! Our first hurdle was to cross the border into Chile. We were disappointed to not be allowed to cross because of a complicated paperwork issue with our van. Basically, we do not have our Argentine residency paperwork started yet because we have been waiting for paperwork from the U.S. Because of this, we had to put our van in The Gibbon’s name so we could actually purchase it. We have other paperwork that gives us permission to use it so that it is not normally a problem and we have been able to cross into Uruguay, but the road to Chile was closed for us. Upon receiving this bitter news, we got back in our van to begin plan ”B” only to discover that our van wouldn’t start! Because it is a standard, we decided to jump start it using the clutch. We just had one opportunity as we were already close to the gate to Chile. I am proud of Donelle for successfully navigating her first jump start even with the pressure of only fifteen feet left before hitting the gate!

Our first volcano sighting!
We drove to the nearest city which was about an hour and a half away. Upon finding a mechanic, we discovered that not only was the alternator not working, but the battery had to be replaced also. If we were in the U.S. we would have likely been back on the road in a few hours, but there is difficulty getting parts here so had to spend two nights in a hotel and were finally able to get moving again. The Gibbons met us at the border crossing and we were able to cross with them there with us. On the way back from Chile, I noticed a problem with the clutch on the van. After first noticing the problem, there were no other symptoms until we got home. The day after we arrived, the clutch went out completely and this time we would wait a full week before being able to get the parts and get it fixed. We thank the Lord for His provision for these extra expenses and for working out His timing for this to take place. We know that He is in control, but it is through times like this that we see Him working clearly.

Praise the Lord for His continued provision especially through the trials.
Praise the Lord for a softening in the hearts of one of the couples that we asked prayer for previously. He has started coming back to church again occasionally. Please pray for continued growth and full restoration.
Praise the Lord for growth in language acquisition especially in the kids.
Praise the Lord for two new churches supporting the ministry.
Praise the Lord for three potential mission teams this year.

Handing out VBS invitations with Aunt Debbie
Prayer requests:
Wisdom to make wise choices.
That God would keep us faithful to Him.
Continued language and cultural development.
That God would strengthen us through the challenges that we are facing.
VBS that is running Feb. 17-21. Pray for the hearts of the young people to be turned toward the Lord and that parents would respond to God’s call as well.
Continue to pray for the two couples that are struggling with their relationships and faithfulness to the Lord.

Thank you again for standing or kneeling with us as we serve the Lord together.

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Mission Statement

To love, worship, and glorify God in spirit and truth in everything that we do and to train godly disciples who will be able to teach others also unto the uttermost part of the earth.