By: Matt Postiff
October 2, 2020
Missionaries Curtis and Diane Steward report from Chile:
No doubt about it, the last few months have been DARK around here. For one thing, winter moved in with early sunsets, overcast skies, and a 9 or 10 p.m. curfew. Then on July 28 a full lockdown quarantine was declared for our city and province. The initial two weeks stretched into two months to the day. Restrictions meant we could only leave the house for a few hours each week for medical attention or essentials (groceries, medications) and only with a laboriously obtained virtual permission.
What did that mean for daily life and ministry?
DEATHS: Since August, we have experienced the passing of several people connected to the church. Not all passed due to the virus. Most of the families don’t know Christ and have had to deal with their grief without much support or even normal funerals. And for a small church, a case of appendicitis and two emergency gall bladder surgeries in one month seem like…a lot?
DELAYS: Of course our house project has been on hold until just this week. Church finances took a nosedive as unemployment affected more and more households, and the congregation had to negotiate a lower rent for the building we’ve only used as storage space since March! Second semester Bible institute classes were cancelled, along with our January mission conference. Still waiting to hear about summer camps…
DISCOURAGEMENT: The Sept. 18 patriotic holiday, the biggest of the year here, was severely curtailed—a blow to Chileans. As masks become second skins and hugs are history, the temptation is to give into irritation, frustration, and despair. BUT…
Thank God for the LIGHTS in this present darkness:
• The Church Online: Sunday school on YouTube, Zoom prayer meetings, the new men’s group (Men of Courage), and our Ladies’ Time—all very valuable.
• The new families are growing and participating in virtual meetings.
• The bonds of friendship have strengthened. For example, the church overwhelmed us with birthday blessings recently.
• The faithful ongoing ministry is amazing. Everyone is doing their part!
• 2-weeks-early lifting of the most severe lockdown restrictions, though restaurants and malls are still closed. We can at least have small home get-togethers now and go out on weekdays. Curt and I celebrated our 41st anniversary by visiting a store!
By: Matt Postiff
October 1, 2020
For their September update, Dan and Liz Thompson and family are awaiting…
Meanwhile, Micah is taking mid-terms at Appalachian Bible College and is doing well. Thank you to those who have sent him cards, care packages, and financial gifts to his college fund. He is learning some wonderful lessons in how God is providing for his every need.
Your partnership in the work of the Lord here in Chile means so much to us! We know that 2020 has been a difficult year for many of you. We do pray that in the Lord’s strength we can all finish this year focused on God’s faithfulness and care for each of us. He knows our every need so we can boldly present ourselves to Him and receive of His good hand. Thank you for your prayers for our family and ministry. your missionaries and His servants,
Danny and Liz,
Micah, Matthias, Morgan, and Madeline.
By: Matt Postiff
September 17, 2020
Dear Friends & Family,
It has been about 5 years since we’ve seen the fall colors here in Pennsylvania. We are looking forward to the spectacular colors and cooler weather.
Chile While it is different in every area in Chile, Santiago is still much the same. The government has a 5-phase plan to move out of lock-down. Some counties (comunas) are still in phase 1 while others are in phase 3. Schools are virtual. Masks are required as is social distancing. September is always energized with patriotism, gatherings of friends and family, lots and lots of yummy food and the welcoming of spring. It will be very different this year. So many are struggling – personally, economically, and spiritually.
The church we attend has been meeting virtually since March. They have kept up with small groups every week, youth meetings on Saturdays, discipleship, etc. They are looking forward to meeting in person as soon as they can. We are thankful for their faithfulness and miss meeting with them.
What summer camp will look like (January & February) remains to be seen. It is difficult to plan for anything at this point. We are hoping to have small camps that would meet current regulations. We are thankful that Chilean churches have been able to maintain the camp threw special offerings.
Recently We enjoyed the summer in the states as a family. Being together as a family of six was a noisy blessing. We loved every conversation, game, laugh, memory, etc. Slowly, Bryan, Vanesa and Keven began college. They are all adjusting well. After a couple minor adjustments, Bryan has done well being back at college. Thank you for your continued prayers. Camila is enjoying her junior year at High Point. Becca was given the opportunity to teach high school Spanish at High Point.
Currently We began our travels to visit friends, family and churches. We have a two-week trip planned to Minnesota to visit Becca’s parents and will visit several people along the way. While putting together our presentation, we are reminded of how much the Lord has done these past five years. When we look at the pictures of the camp when we arrived and what it is now – WOW! Looking forward to what God is going to do the next 5 years and beyond.
The physical transformation is amazing but the heart and soul of camp is people. Four of those people are currently attending Bible Institute as a result of camp. Those who serve at camp are faithful in serving in their local churches. Several people have been saved at camp and are being discipled in their local churches. Please pray as we travel and present what God has put on our hearts.
Dan & Becca Vallette
Keven, Bryan, Vanesa & Camila
By: Matt Postiff
September 17, 2020
GMSA updates our Facebook page and Twitter feed whenever there is a new blog post. Sometimes you get more content on Facebook than on this blog. For example, Mark & Bekah Perry send their monthly prayer letter via a Facebook post. See it just now on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GMSA1923, or visit our page on Twitter at twitter.com/gmsa1923:
By: Matt Postiff
September 8, 2020
We are grateful to the Lord for the church plant ministry we are involved in, and for the work team that God has put together there (four FEBU students are also helping here for their practical ministry).
Martin and Melanie are actively engaged in young people, children, and music ministries. Sergio and Martin are also preaching on a rotating basis for Wednesday and Sunday services. Andrea organized the Junior church program, and just this week she started a weekly Bible study for the ladies. We rejoice in the many opportunities God has given us to serve Him!
August marked the beginning of our second semester at the Bible College with classes still via ZOOM, but this month we are working ourselves slowly back to normal. Therefore, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we are returning to regular classes following Uruguayan sanitary protocols. Lord willing, we are hoping to increase “normal classroom” days progressively.
We praise the Lord for His provision of housing for male students. We are renting a house within walking distance from FEBU classrooms, which saves them transportation expenses. Please join us in prayer for a Dorm Supervisor to help in this very important aspect of ministry.
It is such a joy to engage in the lives of students beyond the classroom. Andrea really enjoys her weekly discipleship meetings with the female students that live in our home (upstairs apartment). This year, they started a study on faith with a special emphasis on missions, and for the past weeks they are studying about biblical submission. Both topics have rendered plenty of counseling opportunities. We count it a privilege to have a part in the spiritual growth of these precious lives.
We are so thankful for the dedicated pastors and missionaries who each
week volunteer time from their busy schedules to train these men and
women. They are a blessing and godly testimony to the students.
There are 155 cases of COVID in Uruguay today, and 44 deaths since March. Most activities are back to a “new normal” with masks, social distancing, disinfection, closed borders.