By: Tom Gibbons
August 31, 2021
Life is full of debuts, departures, gooddays, and goodbyes.
We first crossed paths and shook hands with GMSA in the early 1980’s. A friend from Bible College, Pastor John Kenyon, and my late father in law, Pastor David Clarke, were on the Canadian Board, and twisted our arms until we said “ GMSA.”
At first we were observers, but before long we would see that GMSA was a “gospel mission.” So we pulled up a chair, sat down at the table, and with my wife Margaret have held hands with the Mission ever since. One’s steps are ordered by the LORD!
Along with being a Board member, we have served as Canadian Reps since 2014. Our objective has been threefold: to make GMSA better known, to challenge people to partner with their time, treasure, and/or talent, and to be a Barnabas to our many co-workers in the LORD.
We might have done more but hopefully we’ve done a little something to advance the great cause of Christ. We would be amiss if we didn’t mention our gratitude for your friendship and encouragement. Thank you, and God bless you really good!
On August 31 we will say “adios” to GMSA, and “hola” to a new season of life: retiring as “home missionaries,” but remaining as missionaries from home. We don’t know how the future will unfold, but we do know Who holds us in His hand (Is. 41:10; Ps. 90:1,2)! We’re not going to become “rock and rollers”: rolling out of bed in the morning, and rocking the rest of the day away in a chair. As God gives grace and strength, we want to finish well, and do something for Him (Deut. 33:25).
We praise the LORD that we can sit up and take nourishment, standing right side up, instead of laid out straight. We have hope from above, and help for below (Ps.146:5). God is faithful, and He is able (1 Thess. 5:24)!
God is faithful in calling and keeping you. Circumstances will change, but Providence will not. The LORD is unchangeable and immutable. Jesus is the same – yesterday, today, and forever (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8)! God can do what needs to be done. Imagine it, dream it, and be bold. Everything is possible, and little is much when God is in it (Eph. 3:20;, Phil. 4:13,19; Heb. 4:16).
As we part, we pray for one another. Things happen when we do. Blessings come down when prayer goes up! And so we end with “una bendición”: “The LORD bless you, protect you, smile on you, be gracious to you, show you favor and give you His peace” (Num. 6:24-26).
Keep looking up and going ahead. There’s a crown to wear and a ”well done” to hear. We will meet again – down here, in the air, or over there!
By: Tom Gibbons
August 30, 2021
Describing the life-changing power of the gospel ministry, Paul says that “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Unlike Old Testament ministry, where Moses spoke with God and then had to cover his shining face with a veil, we trust God to “remove the veil” from blind eyes and thunder “Let there be light!” Only then will they see the full glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. The opportunity to proclaim this life-transforming message and see God work is a glorious treasure, although we carry this treasure around in weak clay jars (2 Cor 4:7). We are thankful for many opportunities to talk with, listen to, and encourage people with the gospel. Sometimes we get to see God tear the veil off and create light out of darkness, and other times it’s the Lord’s Spirit making those gradual, progressive changes from one level of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18).
We still keep up with our regular Bible studies with several couples from the church. Our conversations are filled with honest questions, explanation and application of Scripture, and talking about bringing every area of our lives under the authority of Jesus. Our church continues to meet on Sunday afternoons at the beach park, which gives us plenty of time to pray, sing, fellowship, and disciple one another. The kids enjoy playing with one another and the younger ones find plenty of tíos (aunts and uncles) to keep an eye on them. The beach park is full of distractions and noise, but what church enjoys a sunset show like we do?!
We are hoping to be able to meet soon for the first time in the building our church bought last March. The constantly-changing requirements seem to allow us to meet (with many restrictions). We’re reminded often that in the world’s eyes, what we want to do is completely “non-essential” and should be avoided, but we view things a little differently, walking by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), so we aren’t discouraged (2 Cor 4:16).
Please continue to pray with us for the resolution of our permanent residency documents. We’re still in the same holding pattern we’ve been in since June 2019, with no change in over a year. We appreciate your prayers.
By: Kati Raven
August 30, 2021
“Teaching them to observe all things…” Matthew 28:20
We are so thankful for the faithful group of ladies who are eager to attend our ladies’ group every other Friday night. We are reading through a book together (Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth based on Titus 2) . The ladies are expected to read the chapter before class, then Monica and Becky take turns teaching/leading the group through a discussion and follow-up with verses and a short encouragement or challenge for the ladies over the content of that chapter. We began this study back in March, but then had to put a pause on extra church activities during the months of April-June when we had a high number of COVID cases in our town and in our country. We are so thankful that in July we were able to start all of our church activities back up again. This has been a great opportunity for our ladies to fellowship and grow as we encourage one another in our walk with the Lord about being a testimony and teaching the younger ladies in our church through our words and actions. Please pray that our ladies would continue to be interested in studying God’s Word and living out the Gospel!
“…commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2
Since the month of March, five men in our church began taking three classes with Mariano with the purpose to learn to study the Bible better but as well to lend a hand when there is a need to teach. We began with Bible Study Methods, we are currently studying hermeneutics, and then expository preaching. Eduardo already has shared a devotional in a men’s meeting and Ismael and Alejandro will share in prayer meeting while I am in the USA for 10 days. Pray as well for Lucas and Christian. My goal is to have these men fully trained in those classes to give a hand to Pastor Bobby during our 7 week furlough (Jan- Feb 2022).
A building project can be compared to a new Christian. We want to see changes quickly and often that doesn’t happen. We are experiencing some delays in OUR timeline. So, we are learning many things among them is to have lots of patience. We still don’t have a bathroom for our church facility. WHY? You are probably asking. We only have one man who is hired from Montevideo. He can only come a few days a week. So, this makes the process much slower than we expected. The installment of the bathroom is getting close, but we also have to get permits from the town (which all takes time due to Covid restrictions). We appreciate your prayers in this area and many of you who have given towards this project.
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO GROUPS FROM THE USA COMING TO HELP IN THIS PROJECT IN 2022!! PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.
Is there a difference? Many have asked me this question. The answer can be ambiguous. There are many things in the process of both that will repeat themselves. Last month the decision was made for me to lend a hand in a sister church an hour away from us. They have been without a pastor for 2 years and are down to 9 people attending. It is my desire and prayer that God will provide a faithful pastor for these folks. I also want to help them to grow in the areas where they have not been taught to function as a local body of believers. I am traveling every other Sunday (with a group from our church here) to provide 2 sermons and counseling. Please pray.
• To be able to finish the multipurpose building by early October
• Mariano’s paperwork for residency in Uruguay
• Souls to be saved in Carmelo
• For wisdom and discernment to help the church in Colonia
• For the body of Christ in Carmelo to grow in maturity and unity
By: Matt Postiff
August 27, 2021
Thank you for your prayers this summer. It’s been a great summer full of ministry opportunities for the whole family.
Regarding our return to Chile it is still uncertain. There are still restrictions in place that make travel back to Chile a challenge. After 4 months of closed borders, now they have entered a new stage called “protected” border. Some of the changes include a mandatory 10 day hotel stay (it used to be 5 days) with a penalty of $65,000 dollar fine for leaving the quarantine room. If vaccinated there is still a 10 day mandatory house stay. There are surprise visits and test being conducted during those first 10 days of quarantine. We are waiting on Dan’s passport renewal and Becca’s visa stamped to go back to Chile.
In the city of Santiago, slowly the city seems to be moving to be more open from the COVID lock-downs. This new “openness” has allowed workers to travel form one area of the city to another without restrictions. We are thankful for some progress at the Pirque Bible Camp in Chile during this last two weeks. There has been some advancements in some of the projects that were not finished last year. Below you can find some of the pictures that show some of the progress.
Once again thankful for your prayers. There are some decisions that we need to make in the near future regarding our travel plans and trust in the Lord’s timing.
Dan & Becca Vallette
By: Tom Gibbons
July 30, 2021
The Lord has heard and answered your prayers and by His grace our first semester with the Instituto Centro Bíblico was completed on July 8. (Just a note, this Bible Institute has been in existence for a several years, but it is our first time working with it). We praise the Lord for a good group of students and for the men who taught the classes. In addition to the good students and fine teachers, I was greatly assisted by Patti’s administrative work. She is an excellent record keeper and walking tickler file making sure that I am staying on task and looking good!
The semester was challenging in that all the classes were taught online. This was a first for our Bible Institute. Three of the classes were taught via live Zoom and my class was recorded and posted to YouTube for the students to watch. In my opinion, the virtual classroom is not the best way to teach a class, but if we did not use it, we would not have had any classes. It did seem to work well though. One major advantage was that we were able to offer classes outside of the Temperley area. We had six students from Bragado, 9 de Julio and Chivilcoy. This would not have been possible were we not using virtual classes. Administratively, we had to work out ways to receive payments, grade tests, turn in projects, etc. That was a bit of a problem. We will continue to work on this process as we move into the next semester.
In August we will, Lord willing, be offering five classes (Survey of the Old Testament II, Biblical Hebrew II, Hermeneutics, Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life and Christian Family). We will continue teaching exclusively on the virtual format but hopefully with most of the “bugs” worked out. The semester starts on August 9, so please keep that date in mind when you pray for us.
Our theme verse for our ministry is 2 Tim 2:2, “[A]nd what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” This has been our prayer all through our ministry, that we might impart to faithful students that which others have learned and done in walking with and serving the Lord. It is for God’s glory and for the strength of the local church that we put our efforts forward. Your prayers and support continue to assist us and encourage us.
All things considered, we three are doing well. We are very weary with the restrictions and complications of doing ministry during a pandemic. But we are getting along.
1. That the Lord would bring all our students back for the second semester and that we would see some new ones added.
2. That preparations for next semester would be fruitful.
3. That circumstances would allow us to make a short furlough during our summer break (Dec-Feb).
4. That God would clear the way through the muck, mire and confusion that is our immigration process.
5. Continued grace in acquiring skill with the language.
6. That we would walk faithfully and joyfully before the Lord in all circumstances.