By: Matt Postiff
April 15, 2021
Missionary Dan Vallette reports on his brief trip back to Chile.
Thank you for your prayers regarding my trip in February down to Chile. The trip had its challenges:
After leaving the airport and upon arrival at our house, in Santiago, I was greeted by our dog Lucy. It was great to be back in warm weather. There were some repairs and maintenance issues with the house that kept me busy for the next 10 days of my mandatory quarantine.
At the end of my quarantine I was able to go out to Camp. I was reminded of the great work that was accomplished these past years but also the enormous work that still needs to get done.
Thankful for the opportunity to be Stateside at Easter especially due to the fact that in Chile they are not able to get together in person as believers to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection.
I had scheduled a return flight to Chile in April to start with some of the projects at the Camp. Due to new lengthy lock-downs in the country of Chile no workers or materials could make it out to Camp. I had to reschedule my flights until later in May.
We want to thank you once again for your prayers, interest and donations for us and the Pirque Bible Camp ministry. Looking forward to seeing what our Lord has in store for us this year. Thank you once again for your prayers.
PS: Below you will find some projects that we would like to tackle this year.
By: Matt Postiff
April 2, 2021
No, we haven’t got arrested (yet) for breaking our city’s second quarantine, but it’s a huge challenge to accomplish our errands in two 2-hour outings per week. At least we have a special dispensation to get our second Covid shot tomorrow. We’re reminded of the prophet Daniel, who from youth to old age—for nearly 70 years—lived and served God during the Babylonian Captivity. Although a year has now passed since many of us have been frequently “locked up” in Pandemic Prison, “the Word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9).
Let us share how the Lord and His word have been working since we last wrote. Despite being unable to meet for services in person, we’ve continued ministries on the existing media platforms, including a dynamic Sunday school and a summer VBS which reached into other communities. Unfortunately, no conferences or camps were held, but Diane spoke via videotape to our northern ladies’ annual retreat this month. Our own women’s group recommenced again a couple of weeks ago with around 25 in Zoom attendance.
As of the end of February, we are officially a homeless church with our “belongings” scattered. The Punta Mira congregation voted to terminate the rental and move out, since we can’t effectively use it. We will continue to search (as possible) for a property to BUY, when we need it, in the Lord’s time.
It’s all about timing these days. A week into the new school year here, authorities announced another indefinite Phase 1 (strict lockdown) for Coquimbo. May God enable us, like Daniel, to be good examples, seek the open windows (of opportunity), and pray faithfully. Whether it’s 60 days again…or 70. I hope not 70 years!
On a personal note… Summer recently ended here, and it was quiet for us out in the country! After our vehicle broke down the first part of February, we didn’t get in any beach walks, thank-you barbecues, or building progress. BUT the Lord provided rides for appointments and groceries and the needed car parts after six weeks… just in time for the new quarantine.
Thanks for passing this letter on to those who don’t have email or cannot access the Southern Sentinel blog. We won’t be able to make the trek to the Post Office for a while!
Please pray for wisdom in travel decisions, that the church will be able to find a “permanent” home, for church ministries, endurance through all the online instead of in-person meetings, and for new believers.
By: Matt Postiff
March 8, 2021
It is fascinating to watch the various buildings coming together on the Bible Institute property in Pumalal, Chile. Hopefully with one more semester’s time in construction, the property will be able to accommodate students.
They have been able to make excellent progress despite COVID lockdowns and material shortages. Here is a visual idea of some of the progress:
By: Matt Postiff
February 16, 2021
Missionary Dan Vallette reports on the changes going on in their plans these days:
As you are well aware, COVID has changed all our plans many times and it will continue to do so. Here are some COVID-related changes in our ministry so you can get a better picture of what has happened and what is still to come.
Change #1: Chile Camps 2020. In March of 2020, COVID was in full effect in Chile. Curfew and stay-at-home orders were issued and enforced by the government. This forced us to cancel not only national but international work teams and retreats at the camp, as well as the rest of the camps year’s activity. Travel within the country was restricted and monitored. We were saddened not only by the lost opportunities to minister, but also for the standstill of the construction projects of the camp.
Change #2: Work teams. The original plan during the month of May 2020 was to host a work team from Northern Ireland to help us build a rock fire pit and the corresponding seating to go along the fire pit. This trip was planned two years in advance; we appreciate the effort the team put into organizing this trip, we hope to reschedule some other time. A work team from Pennsylvania scheduled for October had to postpone until 2021.
Change #3: Our stay in the United States. Our family left Chile in June for the purpose of our daughter beginning her university studies. We were to return to Chile in July. Due to COVID restrictions, we extended our stay until August. During August, we consulted with our home church and field leadership and felt that we should go ahead and take our furlough now. We will return to Chile in July of 2021. We are thankful for the extended furlough that gave us the opportunity to help our kids during this time.
Change #4: Summer of 2021 in Chile. Early in November we had to cancel our summer camps due to COVID restrictions from the government. The number of people that were allowed to gather and the social distance that was required by the government made camp impossible to operate effectively. We were saddened, once again, for the missed opportunities to minister this summer (January and February) to campers and staff.
Change #5: Dan’s trip in to Chile. Once again the original plan for Dan’s short trip in February 2021 was to have some work teams of volunteers from different churches of the Santiago area complete some projects during his time in Chile. At the time that plans were made and tickets purchased all indicated that we could host this modified summer activity. Now, due to new COVID restrictions we may not be able to have an organized work activity (there is a 10 day in house quarantine awaiting him in Chile upon arrival).
Change #6: Return to Chile 2021. Our current return date is early July. We have family, churches and supporters that we need to visit in June. The plan is to return to Chile, this time, without children. It will be a new stage for us in the dynamics of our ministry due to the important role that our children have played in the ministry all these years.
We want to thank you once again for your prayers, interest and donations for us and the Pirque Bible Camp ministry. Looking forward to see what our Lord has in store for us this year. Thank you once again for your prayers.
By: Matt Postiff
February 4, 2021
In 1992 our colleagues the Beyers were introduced to the GMSA family and constituents in theMission magazine. They shared the following testimony:
The majority of missionaries who are serious about serving the Lord overseas spend years in preparation. We were very surprised when God called us. Although we were unaware of what lay before us, we found that He had been preparing us over the years for this ministry.
Hartmut Beyer is my name and I was born in Hannover, Germany. My parents were believers and they brought me up in the church. At an early age, I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. God used a number of people to help me in my Christian walk. At the age of fifteen, I knew He was calling me into ministry. I learned to be a professional cook and also studied at the St. Chrischona Bible Institute in Switzerland. Upon graduation I married Gabriele Scheifele. We pastored a church near Frankfurt for the next seven years.
My wife’s parents were Christians also. While young, she took an active part in a missionary group. She studied nursing and received her title. In the meantime, God graciously gave us four children.
One day, while pastoring, we received a phone call which changed our lives. Someone asked if we would be willing to serve as pastor to the Germans in Chile. “Indeed we are willing to do the Lord’s will,” we answered, “but we don’t clearly see that this is His plan for us.”
Then I was asked a second time and the Lord gave me clear guidance. I had to ask myself, “Why are you so sure that your place is to stay in Germany? How can you preach the Great Commission to others and you are not ready to go?” Some hours later, I talked with Mr. Manfred Bluthardt, now (then) Director of the “German Fellowship Mission.” He and his family spent more than two decades in Chile. He was able to answer my questions. A few days later we were persuaded in our hearts that this was God’s plan for us.
The Beyers arrived in Chile in 1987 with the prayer that God’s power and blessing would be upon their ministry. They served for four years as pastor of the Iglesia Sociedad Evangélica de Chile, primarily in Temuco, but also in Faja Maisan and Los Lagos. In the beginning he was pastor of the German speaking part of the church, but after he learned Spanish he was named senior pastor of the entire congregation.
In 1989 Hartmut was invited to teach at the UCB (GMSA) Bible Institute in Temuco, a tenure that has lasted for 31 years. In 1992 the Beyers became associate missionaries of the GMSA, and teaching in the Bible Institute became Hartmut’s primary ministry. He served as rector of all three institutes in Chile from 1998 to 2000 and at different times helped teach at the Temuco Theological Institute (Alliance). Throughout the years the Beyers have also ministered in numerous UCB (GMSA) churches, including Mallohue, Lautaro,and 21 de Mayo (Temuco). Gabriele led the Bible correspondence course ministry for many years, an outreach to hundreds of Chileans.
Those who have labored along side of the Beyers know that their prayer was answered, that God’s power and blessing were indeed upon their ministry. Hartmut and Gaby, thank you for your example of godliness and years of investment training pastors and Christian workers, overseeing Bible correspondence courses, ministering in churches, and so much more. You will be greatly missed.
Hartmut recently wrote, “It gives me joy and satisfaction to see the new ICAT facility in Pumalal, and it is clear that the Lord is preparing a new phase of ministry for the William Strong Bible Seminary. We will always have a heart for the brethren and will not cease to intercede for all the work. Though they do not yet know what God has prepared for them in Germany, their children and grandchildren anxiously await their arrival.