By: Matt Postiff
October 27, 2017
Raúl and Jane Villalba arrived at the U.S. Office in 2002. From airport runs to keeping our finances straight; from buying and shipping to helping us “do personal business;” from hospitality to babysitting; from tax preparation to cutting the grass; often on their own at headquarters; always present when we missionaries came and went; they have relentlessly and faithfully served the Lord, served us, and in so doing have facilitated our ministries in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
Jane’s journey with the GMSA began in 1975. After Bible college she served short term for five months in Argentina. During her stay she made brief visits to Chile and Uruguay but the Lord led her back to Argentina full-time. Following deputation and language school Jane arrived for her first term of ministry in 1977. She returned for her second term in 1981, not knowing how this new term would change her life forever.
In 1978 Raúl Villalba was invited by a friend to a church service at the Temperley (Argentina) Bible Center. Later, while alone at home, he prayed and asked the Lord to forgive him and enter into his heart. He became involved in church, and eventually a friendship sparked into existence between him and Jane. The rest is history. They were married on March 12th of 1983 and made their home in Temperley for many years. Jane and Raul were blessed with three children: Deborah, Jonathan, and Marcos.
n 2001 the Villalbas made the decision to relocate to the U.S. At the same time GMSA leadership was seeking God’s provision for personnel for the U.S. Office in Fort Lauderdale. An invitation was extended and Villalbas arrived in early 2002. They overcame many hurdles by the grace of God: Jonathan’s cancer diagnosis immediately before they arrived, his treatment in the U.S., language acquisition for Raúl and the kids, employment for Raúl to supplement their support, and many other challenges.
Jane learned the Mission bookkeeping which she’s done with great care for 19 years. Raúl has served as Office Manager, tending daily Mission business; and “maintenance man,” ensuring our properties were well maintained and groomed. In September of 2020 the Villalbas announced Jane´s retirement and Raúl´s resignation. They have rented an apartment near Fort Lauderdale where Jane plans to care for her 91 year-old mother. Raúl returns full-time to secular employment on March 1st.