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.