Southern Sentinel Blog

Duarte Family Update June 2017

Every Saturday evening we have the joy to meet with the teens. Most of them come from unsaved homes and it is encouraging to see their interest to learn and grow. Please pray for changed lives and lasting fruit.

THANK YOU Youth Group from Grace Baptist Church (Chariton, IA) for raising the funds to buy a ping-pong table for our church. COMPETITION IS ON!!!!

Believers continue to take discipleship courses and grow in Him. What an encouragement! We are very GRATEFUL for your faithful prayers and financial support for our ministry and family as we serve Him in this needy land.

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love… (1 Thess. 1:2)

We praise the Lord for a young couple from our church who is planning to do an internship in Fray Bentos. Gabriel is a Senior at FEBU and will graduate in December. We appreciate your prayers for them: Valeria, his wife, is expecting a baby due in October, and Gabriel’s mom passed away very suddenly this week, so the family is going through hard times.
Missionaries Bob and Nadia Vallette moved last week to help in the ministry until December. We are grateful for their service.

This semester Sergio has been teaching Pastoral Theology in addition to fulfilling his new leadership responsibilities. We also had the joy of having a group of students come to Fray Bentos and serve for a weekend. What a blessing!!!

For the past four years, FEBU has been meeting in a couple of classrooms a church in Montevideo has graciously let us use. The lack of dormitories has also been an obstacle to overcome. We believe in the importance of training the students not just academically, but also mentoring them in other areas of life and ministry.

The project consists of an adequate building for both classrooms and dormitories. We are trusting in the Lord for His provision. Our goal is to have this building up and running in 2018.

Thank you for letting us be an extension of your ministry,
Sergio, Andrea, Patricia, Martin, and Melanie Duarte

 

A Quiet Goal: Update from the Perrys

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mark and Bekah Perry write: Many times we enjoy the “highs” and excitement of life, but when those die down, we grudgingly return to the normal, everyday, boring routines of life. Paul commanded the Thessalonian church to make it their goal to live a quiet, drama-free life. “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thess 4:11).  While the excitement of life events and special activities is a gift from God, so is the daily routine of work and family and regular responsibilities. We may spend a lot of our spiritual energy on handling the craziness of life, but we can also glorify God by faithfully discharging the everyday duties he has entrusted to us.

We have enjoyed a quieter season since returning from language school in south Texas. This past month, we visited two churches in Ohio and enjoyed the opportunity to worship several times with our home church, Westerville Bible Church. We have been continuing to study Spanish—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and made some needed repairs around our house. We also had the privilege of seeing the Flincks for a few days as they made their way through the area on their furlough and we reunited our 2016 Chile mission trip team!

We are looking forward to serving the Lord as we lead a week of Family Camp in July, and then spending five weeks of ministry with one of our supporting churches, Mountain Home Bible Church. We have several meetings scheduled for this fall with our supporting churches with the goal of leaving for Chile by the end of the year.

Editor’s note: Please pray for the Perry’s as they prepare to launch out to Chile to assist in church planting work there.

 

June 2017 Update from the Wests: The Unchanging God


“Porque yo Jehová no cambio; por esto, hijos de Jacob, no habéis sido consumidos”

(Mal 3:6, Reina Valera, For I am the LordI change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.)

These were the words given by the Lord to the children of Israel as they awaited the coming days of the outpouring of God’s blessing. After enduring decades of exile due to their rebellion, they returned to a decimated city of Jerusalem. They began the arduous work of rebuilding the beloved city and its sacred temple, and longed for some assurance of God’s good hand upon them. That assurance would be difficult to expect given the events that ultimately led to their difficult circumstances. Would the Lord really be with them? Would He indeed fulfill the promises given long ago, after they had so blatantly rebelled against Him? Malachi 3:6 was the Lord’s answer to them. Because God is the unchanging one, His unilateral promises are also unchanging. Good thing, else the sons of Jacob would have perished long ago.

We, too, trust in the unchanging character of God. The circumstances of our lives are subject to constant change. Our schedules change, our health changes, our plans are often at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control. But through it all we are held secure in the knowledge of a God who is sovereign, good and unchanging. And we have learned to trust Him without question.

This summer break from Language School has turned out to be anything but predictable. We have spent the last three and a half weeks learning of, and adjusting to, major changes in our circumstances, our children’s circumstances, our parents’ circumstances and even circumstances related to our language school. It is has been quite the trial, and we have had times of tears and discouragement. However, we have been given yet another opportunity to draw upon the strength and grace of God. We are allowed to see, once again, the faithfulness of the Lord as He directs us and supplies us with the wisdom to address change and the perseverance to continue doing His will.

After taking care of some of the issues on the home front, we have begun our summer deputation schedule. We have had wonderful meetings in Wisconsin and Florida. We are looking forward to finishing out the month of June with three more meetings here in Florida, and the Annual General Meeting of the Gospel Mission of South America in Fort Lauderdale. God is faithful, and we anticipate His good hand upon us.

We are mindful and needful of your prayers on our behalf. What a comfort it brings to our mind when we think of your faithfulness in this regard. Please continue to pray for us and for the work of the Lord in Argentina.

Paz y Bendiciones,
Dave and Patti West

“Trabajaré, Oraré, Mejoraré”
 (We will work, we will pray, we will improve)

To keep even more current on our deputation ministry, please “like” our Wests to Argentina page on Facebook.

 

May 2017 Update from Marshalls

Psalm 121:1-2 – “I will lift up my eyes to the hills- from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
 
The purpose for writing this devotional is two-fold:  to proclaim truth about God, and to encourage you with that truth.  One of the attributes of God is that He is our ‘Helper’.  In the book of Psalms, David often referred to God as his ‘Helper,’ using the Hebrew word that described a military help or a ‘call for aid in time of need’, something that David experienced on many occasions in his life.  The simple truth here is that God is my Helper, my Aid, my Strength!  And as if that truth doesn’t quite sink in deep enough, Psalm 121:2 adds that He is the One ‘who made heaven and earth.’ God, the Creator, is your Help, and He will be there to strengthen you and help you in whatever situation you are in! 
 
Now, many of you who are reading this may not feel like you need help right now, and I’m sure there are some who are truly desperate for help, but in either case, the simple knowledge of God being our Help will transform our perspectives, create a dependence on Him, and strengthen us through those difficult situations in life.  Just read the stories of these Bible examples:  Joshua (Joshua 8:1-35), Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:1-18), Gideon (Judges 7:1-25), etc.  You are in the hands of God, you are subject to His promises (that never fail), you are loved and cared for by God, you belong to Him, and you must depend on Him!  Listen, there is no one more reliable than God!  So, as you encounter life’s difficulties and desperately need help and assistance, look not to the right or to the left, look not to your own self, but look up to the mountains to see the Creator, because He promises to be your Helper!
 
Dear Family and Friends,
 
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!  It has now been slightly over one month that we have been living in Argentina, and you all have been a huge part in helping us get to this point.  We praise God for each of you, not only for the unity we have and enjoy as believers, but also for the blessing you have been to us throughout our missionary journey, primarily through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support!  As you read this newsletter, we hope that you are spiritually encouraged and motivated to follow after Jesus Christ with your life, wherever God has you and whatever situation you might find yourself in.
 
Praise God for…
 
His Strength:  we praise God for giving us the strength to make this big transition to life in Argentina.  Although it has often times been difficult and uncomfortable, God continues to give us encouragement and strength when we need it the most.
 
His Answered Prayers:  we praise God for the improved health in our daughter Eliana, for the smooth and safe arrival into Argentina, and for the ministry opportunities we are already involved in.
 
Please pray for…
 
Our Paperwork:  we would appreciate your prayers for the next and final step of our paperwork process, in order to obtain our ‘DNI’ cards, or permanent residency.  We will be taking all of our documents to Immigrations soon, so please pray that this appointment will go smoothly and we would receive the approval of all documents.
 
Our Ministries:  please continue praying for our ministry opportunities here, primarily that people would respond in their hearts to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  For our sports ministries (basketball, volleyball, etc), preaching at church, Bible studies, and physical work in the camp and church properties.
 
The month of April was one of the quickest months of our lives.  From our last-minute church visits, packing and organizing our belongings, and spending every possible ‘free time’ with family and friends, the word ‘time’ simply vanished away.  During the first three weeks of April, we did however have the opportunity to visit Faith Baptist Church of Sellersville, PA, where we had the opportunity to share about our ministry to Argentina and become better acquainted with the church family.  We very much appreciated the love and support that we received from such a beautiful church family!  It was also a blessing for us to spend our last two Sundays (in the USA) at our home church, High Point Baptist Chapel.  Many people do not realize the impact they had on our lives, especially as we neared our departure date for Argentina.  We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to our home church family, for their hospitality and care for us, for their prayers and support, for the many wonderful friendships we enjoy with them, and for their Godly testimony and example in our lives.  Honestly, we love and miss you all, and look forward to the next time we get to see you.
 
After three rigorous weeks of organizing, packing, and cleaning, our departure date quickly arrived.  On April 24th, we flew out of JFK airport to Buenos Aires, where we arrived safely the following morning.  It was a long, emotional, exhausting trip, but we praise God for giving us the strength through it all.  Our little family of three, along with our 25 totes and suitcases, successfully made it through airport customs and were warmly welcomed into Argentina by one of our co-workers, Tom Gibbons.  After a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport, we finally arrived at the Gibbons’ home, where we are currently residing (in a small apartment connected to their house), in the city of Chivilcoy.  It has been quite the adjustment living here, especially concerning the daily lifestyle and language differences.  Yet, although these have been good challenges for us, we have truly enjoyed integrating ourselves into the Argentine culture, into the church family here, and into the constant use of Spanish.  We praise God for the training we have received prior to our arrival, for Tom and Debbie Gibbons (our mentors and co-missionaries here in Chivilcoy), and for all of your prayers on our behalf.
 
In the month of May, we have primarily spent most of our time adjusting to the new cultural lifestyle, preparing Spanish messages to preach (Dathan’s job), working on our documents for our permanent residency, and slowly getting more involved with various activities here in the community and church.  Allison has been attending a semi-weekly women’s Bible study at church, which has been a huge encouragement to her, both spiritually and in growing in the language.  Apart from spending most of her time as a Mommy to Eliana (well, I guess that’s all the time haha), she also loves to go on daily walks to the local food markets and to the plazas (parks) to strike up conversation with people, she enjoys her daily tutor hour to learn more Spanish, and she is always expanding her Argentine cooking recipes!  Dathan has had the opportunity to preach in Spanish on several occasions already at church, and has had the privilege of practicing basketball with one of the city’s semi-professional teams, in hopes to continue building relationships with people here in the city.  He also enjoys going on walks or bike rides, spending time conversing with some of the young men at church, and trying to perfect the art of grilling an ‘asado’ (Argentine barbecue).  The both of us truly have enjoyed getting to know the Argentine people and culture better, yet our hearts often times still miss ‘home’ in Pennsylvania.  But through all of these changes and challenges, we trust in the One who deserves our complete dependence, because He has a great plan for us, one that He will help us accomplish!
 
At the end of the month of May, our local church and camp here in Chivilcoy held a ‘Retiro de Hombres’ (Men’s Retreat), which was the first ever event held on the camp property.  It was not only exciting to have around 88 men in attendance, but it was also an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness over years of building the camp.  The retreat included Bible teaching, great fellowship, soccer games, and some delicious meals.  We praise God for such a special weekend to spend with brothers in Christ, and for the opportunity to meet many more co-workers in Argentina!  Well, for those of you who are wondering about Eliana, she is doing very well.  Her doctor here has been awesome, her health has been improving greatly, her giggles have been contagious, her toes and hands have been chewed on (by herself), and she absolutely loves being outside and going on walks!  Thank you to all of you who have been praying for her.
 
We hope that you have gained a better understanding of what God has been doing in and through our lives here in Argentina.  It has been such a blessing to finally live in the country that God has put on our hearts to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Your prayers and support are very much appreciated, as we seek to continue building relationships, seek a new church plant location, and seek to proclaim God’s Word to the people.  May God bless each of you in your own lives and ministries, as you depend on Him for His help and His strength!
 
In Christ,
Dathan, Allison, and Eliana Marshall
 
If you would like to view our photos from the past 2 months, please visit our blog at marshallmissions.blogspot.com or visit our Facebook page Marshalls to Argentina
 
Editor’s note: Please excuse the lateness of this post. We are in the midst of a website upgrade!

 

Winter Projects at Lican Ray Camp

Dan and Elizabeth Thompson update us on the ongoing work at the camp in Lican Ray, Chile: Last year our major camp project was the much needed kitchen remodel. This year our big project is the bath house rebuild. The Nehemiah Retreat we held on camp in April took care of dismantling the old bathroom structure. In between winter raindrops, Danny and Cheo installed the new septic lines. Lord willing and weather permitting, we will soon be forming and pouring the new slab and the additional sidewalks. A new layout, pressure washable surfaces, and handicap access are some of the major changes we are making to the original bathroom design. The new expansion includes a nurse’s station and laundry facility.

It would be nice to focus on only one project each year, yet with aging facilities and the need to update, we feel like we need to move forward on many projects at one time.  Here are a few of those continuing projects that we keep chipping away at as time, weather, and funding permit.

Please ask God with us that He would grant us energy and steadfastness to see these projects through. For example: more stump removal for a soccer field, new radiator heating in our dining hall, completing of the recreation hall, and trenching and rewiring for the electrical system throughout the camp.

We are thankful for your prayers for our family and for the ministry at camp.  The kids are in the process of finishing their school year by the end of June.  Danny continues to preach and teach in two country churches on 2 Sundays a month.  Our winter months are filled with administrative camp duties like programming our summer camp weeks and retreats, finding speakers, and scheduling church camps.

 

Helpers from Pensacola Christian College

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Missionary Dan Vallette writes: Some helpers from Pensacola came to Santiago and stayed at Camp Pirque for two weeks. During that time they helped students of Spanish speaking Christian schools with their English. They also scheduled two work days at camp. It was great to have 19 people help advance the work projects at camp. They painted, put rocks into cages (a common activity here with all the rocks), cleaned, and helped close in the pump house.

We are very thankful for all that was done during that short amount of time.

Thank you for praying!

 

1 2 3 46