A New Chapter

Missionaries Sergio and Andrea Duarte share an exciting report this month:

As missionaries, our goal from the beginning of the church plant in Uruguay was to establish a solid work and leave it in the hands of a national pastor. We have been in this process in Fray Bentos for some years, and it is with great joy that we are now able to move on and leave the church in capable hands.

Gabriel Martinez and his wife Valeria (both from our church) will take on the ministry here. Gabriel was saved as a teenager at our camp where we also had the privilege to serve. A few years ago, he surrendered his life to full time ministry and moved to Montevideo to attend FEBU. He is one of our first graduates. After graduation, they came back to Fray Bentos to do an internship under our leadership. They are humble and teachable servants, and have done an excellent job during this time of practical training.

It is so exciting to see this fruit and what God has accomplished in and through Gabriel and his family. This is exactly the vision we have for FEBU, and we commit to the Lord that He will raise more “Gabriels” in this needy and hard country.

The Lord is now leading us to a new chapter in our ministry, and we are moving to the city of Montevideo to have greater involvement preparing men and women for His service at the Bible College. We will continue to be engaged in a local church plant but in a different role.

We covet your prayers for our family during this transitional time. Fray Bentos is a city of 24 000, but Montevideo has a much greater population: a million and a half. Dynamics of living are much different: transportation, security, education for our children, etc. Pray for our move, and some repairs needed on the house we are moving into.

 

Our GMSA Missionary Family

In January, we collected as many new photos as we could of our missionaries. These were taken at the international missions conference held in Lican Ray, Chile.

God may use them to reach thousands of souls. They are on the front lines of a heavy spiritual battle. Please pray for each one as they have now returned to their God-given work throughout the southern cone of South America as well as North America and the United Kingdom.

 

Don’t Forget the MKs!

“Missionary kids” are an important part of the missions endeavor. They travel with parents thousands of miles across their home countries on deputation, and then live in a far-away place without some of the conveniences of their sending countries. But they enjoy getting together from their various homes in Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. Below you will find a few pictures from the recent international missions conference held in Lican Ray, Chile.

Pray for these young people as they live and minister with their parents in South America. Some will be off to college before you know it. Some may sense God’s call and decide to follow their parents’ footsteps and become involved in missions work themselves.

 

Visit to Antofagasta, Chile

Church planters Mark and Bekah Perry, David and Kristi Flinck, Debbie Gibbons, GMSA general director Tom Gibbons, Cecilia and her husband Andres Maluenda who is pastor-in-training in the church.

Earlier this month, general director Tom Gibbons and his wife Debbie were able to visit the northern Chile city of Antofagasta where a church has been born and is growing in the dry desert. Below are some more pictures.

Maybe you would like to visit a church in South America? Let us know!

 

Under the Southern Cross

Baptism in Punta Mira

In this month’s update, Curtis and Diane Steward share how two couples in their church have started a young people’s ministry called “Counter Current” in their church. “The club has been well attended and fills a definite need in our congregation, so we are thankful for the young couples and their families who are enthusiastic about serving the Lord in this important area.”

They add: “The Lord has blessed our small group in Punta Mira with several good men. Two of them took the preaching class Curtis taught at the Coquimbo Bible institute this past year and have taken turns practicing in our adult Sunday school class. May the Lord continue to use them here.”

Pictured above is a baptism service and Sunday school picnic held at the local camp, El Molle, Dec. 9. On Dec. 23 they held a Sunday school Christmas program, to a packed church yard. There were 100+ attendance. We had to move outside—no room in the inn-side!

Thank you for praying for the Stewards’ ministry. May the Lord continue to bless the growing church there.

 

Moving to Montevideo

Sergio and Andrea Duarte write:

This past Sunday we celebrated our Christmas Program at church. It was a very special service, and we praise the Lord for answering our prayers: several parents of the Sunday School kids came, as well as unsaved family members and relatives. Gabriel preached an excellent message exalting our Savior and presenting the Gospel. Please pray for fruit from the seed that
was planted.

May Christ be the center of all of our celebrations, and let us lift on high the true meaning of Christmas! Thank you for your faithful support through prayers and finances for the ministry in Uruguay and our family!

Lord willing our family will move to Montevideo the third week of February to continue serving Him there. We appreciate your prayers as we face many changes and challenges. Gabriel Martinez (FEBU graduate) and his family have been interim with us for a year, and he will take on the leadership at the church in Fray Bentos. By His grace, we have been serving the Lord in Fray Bentos for the past 22 years! We are trusting in Him as He leads this next chapter in our lives. The Lord has been burdening our hearts to continue in the training of a new generation of laborers; therefore we will be more involved at the college (FEBU), as well as serving at a local church.

 

New Start in Bragado

Colby, Lesa, and Jonathan Holmes

The December update from the Holmes family has just arrived at the editor’s desk. They report on their last whirlwind year of furlough and moving from Ezeiza to Bragado in Argentina.

Since the Holmes’ desire to start a new church in the town where they now live, Colby goes out to the park near by and gives out tracts taking opportunity to speak to people. He also visits the hospitals once a week. Lesa gives out tracts and talk to the ladies I meet each day in the supermarket or the stores. So, that’s where we are at, planting the seed and praying that God would open their hearts to His Word. Colby also frequently teaches Bible Institute classes some distance from their new home.

They write in conclusion: “So, dear ones, THANK YOU for giving us a wonderful furlough! It was a joy seeing you all again, making new memories and meeting new friends. Thank you for the monthly support and your prayers! We appreciate you standing alongside and working with us. We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do in this new-year ahead of us.”

 

Stewards in Coquimbo

Curtis and Diane Steward are ministering in Coquimbo Chile in a local church there. Diane has the opportunity to teach the women in the church in weekly Bible studies, and Curtis is on the leadership team. They ask prayer for:

  • The younger women in the church as they raise small children.
  • For the Tuesday and Wednesday Bible studies.
  • For the leadership team of the church.
  • For the new kids’ club called CounterCurrent.
  • For the need of a permanent church home. The rental property is great, but it is only temporary.
  • End-of-year outreach activities, including a concert and handing out tracts at the local fair.

Thank you for supporting these servants of the Lord in prayer!

 

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