Vallette Update from Pennsylvania

Dear Friends & Family,

It has been about 5 years since we’ve seen the fall colors here in Pennsylvania. We are looking forward to the spectacular colors and cooler weather.

Chile While it is different in every area in Chile, Santiago is still much the same. The government has a 5-phase plan to move out of lock-down. Some counties (comunas) are still in phase 1 while others are in phase 3. Schools are virtual. Masks are required as is social distancing. September is always energized with patriotism, gatherings of friends and family, lots and lots of yummy food and the welcoming of spring. It will be very different this year. So many are struggling – personally, economically, and spiritually.

The church we attend has been meeting virtually since March. They have kept up with small groups every week, youth meetings on Saturdays, discipleship, etc. They are looking forward to meeting in person as soon as they can. We are thankful for their faithfulness and miss meeting with them.

What summer camp will look like (January & February) remains to be seen. It is difficult to plan for anything at this point. We are hoping to have small camps that would meet current regulations. We are thankful that Chilean churches have been able to maintain the camp threw special offerings.

Recently We enjoyed the summer in the states as a family. Being together as a family of six was a noisy blessing. We loved every conversation, game, laugh, memory, etc. Slowly, Bryan, Vanesa and Keven began college. They are all adjusting well. After a couple minor adjustments, Bryan has done well being back at college. Thank you for your continued prayers. Camila is enjoying her junior year at High Point. Becca was given the opportunity to teach high school Spanish at High Point.

Currently We began our travels to visit friends, family and churches. We have a two-week trip planned to Minnesota to visit Becca’s parents and will visit several people along the way. While putting together our presentation, we are reminded of how much the Lord has done these past five years. When we look at the pictures of the camp when we arrived and what it is now – WOW! Looking forward to what God is going to do the next 5 years and beyond.

The physical transformation is amazing but the heart and soul of camp is people. Four of those people are currently attending Bible Institute as a result of camp. Those who serve at camp are faithful in serving in their local churches. Several people have been saved at camp and are being discipled in their local churches. Please pray as we travel and present what God has put on our hearts.

Serving Him, 
Dan & Becca Vallette
Keven, Bryan, Vanesa & Camila

 

Check Out our Facebook and Twitter Feeds!

GMSA updates our Facebook page and Twitter feed whenever there is a new blog post. Sometimes you get more content on Facebook than on this blog. For example, Mark & Bekah Perry send their monthly prayer letter via a Facebook post. See it just now on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GMSA1923, or visit our page on Twitter at twitter.com/gmsa1923:

 

September Update from the Duartes in Uruguay

Missionary Sergio Duarte Teaching God’s Word

We are grateful to the Lord for the church plant ministry we are involved in, and for the work team that God has put together there (four FEBU students are also helping here for their practical ministry).

Martin and Melanie are actively engaged in young people, children, and music ministries. Sergio and Martin are also preaching on a rotating basis for Wednesday and Sunday services. Andrea organized the Junior church program, and just this week she started a weekly Bible study for the ladies. We rejoice in the many opportunities God has given us to serve Him!

August marked the beginning of our second semester at the Bible College with classes still via ZOOM, but this month we are working ourselves slowly back to normal. Therefore, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we are returning to regular classes following Uruguayan sanitary protocols. Lord willing, we are hoping to increase “normal classroom” days progressively.

We praise the Lord for His provision of housing for male students. We are renting a house within walking distance from FEBU classrooms, which saves them transportation expenses. Please join us in prayer for a Dorm Supervisor to help in this very important aspect of ministry.

It is such a joy to engage in the lives of students beyond the classroom. Andrea really enjoys her weekly discipleship meetings with the female students that live in our home (upstairs apartment). This year, they started a study on faith with a special emphasis on missions, and for the past weeks they are studying about biblical submission. Both topics have rendered plenty of counseling opportunities. We count it a privilege to have a part in the spiritual growth of these precious lives.

We are so thankful for the dedicated pastors and missionaries who each
week volunteer time from their busy schedules to train these men and
women. They are a blessing and godly testimony to the students.

There are 155 cases of COVID in Uruguay today, and 44 deaths since March. Most activities are back to a “new normal” with masks, social distancing, disinfection, closed borders.

Please pray:

  • Pray for souls to come to salvation and for the different evangelistic outreaches (new creative ways to reach others during the pandemic)
  • Pray for lasting fruit in the youth group at church. The Lord is sending our way unsaved teens that each week are hearing His Word, and several others who are starting to grow spiritually. We need wisdom to deal with these specific needs.
  • Pray for protection and health
  • As we look to the future please pray for new FEBU students. May the Lord continue to raise a new generation of trained servants.

 

:-( 2020 Work Trips Cancelled

One of the GMSA camps. This one is in Chivilcoy, Argentina. There are three other primary camps: Paysandu, Uruguay; Pirque, Chile; and Lican Ray, Chile.

Pastor Bill Park has informed us that camp director James Morrell in Chivilcoy Argentina has let us know that the situation on the ground there will not permit work teams to come this fall as originally planned.

We trust in the Lord who has all of this in His plan.

Please pray for those who are a bit let down about this cancellation, and about the opportunity for work trips again next fall, October-November 2021. Stay tuned!

 

From the Editor: Video Conference With Your Missionary

Missionaries Mariano and Becky Proto “visiting” with us early one morning at Fellowship Bible Church. We enjoyed their news from afar. It was a great joy to see them.

Missionary travel has become much more difficult these days, with quarantines, lockdowns, reduced flight schedules, and many other challenges. However, there is a way to stay in touch with your church’s supported missionaries: by video or telephone conference.

Our church, Fellowship Bible Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has used this technology to stay in touch with our missionaries. Here are a couple of ways we do it:

The first way is by a teleconference call service. There are several online companies that provide this service for free or inexpensively. This provides us a number and passcode. We set a time to meet, and provide the phone number and passcode to everyone in our church, and invite our missionaries to join us. Sometimes the timezone problem makes it difficult, but we have spoken with missionaries in real time who are halfway around the world. We have used this if the church has to close due to a snowstorm, and also for our twice-annual “week of prayer” where we pray every night at 7pm. This mechanism means we do not have to travel every night, but we can pray with each other every night of that week. It is simple because there is no video, and no computer is required, just a telephone or cell phone.

A second way to stay in touch is to use video calling software such as Skype or Google Hangouts or WhatsApp or Zoom. Set up the call on a computer and project its video to the front of your auditorium during a Sunday school class, for example. Pre-schedule the call with your missionary. If you can set up a camera to capture the congregation to send the video back to the missionary, that is very helpful to them. With the right audio feed to your auditorium sound system, you can have a very profitable meeting with your missionaries. They can give an update on the work and share a message from the Word, or answer questions.

Of course, there are limitations to such “fellowship.” But visiting this way is better than not visiting at all! If you have never done this, have a techie in your church help you set up a trial run, and then try it!

 

Following Directions: Wests Heading Slightly East

This update is from David and Patti West in Argentina:

Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. (NKJV) Acts 16:6-7

How frustrating this must have been for Paul and those who ministered with him. They had had such success in accessing various parts of Asia Minor. Their motive was pure: to preach the Gospel where Christ was unknown. Their efforts kept pushing them and encouraging them to move forward. Then they “hit a wall.” They were actually forbidden by the Spirit of God to continue this direction of advancing the gospel of salvation. I can only imagine the soul searching that took place in the heart of these men as they tried to ascertain the reason for this resistance. Well, it was no fault of their own, it was simply that the sovereign God had other plans and places for Paul to work. Verses 9 and 10 describe what was taking place,

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.  Acts 16:9-10

Once this mystery was resolved it was clear enough what was needed to be done; abandon for now this current ministry direction and pursue the direction indicated by the Lord. And off they went.

This is a vital principle for faithful servants of the Lord. Oft times our efforts to serve God meet with resistance or fruitlessness that defy explanation. We search our heart; we recheck all our motives and purposes to make sure we are on the right path. Then surprisingly another direction opens before us and we discern the Lord’s wise change of direction.

Such is the case for us. Our intention for coming to Argentina was, and continues to be, to train young men and women for full-time Christian ministry. The means to do so was to start a Bible college here in Chivilcoy where facilities exist out at our Camp and Conference Center. However, logistically, and practically, this situation was becoming something of a frustration. All the while, a need was arising in Buenos Aires with the Bible Institute that our National Fellowship (UCB) has operated for many years. The Institute is presently located two and a half hours east by car from our current home base.

The short tale is that the UCB leadership has asked me to be the new director in Temperley, BA. This new opportunity seemed at first to be a step back, but we see the Lord’s wisdom in giving us a new direction and a more advantageous means to start a college ministry. The facilities in Chivilcoy will be perfect for when we are ready to operate a campus-oriented ministry.

When will we start this new ministry? Like everything else, it all depends on how this pandemic continues to govern our lives. Argentina has one of the world’s longest standing lockdown situations. This affects our immigration process, our move, and our ministry. We have no certainty as to a time table for anything right now. We are praying that we might be able to take a mini-furlough this fall (our spring), move to Buenos Aires and then start the work at the institute in March. This is all in the Lord’s hands.

Thank you for your faithfulness in supporting us through prayer and financial giving. Humanly speaking we could not be here without you!

Christ’s Servants in Argentina,
Dave, Patti & Michael West

Editor’s note: A couple of weeks after this post was published, the Wests had to undertake a trip to the capital to retrieve an important immigration document–through several police checkpoints. The Lord provided through the entire trip and now their mandatory quarantine-upon-return has been completed.

 

Under the Southern Cross, Quarantine Edition

Finding God in the Quarantine June 2020

Missionaries Curtis and Diane Steward report on the recent happenings in northern Chile.

It started out, I daresay, almost FUN—hardly anybody objected strenuously to an extended vacation just two weeks into the school year here! But the FREEDOM from regular routines and responsibilities quickly morphed into…

  • FEAR – of job loss, the future, and normal medical concerns compounded by the Covid-19 virus. Chile has more than 250,000 cases as of this writing. Two young women of our church work at the local hospital. At least five men with families have lost employment, at least temporarily, since March. Our church treasurer wonders how we’ll continue to pay the rent, especially when we barely use the building?
  • FAMINE – Chile had already experienced 5 months of destructive social upheaval previous to the current pandemic. Many grocery staples and medications are now in short supply or out of stock (yes, we’ve been affected!) Add to that, a famine of fellowship, friendship, and the hearing of the Word of God.
  • FRUSTRATION – with Zoom meetings, long lines to buy anything, lost cards, curfew, cancelled medical appointments, involuntary homeschooling for some, tele-trabajo (work-at-home) for others, tele-ministry for us, and the extra time it takes to live life online! We’re thankful that life is returning to at least a “new normal” for some of you, but here we don’t see any end yet

On the other hand, people are finding God’s GRACE and GIFTS amid the discouragement and worry. Although total lockdown has affected most of our colleagues at some time over these months, our city of Coquimbo has experienced far fewer restrictions than many areas. Curtis has been able to continue work on the house, though it’s slow. So thankful for extra hands when needed and for Fabián and Marisa, Christian neighbors who faithfully share lunch. Curt’s heart issues seem sorted now, and God provided the right doctor when he twice got metal imbedded in his eye.

Winter burst upon us this past week with TWO days of rain—a lot for here, but welcome in a drought.

In spite of technology’s challenges, we are also grateful for the ongoing Sunday school, prayer time, youth group, and women’s Bible study, both live and recorded. A men’s discussion group will be added this week. Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day have come and gone, celebrated online. I write several blog posts a week plus daily encouragement messages for the ladies, so I’m thankful for Anita’s help in ministering to this very needy group. Collecting and delivering food boxes on a regular basis has been a huge blessing and opportunity too.

Prayer Requests

  • Safety at the worksite, provision of daily bread and medications during complicated times.
  • Javiera and Jocelyne at the hospital.
  • Men in need of work.
  • One who was baptized last Oct. and whose grandmother died recently has become entangled with a cult. Wisdom in counseling.
  • Preparations and recording for Bible institute classes that both of us will teach next semester. Dixon, Eloy, and Javier taking online courses through Santiago BI.
  • Pray for the unsaved families now watching “church” together.
  • Comfort for the family of our Santiago friend, Jorge, who died of Covid-19 complications this month

 

Pirque Bible Camp Update (or not)

June 2020

Dear Friends & Family,

“Plans are subject to change at any time without any notification.” We have said this to our children many times over the years. The year 2020 seems to be the year for changed plans and unforeseen circumstances.

In Santiago, a person can leave the house just twice a week or face hefty fines. The coronavirus numbers continue to climb. The first quarter of school will be virtual with the second quarter is on a “wait-and-see” basis.

Due to restrictions, Dan cannot go to camp and the camp cannot function at this point. Please pray about this. In the light of these circumstances, it was suggested that we take a six-month furlough, visit our churches and supporters, and present camp. God has provided housing, transportation and other blessings.

So, our plan was to bring Vanesa to the states after graduation so she could work at camp beginning June 15. Due to circumstances in Chile (significant spike in COVID-19, lock-down quarantine measures, cancelled flights, etc.) we decided it was best to leave together as a family. We purchased new tickets, flew into Miami on the only airline flying to and from Chile and made our way to PA. We left Chile June 2nd and arrived in Pennsylvania June 10th.

Prayer Requests

  • The lock-down quarantine in Santiago and other parts of Chile. Social and economic effects are already being felt. So many people have lost work.
  • The drought situation. Last year, the camp limped along with very low water levels. We are praying for snow and rain during the winter months (June-August)
  • Keven, Bryan & Vanesa as they prepare to attend college at their respective Bible colleges this Fall. Pray for God’s leading in their lives, a good local church and godly friends.
  • Please pray as we schedule meetings to visit our supporting churches and individuals.

We are thankful for…

  • God’s timing – we were planning a furlough in 2 years. Due to circumstances, it makes sense to take furlough now.
  • God’s provision – we have had reliable transportation and housing since we arrived. We are thankful for continued prayer and financial support.
  • Technology – we are thankful for good internet so everyone can finish their studies. It is nice to remain connected with our church and camp in Santiago.
  • A home/sending church that we can truly call “home” while we are in the States.

Serving Him,

Dan & Becca Vallette
Keven, Bryan, Vanesa & Camila

 

1 2 3 57