Annual Convention in Chile

This past Tuesday through Thursday Chilean pastors, church leaders and Chile Field GMSA missionaries gathered in Lican Ray, Chile for the Fellowship’s annual convention.  Nine pastors, pictured below, received recognition for completing over thirty years, and in some cases many more, in the ministry.  Please remember these servants as many labor well into their “retirement” years, and join us in praying “the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth (more) labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

Pictured left to right are pastors who were recognized for 30 or more years of service in the fellowship: Celindo Marinao, Pedro Cabrera, José Pizarro, Victor Oñate, Cesar Sanhueza, Francisco Millanao, Ismael Vásquez, Miguel Mondaca, Alberto Gonzales.

 

2018 International Missions Conference

GMSA missionaries traveled overland and by air, from far and near, for the January 1-7 conference in Paysandú, Uruguay. At this writing some are still braving the Southern Cone highways and airports to make it back to their places of ministry.

“Thank you” hardly seems sufficient to express our gratitude to Dr. James Tillotson, President of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, for graciously accepting the invitation to speak eleven times to the GMSA team. As the delivered Word meddled in our spiritual lives, marriages and ministries in very down-to-earth ways, at times the chapel was filled with laughter and at times the solemn silence of personal conviction.

A very significant part of our conference involves ministering to the “MKs” (missionary kids). GMSA missionaries, David and Patti West (appointees to Argentina) and adult “MKs,” Danny and Kristi Gibbons (brother and sister) invested hours each day in the spiritual lives of our children and youth through Bible teaching, competitions and just “hanging out and having fun.” Thank you, Dave, Patti, Danny & Kristi!

Laughter often prevailed as missionaries gathered for food and fellowship. Times of testimony and prayer brought encouragement to burdened hearts.

Though sometimes it is difficult to make the time, trip and investment, conference is a much-needed highlight of our year as a mission family!

 

Perrys Welcomed to South America

The GMSA is pleased to welcome Mark and Bekah Perry to Chile for their first term of service.  Mark and Bekah join David and Kristi Flinck in a church plant underway in the northern mining city of Antofagasta.  The Perrys arrived in Chile just in time for a trans-Andean flight to Montevideo, Uruguay, then a five-hour road trip north to attend their first GMSA International Missionary Conference as missionaries.  Welcome Mark and Bekah!  Your arrival is an answer to the prayers of many!

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:38

Pray for the Perrys, Flincks, and a third couple, the Maluendas (from Santiago, Chile), as they labor together to facilitate Christ building His church in Antofagasta.

The photo shows Mark and Bekah sharing their testimonies at the missions conference last week.

 

Thanks to Terry and Carol Thompson

Terry Thompson recently stepped out of his role as General Director of the mission after 24 years, and has been named General Director Emeritus of the GMSA. This move makes way for a new general director, Tom Gibbons, and frees the Thompsons from administrative duties in order to once again be more involved in church planting work in South America.

GMSA missionaries together in Paysandú, Uruguay for our annual conference, honored Terry & Carol Thompson on January 2, 2018 for 24 years of ministry together for the Lord and for the GMSA in Terry’s role as General Director.

The Thompsons arrived in Chile in 1973 where they served in church planting in the Chiloe Islands as well as two summer camp seasons in Lican Ray. In 1983 Terry was elected Field Director, a ministry that took them to Chile’s capital, Santiago, the following year. During his eleven years as Field Director, Terry and Carol participated in establishing a local church in Santa Elena, on the south side of Santiago. In 1994 he was elected General Director, which necessitated their move to GMSA International Headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The founder, and first General Director of the GMSA, William Strong, Sr., lived a passion for souls that has influenced the 95-year history of the Mission. In the 1940’s, Mr. Strong’s “Timothy”, and next General Director, George Black, led the Mission in taking a stand for Biblical fundamentalism. Those who knew Dr. Hudson P. Shedd, GMSA’s third General Director, would agree that his examples of servanthood, generosity and financial integrity added another layer of virtue to the defining character of the Mission.

This godly heritage of leadership continued when Terry & Carol arrived in Fort Lauderdale. Their integrity, humility, hospitality and generosity have touched all who know them. Terry’s administrative giftedness and vision for a “tight ship” has maintained a Mission that looks like it’s stated purpose, principles & practice, and that still embodies the core values that have made up our own unique DNA for decades.

The last 24 years have witnessed great change in the GMSA landscape. Many would retire in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and return to their homelands. New missionaries would be integrated into the team, among them numerous GMSA MKs. Our three fields (Chile, Uruguay and Argentina) would begin meeting annually for an International Conference for spiritual edification and Mission business, an event that has melted us into one team instead of three. The Mission would begin hosting a bi-annual retreat for National Fellowship pastors, GMSA missionaries and other church leaders, offering seminary level training and resulting in networking among our National colleagues in the Southern Cone.

The entire GMSA family (missionaries, retirees, MKs, council and board members in the USA, Canada and the UK, and volunteers) would like to say thank you to Terry & Carol for their faithful service. We love you!

Join the Thompsons in prayer as they embark on a new chapter of service for Christ that, Lord willing, will take them back to Chile later this year to continue serving in church planting.

 

Welcome to the New GMSA General Director


Gospel Mission of South America is happy to announce that the mission family has unanimously voted at its 2018 international missions conference to call Tom Gibbons as its next general director. Tom has already assumed the leadership mantle during the remainder of the conference this week. Tom and Debbie will be moving to Fort Lauderdale, FL to serve in our international missions headquarters.

Previously, Tom served for many years as associate general director (in preparation for this transition) as well as field director for our Argentina missionaries. He brings his experience in church planting and Christian camp development to the new role as general director.

The previous general director, Terry Thompson and his wife Carol look forward to serve in church planting work once again in South America. Terry’s retirement from the general director office was due to GMSA’s constitutional age limit (editor’s note: is it OK to say that?). Prior to serving for about 23 years in that leadership role, Terry and Carol served in Chile.

Please pray for Tom and Debbie, Terry and Carol, and the mission during this time of leadership transition. And thank the Lord with us! May God permit the mission to continue to maintain a faithful stand for Jesus Christ in the next generation and beyond, until He comes.

 

Pirque 2017 Update

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This picture update shows some of the amazing progress made on the facilities at Camp Pirque throughout 2017. Missionaries Dan and Becca Vallette are thankful for all of you who support this work. For 2018, they are looking forward to:

  • serving on a church planting team at camp
  • finishing the bathroom/shower building.  The second floor will have an office, an apartment and additional housing for staff & visitors
  • beginning the renovation of the pool area as the Lord provides
  • planning/researching for the much needed renovation of the kitchen area in 2018 as the Lord provides
  • expanding the evangelistic soccer outreach

Feel free to contact them if you want to participate in the Lord’s work in Christian camp ministry!

 

Uruguay Bible Institute Graduation

Missionary Sergio Duarte reports from Uruguay:

We are so grateful for your prayers and support of the FEBU Bible Institute ministry. The Institute just had a graduation ceremony. We glorify and exalt our God for all He has done these years; first in the development and setting in motion of the college; then, the four years of teaching, and now the joy to see these five students complete the program. All the sacrifices made seemed so small compared to the blessing of these first fruits. I am so grateful for the team of men and women who serve in this ministry, for the many that pray for us faithfully, for the believers who give financially, and for His hand guiding each step.

Praise the Lord, three of these men will be serving directly in church ministries, through internships and church plants. One serves actively in his church right now and just last month published his first book. His desire is to serve the Lord through missions and writing; and one feels the call of the Lord to go to Peru as a missionary to work among the Indian tribes in the jungle. Our hearts rejoice!

Now, we look forward to what the Lord has in store for this ministry. Many challenges lie ahead, uncertainties, prayers to be answered, but we trust in Him who has lead us thus far.

 

Wests Graduation!

Pictured above left are missionaries David and Patti West at their graduation from RGBI language school December 12 in Edinburg, TX. Missionaries Bekah and Mark Perry are pictured on the right. The Wests are headed to Argentina, and the Perrys to north Chile.