March 31, 2014
The Flinck family sends another update:
This is a photo of our neighborhood that David took on his return flight from a recent trip:
#1 – Our house – located in Upper Coviefi, which is above the train line.
#2 – The Huanchaca Ruins – The site of former silver refinery (built in 1888 and running until 1902). Now it’s an historical monument, tourist attraction, and a location for open air concerts.
#3 – Enjoy Resort, Casino & Hotel
#4 – The Chilean Navy Communication Center
#5 (in yellow) – The Catholic University (Universidad Católica del Norte) – the biggest university in Antofagasta
#5 (in red) – Chilean Army Base
#6 – An area being developed for more apartment buildings, a supermarket, and office buildings.
#7 – Current road project connecting Argentina Ave. (in blue) with Angamos Ave. (below). This will make it easier to enter and exit Coviefi (which is up on a plateau).
#8 – The Escondidad Mine Resort Center (offices, soccer fields, pool, tennis courts, picnic areas)
#9 – New 21-story apartment buildings
#10 – Project to put in a bridge connecting Coviefi (Argentina Ave. & Angamos Ave.) with the neighborhood to the south.
This is just a small window into our world here in Antofagasta. We invite you to come and visit us and see it all in person.
March 31, 2014
The Flinck’s write from Antofagasta, Chile:
Last week was a busy week as David flew south to La Serena for a national pastor’s meeting. The trip was extremely quick (only 28 hours away from home) but very encouraging on many levels. David was able to reconnect with several Chilean families that mean so much to our family.
The pastor’s meeting was well attended and was beneficial in the fact that each church gave reports on the ministry and we spent time in prayer for the needs and requests of the churches in northern Chile. Pray for the established churches in northern Chile. A couple of them are without a pastor and are going through a difficult time. There is a great need for Godly pastors and church leaders.
Yesterday, our group had a special service to plan the ministry calendar. In many respects, it was a business meeting. We have been praying for this meeting for a long time. It was an important day and service for the advancement of the church plant. David gave a short study on the reasons why we should be starting a New Testament local church in Antofagasta. He shared his heart about what God has already done and what we need Him to do or supply in the next phase of the church planting process.
God specifically answered our prayers in that there was a great spirit and response to the special service. An overwhelming majority were thankful and vocal about their commitment to serve the Lord in tangible ways during the coming year. A financial, service, and church library committee were formed. We are encouraged that some have stepped up to serve God in these practical and needed ways in our small but growing body of believers. Several after the service mentioned that in all their years in church and church business meetings they have never been so edified in such a meeting. Praise the Lord for His work in the hearts and lives.
Pray for David as he will be teaching through the beginning of Genesis chapter three next Sunday. This is a very important chapter that teaches about the Fall of Man into sin.
To connect with the Flinck family, visit their homepage.
March 26, 2014
David and Patti West write in their March update:
As we pack our van and drive the hundreds of miles to minister in the churches and as the churches choose to partner with us in some way (either temporarily or for the long term), a great deal of faith is required. For our part, the Lord puts us significantly on the “stretch.” Nearly every experience we have while planning, traveling and living out this ministry causes us to look to the Lord to guide, protect and provide for the way. There are few things as exciting and terrifying as the exercising of faith. The hope of training nationals in South America for God’s glory and your prayers are what makes it all worthwhile.
To stay in touch with the West family, visit their GMSA homepage.
March 24, 2014
Between camp weeks, the Thompson’s took a little break “up the hill across the lake.” The view that afternoon was beautiful. The Lican Ray Camp is down below where the taller trees are located. They write:
After returning from Uruguay in January we had just one day to get everything ready for kid’s camp. In our absence, the camp had been used for a church rental so there was much cleanup to get ready for. Our theme this year for camp was a medieval one and so the salon was transformed into a castle (made out of Styrofoam). We had a very low attendance for kids camp this year but Pastor Marcelo Henriquez from Achao did an excellent job teaching with the aid of flannel graph. Our staff also did a great job caring for all the areas of camp (kitchen, service, maintenance and counseling).
Family camp followed. This camp was packed to the gills. All the cabins were in use as well as the new cabin. We were around 120 people total with families from as far north as Coquimbo to as far south as Puerto Montt. We enjoyed seeing some families return from previous years but many were new also. There were also 5 families that tented in the woods back by the soccer field. The cities represented were: Santiago, Coquimbo, Concepcion, Temuco, Puerto Montt, Miraflores, and Villa Regina (Argentina). Our speaker was Pastor Jacob Gonzales. We had the privilege of hosting him and his wife in our house. It was his first time speaking at camp and he left burdened for this ministry. We hope he can be an encouragement to Ivan and Nikol when they arrive at Pirque.
Teen camp was next. This year we hosted 53 teens. It was neat to see during registration those who had participated in previous years asking to be together in the same cabin because this is the only time they see each other. There was a very good atmosphere during that camp. Our speaker was Joel Solomon and his wife Wendy helped with some workshops for the girls. Counselors had their work cut out for them but did a great job. There were quite a few un-churched kids and they heard the gospel preached clearly. The spiritual theme for all the camps was overcoming trials and temptations.
Between teen camp and the college and career camp we took our staff up the hill for a special get together. From the hill across the lake from the camp you can see the whole lake, camp property and volcanoes (Lanin and Villarrica). It was a much needed time of rest and relaxation before our final week of camp. Many had been working already for a month straight and were tired. The last week we had around 50 also. Pastor Manuel Rivas came to speak. It was his first time to speak at camp and we would have him back in a heartbeat. He brought with him a young man from his church. Most of the young people do not have a pastor who takes interest in them and trains them for ministry. Many left challenged from the Word and also from the example given by these men.
That was camp in a nutshell. Of course there were many problems and our job was to be the peacemakers in many sticky situations. But we believe the Lord was glorified through conflict resolution and the love shown one to another during the camps. We had a few surprises also. One of those happened the first night of of teen camp when we heard sirens and saw police cars and lights on the beach. It was during a meeting, so later Danny went out to see what was going on. As many of you know at the back of camp (on the point) there are huge parties going on all summer. We have had problems with these young people coming onto camp to get firewood or to trespass for some other reason. The new fence took care of much of that. Anyway, we learned later that as a boat was going by the point they found a dead body in the lake. It had been in the water a few days. That’s why the police cars and boats were there that night. The firemen with their trucks came through camp to set up lighting for those doing the investigation. We found out later that he was a 25 year old who died of drowning. They think he was too drunk to swim. We have a message of hope and life for young people and that is what our campers received this summer but many more need to hear this message. What a sobering thing to happen right during camp! Thank you for your continued prayers for the ministry.
Stay in touch with Dan and Liz Thompson through their GMSA homepage.
March 24, 2014
Bruno and Audrey Couto sent an update about the end of summer camp season on Uruguay:
Eighty-five people came to family camp! It seems to be one of the favorites, especially for the counselors who get to be campers that week. It is one of the easier camps for us to run because of the more relaxed atmosphere, although having it back to back with children’s camp meant no recuperation time in between.
We are looking forward to visiting all of you whom we haven’t seen in almost 3 years. Our tickets have been purchased and we plan to be in the States for the second half of the year.
If you want to find out more or get regular updates from the Couto family, please contact them here.
March 13, 2014
The apostle Paul came to Troas, not knowing where the Lord of the harvest would have him to go next. Just recently, the Holy Spirit had directed Paul not to minister in the province of Asia, and then again He forbid the team to go to Bithynia. These prohibitions may seem strange to those of us dedicated to carrying out the Great Commission today, given the international scope of that command and the need for the gospel in every place.
But God had prepared something else for Paul and his team. A night vision informed Paul that there was a great need across the Aegean Sea in Macedonia. He saw a man pleading for help, calling for the missionaries to come and preach Christ to the people of Europe. The team understood that God was calling them to evangelize the people there.
Except for the revelatory dream, the same situation has been repeated over the centuries of church history. People are still calling for help today.
March 11, 2014
Last year at this time, we worked alongside a team from the US rebuilding the camp’s fence. Out went the chain link with wooden post, and in went the galvanized welded mesh with metal posts. As winter set in we thought ahead of what our summer would be like with no more unwanted visitors. We felt a sense of security knowing this new fence would take care of some of the summertime stress and worry.
As summer approached, we began realizing that maybe our confidence wasn’t well founded. Were we as safe as we thought? Within the first week of summer, our sense of security was shattered when we realized people could still come in. As we grumbled about the fact that our new fence wasn’t as perfect as we had thought, the Lord impressed on our hearts and minds our utter lack of trust in His protection. Our confidence rests not in our efforts, but in our Great God.
As the summer wore on, a few people here and there snuck on camp to find firewood for their beach fires, but overall we had a quiet camping season thanks to our Great Protector. May our security be always in Him.
March 11, 2014
Below you can see the first faculty of the Bible College in Uruguay. It was taken at the opening service of FEBU, where classes started today. Praise the Lord that there are 10 full-time students enrolled and several other part-time students. One student is from the GMSA church plant in Chivilcoy, Argentina.
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