“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary … But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
Beloved Saints of Christ,
Let us continue to wait on the Lord this year. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. … And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7, 9
As we look back over the past year we see a year of waiting on the Lord, with many new beginnings and some especially encouraging developments as 2015 drew to a close. It was in February that Julio began to study with us and in March that he began to visit and worship regularly with us. We have been blessed whenever other members of his family have been able to visit with us also. We have had several friendships which have been developing and deepening. We have had many Bible studies with Rosita (pictured right) through the first part of Romans, and recently she began to worship with us also, which has been a great blessing.
We were praying for safe births for new friends, Viviana and Ariel, and Juan and Susana. Paul was able to visit Viviana in the hospital before a complicated operation, and encourage Juan and Susana (who live in Santiago) over the telephone with respect to having a natural birth. We praise the Lord now for the delivery of Renata and Paloma, both born in December, and that both new Mothers came through well. Paloma was even born at home!
In October we made some new friends through a national home school conference in which the two of us (parents) exhorted and encouraged attendees to commit to the Christian discipleship of their children as their top priority with respect to education.
This has also been a year during which we have been able to upload about twenty sermons in Spanish to our “Misión de Gracia” web site on SermonAudio.com . Just a few days ago we received an email from Vicky in Indiana who is putting us in contact with her brother Carlos in Santiago so that he may get to know some folks who love the Lord and so that we may speak to him of Christ. Please pray for Carlos’ salvation, and that our Lord may grant us an excellent testimony before him and open his heart.
On the home front, Anna is now taking care of “a new ewe” ☺ a female sheep and her lamb; Josiah continues caring for his chickens, of which there are nine new chicks, Rosita has allowed Sarah several rides on her horse, “la Chica,” Geneva has received her driver’s license and completed a college degree (A.A.), and Geneva and Isaiah completed basic N.T. Greek and now read the New Testament in its original language.
Now, during the summer vacation months, Paul has a new N.T. Greek student who has been progressing very well. During the last three months I’ve only made one journal entry, but I thought I might share it with you. Here it is:
December 30, 2015
What a day! Got off to a good start with the Lord and devotions, and worked on clearing at the front fence with the help of a good friend. At about 10 we learned that the water was not getting to our house and moved Anna’s sheep (mama) and lamb out of the way; had to catch the lamb first. The pump appeared to be the problem, so we disassembled the elements necessary to remove it and managed to get it to Chillán for a diagnosis. Had to have Greek class on the run in the car!
Praise the Lord, our help was able to tend to our pump right away and after a few tests it became evident that a fairly inexpensive part needed to be replaced. So we went immediately to the supply house and were able to get the new condenser needed and deliver it to the shop. In short order our pump was sound again. This was certainly an answer to prayer, since tomorrow would be New Year’s Eve and then a long weekend! We were very thankful to be back at Greek in the car on the way home.
We made it in time for lunch and got to the dentist by 2:30 with Isaiah and Josiah for our appointments. After another Greek class between the waiting room and the car, and taking care of a few errands in Bulnes and Santa Clara, we were home and blessed to be able to install the pump successfully by supper time!
At the end of January, Paul and Anna plan to travel to Santiago to participate in the annual CIEF Congress, visit with Julio and his family, and with Carlos, as we hope.
The owner of the house we were going to rent for our Resource Center has broken her word to us now that it is nearing completion. It is a disappointment, but we trust that the Lord must have a better plan. We are thankful that there are some other options available.
Please Pray For:
- the Lord’s direction for the location of our Resource Center. Please pray that it may be secured very soon. We are hoping for February 1st.
- the Vacation Bible School we are planning for February 8-12. We just need teachers and students (and our Lord’s mighty working)! Johanna and Julio are planning to assist us for the week. Please pray that we may be able to have a significant impact for Christ in the lives of several children and families.
- Julio’s sister Rocio’s health as she carries her first baby. She is about half-way through her pregnancy, and has had a couple of complications.
- the Lord’s saving work in Ariel and Viviana and Renata, and other family members.
- Melody De La Hoz (Melody is 12 and hopes to have surgery soon as she is suffering a lot of pain in her throat).
- Maryann and her husband and four children in St. Louis, Missouri. She is 33 and has cancer.
- Paul’s students (theology and greek).
- our pickup truck. Praise the Lord, it should be running again by the time you receive this.
We sincerely thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support as we serve Christ in the Gospel ministry. And besides all the serious and wonderful blessings mentioned above, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, and this year the Chiefs have advanced in the playoffs (after 22 years in the wilderness) … we don’t pay much attention to sports, but when one of our teams get close to the championship it is hard not to tune in (when it is not the Lord’s Day) and root for them!
Joyfully Serving our Redeemer and Proclaiming the Gospel,
– Paul and Cheryl Durand & Family