The Durands in Chile

July 19, 2016

Dear Praying Friends,

Our family is very blessed to be here in Chile for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet we are also very challenged. Of course there are always challenges in the Christian life but they take on an additional dimension when in a foreign country. At times we are a little submerged in paperwork and other mundane details. That is why the above verse is so refreshing and a much-needed reminder of why we are here and what we must focus on, without leaving the other undone.

We are glad that we are now having more contact with people than we did during our first year back here. Recently we have been able to get to know several others who live in our area and one of these, Pablo, has been attending our Lord’s Day morning worship regularly. He asked for something to read concerning our history and doctrine and seems to be serious about the Word of God. Please pray that he would grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Another man we recently met, Milton, has had many unusual experiences which he wants to relate; we hope to have the opportunity to meet his family and focus his attention on Christ and His Word (he wants to get together). Please continue to pray for the opening of hearts as we reach out to those around us. Our dear friend Rosita was quite ill in May and in the hospital for a week with what seemed to be a viral infection. Paul was able to visit with her a couple of times while she was in the hospital, once with Geneva and once with Anna. Thankfully, she is much better now. We have continued going through the book of Romans with Rosita and are now in chapter seven.

A Marriage Conference in Santiago

The last three months have sure gone by quickly! At the end of April Paul and Katie made a special trip to Santiago to speak to married couples of the Independent Methodist Church at one of their conferences on the subject “God, Your Spouse and You.” We brought along some good literature which was popular. We were blessed to be able to visit with several of our brethren in Santiago, including Julio’s family, Oriana (formerly of San Pedro) and Mauricio. We also saw Carlos, Rosita’s cousin Ida and Rosita’s son Alfredo. Alfredo has been very ill as a result of chemotherapy. Please pray for his spiritual and physical condition.

Traveling to the United States

Cheryl, John-Baptiste, and Sarah traveled to the United States for three weeks in May to visit with Cheryl’s folks and it was a great blessing. My (Cheryl’s) Mom has Alzheimer’s disease and is unable to walk or talk, yet she had a tear in her eye when I mentioned that my trip was over and I needed to leave the next day. We are so thankful that my Dad has good help – a dear lady named Vicki. You may remember we had asked you to pray for the other helper, Marianne, who had cancer. Marianne passed away on February 14th and her friend Vicki has been caring full time for the Goldners ever since. Cheryl asked Vicki to read one Shorter Catechism question and answer and the Scripture passages that go with it to her Mom each day, and Vicki has taken an interest in learning the Biblical doctrine! Please keep Vicki and the Goldners in prayer.

An Update on Bible Classes

Our Bible classes continue to be held at the Resource Center in the afternoon on our Christian Sabbaths. A friend of Rocio’s named Madeline came for two weeks during May and seemed to appreciate the time. However, now that it is winter attendance has slacked off. Please pray for Rocio, Madeline, Javier, Sofía, Simoney, Benjamín, Alexis, Ricardo and their families. We have continued going to the Resource Center Thursday evenings for game time, and on Fridays, Isaiah has been teaching Javier piano.

The painting is now finished in the two main rooms and we now have one bookshelf set up as a library, and three bookshelves with literature available to the public. Nevertheless it has been difficult to invest adequate time into setting up curtain rods, cataloging literature, getting everything in order and more, so as to get to where we would like to be with this work.

Paul and Faith were in Concepción in mid-May to renew Faith’s passport and were able to visit with one of Grandpa Durand’s friends, Brian, with Julio, several other friends and some former neighbors, and present a Gospel testimony in each home, even with some new acquaintances. Please pray for Ricardina and her husband and family who recently suffered the great loss of their daughter in a car wreck, survived by her husband and three children, 7, 13 and 17. On the 28th of May Geneva and Paul journeyed to Concepción again for the funeral of a dear saint, Hilda, who was Pastor Hector Jara’s wife.
The older children have been running a writing contest with their friends the Keatings and the Russells in the U.S. for a while already, which continues to expand. It also recently spun off a music contest (arrangements of Amazing Grace) and a cooking club!

Some Family News

On the home front, we can’t believe Geneva turned nineteen in March and Josiah sixteen in June! Faith turned five in April and John-Baptiste will be two by July. Praise the Lord, our indoor flooring was finally completed this month, and that we have also been able to use our pickup truck again thanks to the replacement of its engine. We thank the generosity of friends who helped with this repair. We had two construction workers from Concepción stay with us for four days in April and more recently, five more days until June 4th. One of these is a Christian and the other, Juan, is not a practicing Christian. Both joined us for our morning and evening devotions and we placed the call and demands of the Gospel before Juan on many occasions. Please pray for the Lord’s blessing of our testimony before them and His grace and salvation for Juan. Cesar and Juan installed the tile in our bedroom (pictured below), laundry room and on our front porch, built the stairs and landings at our back doors, and installed most of the interior wood sheathing in our large room upstairs, in the master bedroom and one more wall in the girls’ bedroom. They also installed our attic stairs and Cheryl’s pantry in the kitchen and helped with some other needs.

We are excited to ask prayer also for our friend Valerie Perry formerly from the BPC in Minerva, Ohio, where we served in the pastorate for many years, who is preparing to serve the Lord in Kenya during July on a S.O.M.E. team with Gary and Pat Johnson and Del Ray and Madeline Nichols with others of the Nichols’ family. Please pray for them too! Paul’s first S.O.M.E. team trip was with the Johnsons and the Nichols’ son David. We were so glad to be able to see and visit with David and his family again in 2014 after many years. We are also thankful that John-Baptiste’s permanent visa finally came through!

Please pray for all of us as Geneva and I (Paul) travel to the U.S. on July 15th to visit Cheryl’s parents, take care of some matters related to my Dad’s home-going, help with Vacation Bible School in Greenville and participate in presbytery camp. Well, we are very sad that camp is off again this year, but we hope to see all who go on the Creation museum trip which is planned as an alternative.

Prayer Recap

  • Children: Rocio, Madeline, Javier, Sofía, Simoney, Benjamín, Alexis, Ricardo
  • Brothers and Sisters in the Lord: Julio, Pablo, Rosita, Oriana
  • Salvation: Alfredo, Juan, Hernán, Carlos, Sergio and Leontina, Sergio and Angélica and family, Vicki (in Missouri), Cheryl’s Mom and Dad
  • Ricardina and family, Pastor Hector Jara and family, Ida
  • Valerie Perry and the S.O.M.E. team to Kenya
  • Trip to the U.S. (Paul and Geneva) July 15-August 16, visit with the Goldners and Vicki, VBS in Greenville, Presbytery fellowship trip

Yours in the Saviour’s Service,
Paul and Cheryl, Geneva, Isaiah, Josiah, Anna, Sarah, Katie, Faith, and John-Baptiste

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