Serving the Lord in the Andes Mission

May 2019

This sign (behind the posts) was supposed to guide us to our destination in the Andes. How could anyone miss it?

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:17

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Sing with us the praise of our Lord (the following can be sung to the tune of DOWNS C.M.)

Samuel Medley, 1738-99

God Shall Alone the Refuge Be

God shall alone the refuge be and comfort of my mind;
Too wise to be mistaken, He, too good to be unkind.

In all His holy, sovereign will, He is, I daily find,
Too wise to be mistaken still, too good to be unkind.

When I the tempter’s rage endure, ’tis God supports my mind;
Too wise to be mistaken, sure! too good to be unkind.

Though I cannot His goings see, nor all His footsteps find;
Too wise to be mistaken, He, too good to be unkind.

Hereafter He will make me know and I shall surely find,
He was too wise to err, and O, too good to be unkind!

March 2019

Here in Chile the school year starts in March and ends in December. (Of course we should be learning all year long!) So our first “additional” student, Joaquín, returned to our homeschool, joined this year by his brother Isaac, and they are progressing well. Every morning we have family worship together with them and have just finished reading the Old Testament (we started quite a while ago). Then we have scheduled times to study math, learn verses and the Westminster Shorter Catechism, historical and Bible reading, physical exercise, singing, English lessons, science videos and crafts, music, writing fiction and non-fiction, and learning to trust and obey the Lord with a good attitude.

March also brought Paul’s student Julio back to us for fellowship, work and worship. Thank you for your prayers for Don Alonso (Rosita’s husband) and Rosita and their family. Praise the Lord with us for three very good visits with him during which Paul and Julio have been able to clearly present the Gospel to him while he has been ill. We are thankful he has been more open to hear the exposition and application of God’s Word and has responded well. Please continue to pray for Don Alonso’s salvation and that he will soon be able to undergo a successful operation which he needs, for Rosita’s feet which have been causing her a good deal of pain lately, and for their grown children Alfredo, Carlos, Carmen, Marisol and Paulina and their families; also for Cristobal, Gilda and their daughter. We are also thankful for your prayers for Julio’s mother, Soledad, and that her ulcer is now completely healed.

On the 20th of March—Geneva’s birthday—Cheryl’s mother, Kathleen Goldner, passed away and Cheryl traveled to be with her father, brothers, and other family members in Missouri (see the picture below). The Memorial Service for her mother was at the local Butterfly House and our friend Pastor Van Lees preached the Gospel at the service. Geneva and Anna were still in the States at that time so they were able to play a beautiful hymn melody during the service and several of the grandchildren spoke. It was very touching. Thank you to all who were praying for Cheryl during that time – the Lord has brought comfort.

The following are some thoughts from Cheryl that she wrote to a friend about her trip home:

I had an interesting trip home – thinking I would have a lot of time and that I would just read my Bible in the airport and no one would bother me, ha! Apparently reading the Bible attracts more atten-tion than I thought so I spent the day talking to a retired missionary from Ecuador who was on his way to a mission trip to Africa and also a young couple that had just gotten married and were on their way to Guatemala to help her parents with missions work. It made the trip enjoyable anyway and the re-tired missionary helped me think through what might be helpful for my friend in Chile that I was to visit upon my return (she had a miscarriage right before I left). My time with her in Santiago was so gentle and wonderful. After I got to her apartment and sat down she handed me a Bible in Spanish and said I should read her the verses that comforted me. And then she went over verses that the Lord had used to comfort her. That really does not do justice to the fellowship we enjoyed. Later outside at the park we were able to share our different experiences. She has such strong faith that even through the heartache she said that she did not want the fact of having children, or children themselves, to be an idol in her life and that she came to recognize that the Lord had given so much to her that now it hardly felt like something was taken. In short, she and her husband were seeking to glorify God even in the most diffi-cult times. In the evening her husband led us and another couple through a good Bible lesson and that was encouraging because he wasn’t doing that with his family when we first met them. Paul encour-aged him to start small, even less than ten minutes if necessary, every night. Now it seems they read and pray for half an hour each night.

April 30, 2019

We praise the Lord for 25 blessed years of marriage and family, through His grace.

We celebrated with a quick trip to the Andes Mountains, followed by a delicious surprise dinner and cake that the children had made along with the poster on the right. We were touched by their loving expressions of appreciation.

Other praises include Francisco and his family attending our Bible Study on Friday evening and the Lord’s Day worship frequently, and for new Bible study visitors recently. We were able to have good discussions with Francisco, Marjorie, Daniel (number 10!) and Victor one week ago regarding tithes, serving the Lord, church government, and music. Paul has also been having a good time studying and preaching through the wonderful and encouraging sacred history of the early church which the Lord has given us in the book of Acts; we have almost completed chapter 5.

Prayer Requests

  • For Daniel S. and his family, our friend Milenka and her sons Luis and Daniel and family, Victor, Raúl and Mariela and Martín
  • Consuelo and other children in Santa Clara and our Bible classes with them, and for their families
  • Nicolás and Estrella (friends of Julio’s)
  • Don Alonso and José’s Dad (health issues and salvation)
  • Our Spanish Children’s Catechism project
  • The International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) 20th World Congress from January 22-29, 2020, in Puerto Montt, Chile
  • Please continue to pray that the Lord will bless in the distribution and use of our books God’s Covenants and Los Pactos de Dios

Thank you very much for your giving and prayers.

In the Grace of Christ our Saviour,

Paul and Cheryl Durand and family