“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say on the Lord.” Psalm 27:13, 14
Waiting on the Lord, during these days of this pandemic, is a necessary discipline. We are waiting to meet again in person in our church building. We are waiting for the borders to open to have more contact with our sister churches and brethren in Peru and Bolivia. We are waiting as well for Jim’s next surgery, as non-emergency surgeries are still prohibited. And we are waiting on the Lord in prayer for several of our people with serious illnesses. Still, it is good to wait on the Lord, because He is good to those that wait on Him. And as we wait, God still gives abundant opportunities to serve, as well as tokens of His goodness to encourage our hearts.
We are still waiting on the Lord to be able to gather together again in our church. But we are meeting virtually while we wait. Now in Phase 2 of COVID restrictions, we have a little more flexibility on weekdays, but continuing with the lockdowns on weekends. Churches are still not permitted to meet! But as Paul in Athens went to work preaching the gospel while he waited, so do we. Our regular services and seminary classes continue online. Also, we are thankful for opportunities Melody has to participate online in ladies’ meetings and retreats, as well as a virtual choir. Recently we were able to attend a wedding of brother Alex Woehr and Carmen Cruz in Callao, Peru, by Zoom. How thankful we are to the Lord for this newly married couple! They are an answer to prayer and will be such a blessing to the Lord’s work there in Peru.
Plans have been made for our July young people’s virtual camp, with the theme: “Forward by Faith!” (¡Adelante por la Fe!) Three messages will be given from the book of Joshua on the subject of faith. We trust they will be of great encouragement and blessing to the young people here in northern Chile, Peru, Bolivia and other parts as well. Please pray for us as preparations are made for this event.
Opportunities with Venezuelans continue. We don’t know exactly when things will open up nor how we will be able to pick up and bring all that have expressed an interest in coming to church. One lady, Yoaly, lives in a humble shack by a dump with her three little daughters. We long to be able to invite them to Sunday School. We have provided an online children’s class since the pandemic began but will need to reorganize and restart the other children’s classes again. Ambar, a Venezuelan mother, with her daughters Dessiret and Krissbelly, are staying in the church guest-room. They were saved in February and are growing in the Lord. Neithan Abel was just born to Dessiret and is a joy! We kind of feel like grand-parents! Krissbelly has made friends on the street behind the church. We were able to meet them at her recent birthday party and we have invited them to Sunday School when we open again.
Although the borders with Peru and Bolivia remain closed, we trust there will be opportunities with many young people from those countries in our winter camp. We would also ask prayer for Melody and Debbie as they hope to travel to the US in August for about three weeks so that Debbie can attend a camp for missionary kids at the Wilds in NC. Debbie attended an MK camp once before in Peru and it was such a blessing to her life. Another added blessing of this camp is that both her brother Jeremy, who is a chef at the Wilds, and her sister Becky, who is returning to the US from China and will be serving as a counselor, will be there too. Please pray, as we know of friends whose travel plans were changed because of flight cancelations or because of recent restrictions or new requirements.
We continue waiting on the Lord for the scheduling of Jim’s operation. He is beginning to have some required exams done, but when they are finished he will be added to a long list of people who are also waiting for delayed surgeries. Please pray for wisdom, patience and the Lord’s leading that his intestines may be successfully reconnected in due time.
Concerning some members of our congregation, we are also waiting on the Lord for the serious health needs of several brethren. You recall that we have asked prayer for Carlos (lung cancer) and Jaime, one of our elders, who has kidney failure. We, as a church, are praying everyday with our brethren for these dear men of God. Please pray with us.
“Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” Psalm 123:2
Finally brethren, we thank you for your faithful prayers and support as we work and wait on the Lord. His work is vital to ours; ours is in vain without His. His work is worth the wait.
Your servants for Christ’s sake in Chile,
Jim, Melody and Debbie