The righteous cry and the Lord heareth and delivereth them out of all their troubles… The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants, and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. Psalm 34:17 22
Dear Friends and Brethren in Christ,
We begin by saying how thankful we are for your prayers for Jim’s health. After more than a year of waiting for the operation to reconnect his intestines, he did finally have the operation. It was done in the private San José Clinic in Arica rather than the public hospital, as patients are having to wait several YEARS for non-emergency operations because of the Covid delays. Still, compared to costs in the US, the operation was very reasonable. Two days before Jim’s surgery we had a surprise visit from our son Joshua! It was a short visit but so special to have him. We give thanks to God that all went well with Jim’s surgery; he was in the clinic for less than a week. No more bag! The Lord had several believers working in the clinic to be an encouragement to Jim, including our own Dr. Carlos and his wife Sarvia, who is a nurse there. The whole experience reminded us how fearfully and wonderfully made we are and how delicate and complex the intestines are! Jim is now back preaching and teaching, but his stomach is still quite delicate and unpredictable, making it difficult to stand or walk for very long. So patience is needed, and your prayers are appreciated as he continues to fully recuperate.
Also, we appreciate your prayers as we try to return to relative normality in our church services. We have returned to regular meeting times and now have three classes for children and young people and a class for adults (fewer classes than pre-pandemic, but more than we had during the pandemic.) Still, all must wear masks in church. Also, the borders with Peru and Bolivia are still closed to travelers, although we heard they are supposed to open soon, so things are still far from normal. Please pray too for the possibility of having our winter youth camp. We have not been able to have a regular camp the last two years and would really like to have one this year.
Melody has started teaching a children’s class again, that we would like to tell you about. She is teaching ages 10 to 14 and is enjoying it so much. There are three Venezuelan children in the class (two have made professions of faith) who know very little of the Bible. One, a 12-year-old had never
heard of Noah! An 11-year-old boy has not been in school for three years and doesn’t know how to read. What a joy to start at the beginning of the Bible and show them what God has done! There is also a new boy coming, who also knows very little of the Bible. His mother was one of the first young people to come to our church and receive the Lord when we first came to Arica. Soon after her conversion she was misled into Mormonism. Almost 30 years later, Katty has come back, seeking the Lord and bringing her son with her. She and her mother both have great physical needs. It is such an encouragement from the Lord to see what He is doing in her family and also through this new class.
Recently Melody also conducted a “seeker’s” Bible study for some of the new Venezuelan believers and their family members. For several, it reconfirmed the decisions they made previously and gave them the assurance they lacked. Please continue to pray for growth in these new believer’s lives. Also, please pray for other Venezuelan refugees we are ministering to, who have not yet received the Lord. On Mother’s Day, we had seven Venezuelan mothers attend Sunday School! Also, continue to pray for the many needs these ones have.
Online seminary classes continue. We are thankful to the Lord for our faithful students from the Iquique church. We also especially rejoice with them for how the Lord has provided for them to build a new church building after many years of praying and saving. It’s not quite done, but they are already using the new building. We hope sometime later in the year to be able to see it and visit them there.
We would appreciate too your prayers for our daughter Debbie. She is now 18-years-old and finishing up her last months of Home School. She has applied to work for the next year at a Christian camp rather than entering college right away. If she is accepted she would be going to the States in August. It will be a major adjustment for all of us! Please pray for our dear Debbie, for her continued growth and consecration to the Lord, and for His direction in her life about work and then college later on. We’ll also need prayer; Debbie is such a blessing in our youth group and home and will be greatly missed.
We do not know all the next months will bring, but we do know that “none that trust in him shall be desolate.” Christ will be faithful, he will not fail, he will not disappoint and he will keep the work we long ago entrusted to him.
Your Servants for Christ’s sake in Chile,
Jim, Melody and Debbie (and Becky)