“O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever” Psalm 136:1
“Behold the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.” Psalm 33:18
“Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.¨ Psalm 33:22
Dear friends and brethren in Christ,
“O give thanks unto the Lord!” We are so thankful to the Lord for His goodness and mercy. We have seen it in the days of this pandemic and the challenges it has been for our ministries. God’s mercy can be trusted. It endures forever. It gives us hope.
The week before Thanksgiving, Melody will be making a trip to Iquitos, in the jungle of Peru, on the Amazon River, to speak at a ladies’ conference in the Jordan church of the Peruvian Union denomination there. Melody is very excited to be able to speak at five sessions. This is her third time to do a ladies’ conference in Iquitos and she loves the opportunity to minister to them. They invited her two years ago but because of the pandemic she was unable to travel. We are thankful for God´s mercy in allowing this first ministry trip to Peru since the border opened, after being closed for two years. Pray that we can soon, with greater frequency, renew these visits. Restrictions have greatly reduced, but still some exist in crossing borders.
We thank those of you who pray and those of you who have given special offerings for our ministry to Venezuelan refugees. Nowadays you see fewer on them on the street corners selling candy. Some have returned to Venezuela or other countries, and others have gone to the south of Chile to work. But still there are more entering Chile. Some we have ministered to have left and it breaks our heart. But we are thankful for those who received Christ or have drawn closer to Him here. Recently, several new Venezuelan families, with their children, have visited our church, so please keep praying. In December, Melody and several other women in church (as she has done the last several years) plan to visit many of the Venezuelan children we know with Christmas gifts, as an opportunity of witness. She has a list of nearly 30 children that have come to our Sunday School or whom we have invited. Also, last year, we took a box of food to each Venezuelan family with items for their Christmas dinner. We’d like to do the same this year. If you would like to help us with this Christmas project, just mark your gift, “Venezuelan Christmas.” Last year when Melody took the gifts to one family, the mother told Melody that these were the only gifts her children had and how happy she was that now they could have a special dinner for Christmas.
We also thank the Lord for his mercy as we suffer from “empty nest syndrome”. Yet we are thankful for God’s goodness in allowing Debbie (now working at the Wilds Christian Camp) and also Becky and her boyfriend Jake, to come and visit us for Christmas. Our son Jeremy and his wife Daniella will be coming to Chile for two weeks in January and February as part of the Camps Abroad program of the Wilds. Their team will be helping our church camp in the south, on the island of Puluqui, especially in regards to camp activities and the Biblical principles and philosophy they employ at the Wilds. What a blessing! Pray that this first “in person” camp, after two years of online camps, will be greatly blessed, used, and protected by the Lord.
Recently we had services to celebrate our 29th Anniversary of the Arica church and Reformation Day on October 31st. Jim spoke from Galatians 3:1-5 on “How We Began”. How we began is how we must continue, progress, and succeed by the work of Christ, by the hearing of faith, by the Spirit of God and not by the flesh. We marvel at God’s mercy to us all these years.
We are thankful for the recent interest in our youth meetings with a number of new young people being invited and coming. Recently we showed the Christian film, Overcomer, and had nearly 25 young people in attendance! Please pray for God to work in their hearts. We have five young people graduating from high school in November and December. Pray for consecration and the Lord’s direction in the lives of Naira, Cecibel, Denise, Joel, and Valentina.
Not long ago we had the blessing of attending the wedding of the son of missionary friends of ours in Tacna, Peru. We, and the Earnhart family, raised our children about the same time. What a blessing it was to attend the wedding of Jake and Michelle! It was especially wonderful to hear how the Lord brought Michelle to salvation, and then to Jake. We also are thankful for the return of the Reyes family, fundamental Baptist missionaries in Arica and friends of ours, after two years in the US during the covid pandemic. The Lord is good to give us friends of like experience and mind and love for the Lord.
We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom for next year. Jim is more able to travel now after recent successful surgery. Debbie is waiting on the Lord for direction concerning college next fall. We hope to be in the States for the ICCC congress in June and hope to visit some churches around then. But definite plans for furlough are still uncertain as we wait on the Lord’s leading for both us and Debbie. So please pray for wisdom from the Lord.
We are so thankful for God’s mercy. With so many young people though, we see adrift and without purpose, identity, or hope. Many being deceived by “lying vanities forsake their own mercy (Jonah 2:8),” Thank you for praying for us to be faithful to tell others of God’s mercy and of “Jesus Christ which is our hope” (I Timothy 1:1).
Your Servants for Christ’s sake in Chile,
Jim, Melody (Debbie, and Becky)