Serving the Lord in the Andes Mission and at home in the USA

August 2023

“But withal prepare me also a lodging:  for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.”

Philemon v. 22

 Dear Praying Friends and Family,

            As many of you know we are home on furlough.  February and March had many of the Durands traveling through Guatemala and Mexico as we told you in our March prayer letter. After our arrival in the States, all ten of us were able to be together first in Baltimore, where it was such a blessing to stay at the Restoration Farm during late March, and then in southern New Jersey at Cedar Lane Missionary Homes until July 3rd.  Paul preached and gave a presentation of our Gospel ministry in Chile to eight churches, participated in outreach multiple times, and brought the Lord’s Day evening message at the International Council of Christian Churches gathering in Collingswood.  That message was entitled, “The Glory of God in Christian Education”, and 150 of the participants were from Chile!  It was a blessing for us as a family to help with transportation, translation, music, serving in the kitchen and dining room, and providing a book table to make good literature available in English and Spanish.   

            July was a month of travel.  First we went up to New Hampshire where we stayed with our dear friends Tom, Valerie and Vicky from our church in Ohio, who had moved there.  We had wonderful sweet fellowship with them and made new friends. Valerie even taught us a beautiful new hymn which she had written! We were also able to see Cheryl’s brother and his family and Paul’s aunt Barbara and cousins in Rhode Island, most of whom we had not seen in many, many, years.  It was very good to see them all again and get a little reacquainted and caught up.

            Next we were in Lancaster, PA, with the Moyer family and many other new friends.  Again, it was a time of sweet fellowship and we were blessed to join them in a musical concert for a retirement center (pictured left).  Paul gave a short devotional, which was well received.  One couple attending had been missionaries in Guatemala and knew Pastor Ricker!  They said that Pastor Ricker was always giving them good literature.

            After two amazing weeks with such joyful times, we continued west to Apollo, PA, to visit the BPC there.  They welcomed us with open arms and it was so delightful to have fellowship with the brethren!  Paul presented the labors in Chile in Sunday School and preached during the morning service.  It was great to visit briefly with the Howard Ott family in the evening – but it was much too short.  As we set out the next day we went to see Pastor and Mrs. Charles Butler in Pittsburgh and they kindly welcomed and encouraged us.

            There was one last stop in PA to meet Russ, a friend Paul had made online, and his wife Beverly, then we continued further west to Ohio, where we were blessed to have our first experience with a family from the Christian Hospitality Network called “A Candle in the Window.”  Wow! It was a wonderful blessing to be able to meet and visit with a great couple and some of their grandchildren, who were visiting for the day (pictured on front).  Then we went to Youngstown, Ohio, to stay with Chad and Kim and their lovely family.  It was so good to see them and Pastor Joel and his family.  During the week we were blessed to be able to visit with the Snodes, Mrs. Roberts, George, Clint Denson, Joan and Terry Landis, Kelly, Tracy, and Lee, some of whom we had not seen in a very long time (others we had seen in 2014).  Sadly, we were not able to see everyone that we would have liked, but we did get to see several.  Time was very short.

            We appreciate very much the hospitality of each of you who have bravely hosted our family of ten for meals and in your homes.  We are very thankful that both of our gracious host families in Ohio helped us to be able to visit with them, and also with many friends we knew from our decade there over twenty years ago.  We are also very thankful for each church that has received us.  Thank you very much for your willingness to learn more of our Lord’s blessings on the mission field and the needs for prayer, and for your prayers and support.

            Where are we now?  That was what we had to ask ourselves every morning – but now it is a little easier as we are with Cheryl’s Dad in St. Louis for the month of August, with a brief excursion to South Carolina by Paul and the older boys for the annual meeting of the Association of Ministers of the Reformed Faith.  Please pray:

  • For continued safety in travel and blessed visits with God’s people
  • Salvation for friends and family that we are seeing
  • Guidance and blessing on the ministry of the Word
  • Blessings for the brethren we have recently visited
  • Future plans and provisions for our return to Chile; for wisdom, our health and our eyes
  • Blessed growth of the church in Chile

                                                            Counting it All Joy to Serve our Risen Savior Jesus Christ,

Paul and Cheryl Durand and family