Missionary Correspondence from the Bjurs
“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3
“That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou Lord, hast done it.” Psalm 109:27
In this unusual furlough year of travels, in which we have journeyed several times back and forth between the U.S. and Chile, we have had the opportunity to tell in a number of churches, what God has done. We are currently in the U.S. for the months of November and December visiting churches and family. God has kept us through all our travels and has faithfully kept the work He began in Arica, Chile.
In August we came to the States to take Debbie to Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, for her first year of college. She is studying cinematography. We are so thankful that she has great roommates and is getting adjusted to college life. We appreciate your prayers for her!
We visited churches in North and South Carolina and Tennessee in August and September, and we had the joy of representing the Independent Board, together with Gary Johnson, at the Mission’s Conference at BJU. We greatly enjoyed talking to many young people about the importance of missions.
At the end of September, we flew back to Chile and attended the annual Presbytery meeting down South, where it was great to see many of our Pastor friends and their wives. Then, back in Arica, we worked to get the Christmas program written so that brethren there can get it ready, since we won’t be there in December. We thank the Lord that while in Arica in October, the Lord gave us the opportunity to see five Venezuelan ladies and one 12-year-old boy, make their decisions to receive Christ as Savior! We continue to ask prayers for the Venezuelan refugees to whom we minister. More have gone back to Venezuela, or on to the United States, but the Lord brings new families to whom we can minister. Two ladies came to Sunday School with Angoris, who has been coming for over a year now. All three families lived in the same house. Then, in mid-October, we got a call from Angoris that their house was on fire. We went over and saw that all three families had lost everything in that fire. They were so thankful that they all got out and no one was hurt, but were at a loss to know what to do and where to go. The city put them up in a hostel for a few weeks. We called the board and found out we had $400 given for the Venezuelan ministry, so we were able to take the three ladies to our version of the thrift store and buy clothes for them and their children, and then to our “Walmart” for a few other needed clothes and shoes. We are so thankful for those who have given to this ministry. These three ladies all received Christ as Savior the day we left to come back to the States. “Thou Lord, hast done it.”
On October 31st we all celebrated our church’s 30th Anniversary. Although it’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since we came to Arica, it’s always wonderful to look back and remember God’s faithfulness all these years. Truly, He has “done great things for us; whereof we are glad!”
Right after the anniversary celebration we took a taxi to cross the border into Peru, where the following day we started our flights to return to the States. We’ve been able to make visits to churches in Cincinnati, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We also had the blessing of short visits with family in Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee. Lord willing, we will be in Maryland, Florida and California before making our way to Arizona to spend Christmas with Melody’s parents. It is a joy to see dear friends and supporters in so many places. We are so sorry for those churches and supporters that we won’t be able to see on this very short furlough. Our plan is to return to Chile the first week in January.
The last three years we have had a special Christmas project for the Venezuelans. Last year we gave gifts to 31 children! Some of the mothers told me that those were the only gifts their children received since they had no money to buy such. We also gave a box of groceries for each family to have a special Christmas dinner. We even had enough money from the offerings given to give cash to several of the mothers so that they could buy new clothes for the children. It is a Venezuelan tradition for the children to wear new clothes on Christmas Eve. To each family was given a special Christmas letter telling them that these gifts were given with much love and we hoped they would enjoy them, but that our greatest desire was for them to know the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. The gospel was included, and each mother was asked to read the letter to their family before opening the gifts.
We’d like to ask your help again for this “Venezuelan Christmas Project.” Even though we will not be there, there is a lady in our church who will be directing the project with our oversight. Our young people love to get involved and help in this project as well. The pictures below are from last year’s project. We really believe that the love shown has an impact on these Venezuelans later, having an open heart to receive the gospel.
We have no doubt that what the Lord has accomplished in the work in Chile is directly correlated with the prayers of God’s people. What an encouragement it has been to us as we have visited supporting churches to hear, “I pray for you every day!” THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, for your faithful prayers all these years!
With that in mind, please continue to pray for our travels and ministry here in the States through January, for our church and the Christmas program in our absence, for growth in the lives of new believers and for the Venezuelan Christmas project.
May the Lord bless you all with a blessed Christmas and wonderful New Year in 2024!
Jim and Melody Bjur