Serving the Lord in the Andes Mission

November 2023                                                                                                                                                                                   

     “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. . . . I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.”  Psalm 57:7-11

            Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!  O give thanks unto the LORD.

            Thanksgiving Dayis a truly great tradition for its emphasis upon our great duty and privilege of rendering thanks to the only true and living God our Saviour for all His many blessings.  Originally focused upon gratefulness to God for the plentiful harvest He gave the needy pilgrims, it has come to represent our thanks for all things.  As the Apostle noted, those “who hold the truth in unrighteousness … are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful…” (Rom. 1:18-21)  The unrighteous do not render the thanks they owe to the Creator.  I dare say none of us are as thankful to Him as we ought to be, because we are so prone to forgetfulness and focus on our own challenging circumstances.  If we would, however, but consider the greatness of His mercies in the light of our true dependence upon Him, we should overflow in this grace!

            So we give Him thanks for you, for our daily breath and bread, for His most gracious salvation through Christ and His blood, for the recent months of getting reacquainted with many of you, and for His grace to our brethren in Santa Clara in keeping and blessing them in our absence!

            Thank you also for reading our letters and praying as we have traveled in the U.S. this year.  Since our last letter in August, we were blessed to see the Voziyans, Nichols, Turleys and the Stephans for some very brief visits as we trekked through Tennessee, and then to spend a month in Greenville, South Carolina, and to get reacquainted with all our dear brethren at our home church, including making several new friends.

            On our way back to Missouri we were hosted by the Herrons and the Juodaitus families in Tennessee, met the Buffin family in Kentucky, and Isaiah, Josiah, Anna, Katie, Faith and John-Baptiste were able to see the replica of Noah’s Ark for the first time!  In October we celebrated Isaiah’s 25th birthday and Grandpa Marv’s 85th!  Then we made trips to Kansas City, where there is never enough time for us to see everyone. But, we were blessed seeing old and new friends all the same. Then on to Chicago to get to know the Lindstroms, preach the Word and present our work to their church for prayer.  It was wonderful to meet the author of the Christian Liberty Press’ phonics reading books with which all our children have learned to read.  We still use them in Chile.

            During October, Paul and Isaiah were privileged to attend the annual conference of the American Council of Christian Churches.  Then in November Cheryl, Paul, Josiah, and John-Baptiste had blessed meetings preaching and visiting on the Lord’s days in Glendale, California, and in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  It was great to be able to tell of our Lord’s answers to prayer in Chile and to spend time again with the Wakemans,  Vandermeys, and the Binghams, and get to see the Andersons, Carlsons and several others in Washington as well.  In Idaho it was great to meet the Shoemakers and come to find they also attended the same church (years ago) which we attend when we are in eastern Missouri!

Prayer Meeting Online

            While back in Missouri, we were able to join our church in Santa Clara online for their midweek prayer meeting and deliver a Scripture lesson to them again on two occasions. 

Thanksgiving and Guatemala

            Finally, after eight years of having a Thanksgiving Day in December in Chile, we were able to celebrate on Thanksgiving Day with Cheryl’s Dad (Marv).  It was bittersweet because the next day Isaiah and Josiah departed for Guatemala to assist the Rickers with Vacation Bible School in Los Angeles (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1),and then continue on back to Chile (Dec. 4) ahead of the rest of us.  It is also going to be difficult to leave Pop (Grandpa) in St. Louis in a few days when we head back to the southeast.  Please pray for him.

Pray for Chile & Argentina

            Please pray for Chile’s vote (Dec. 17th) on a second proposal for a new constitution, for the preservation of liberty in Chile.  We are thankful that our neighbor nation, Argentina, recently elected the only national leader in South America that is not a socialist.  He appears to stand for the rule of law, be effectively anti-corruption and anti-Marxist, and desire to liberate his people from the evil of self-serving oppressive government. So, we take his election as an answer to prayer.  We would ask prayer for him and his new government.

            Our upcoming plans include hopes to meet a new family of friends in Indiana, visit our friends in the Chattanooga, TN. area, and continue on to our winter headquarters in Greenville, SC.  We hope to make a trip to Florida and probably some other shorter trips in the new year.  In March we plan to be in New Jersey and hope to head back to South America in AprilPlease pray for our Gospel witness as we travel and for the ministry of the Word, that our Christian friends will be edified and encouraged through our fellowship and strengthened for the works of prayer and Christian love and witness.  We praise the Lord that He continues to sanctify His church through His truth!

Please continue in prayer:

  • For the brethren in Chile.
  • For the twins, Maria and Berta, Jocelyn and Ruben and their families, and others with whom we have had an acquaintance and a witness for the Gospel.
  • For Rosita in Chile (healing of her right arm and walking).
  • For Paul – health and cataract surgery on December 20th.
  • For Juan and Susan (the Miranda family), for the Lord’s guidance and provision regarding their residence.
  • For our IBPFM colleagues Daniel and Elizabeth Matamala as they will be moving to Punta Arenas in Chile to help begin a mission work there.
  • For Josiah and Isaiah in Guatemala, their flights to Chile (Dec. 4) and their coming months there.
  • For Cheryl’s Pop (Marv).
  • For Paul’s ministry of the Word during furlough.
  • For Chile’s vote on a new constitution Dec. 17th.

            Thank you!

                                                                                                            Yours for Christ,

                                                                                                                                                Paul and Cheryl,

                                                                                           Geneva, Isaiah, Josiah, Anna, Sarah, Katie, Faith and John-Baptiste

                                                                                                                 The Durands