Serving the Lord on Furlough

March, 2024                                                                                   

“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.  My flesh

and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”  –Psalm 73:25-26

Dear Servants of Christ our Redeemer,

              Greetings in the Name of the Risen Saviour, our Lord!  We hope you are well and that your soul is prospering in communion with God, our most wise and gracious heavenly Father.

              Our sons Isaiah (25) and Josiah (23) returned to Chile in early December.  The rest of us recently arrived back in New Jersey after a lot of changes during our travels in the second half of last year.  At the beginning of April, Cheryl and Geneva will take the minivan back to St. Louis and say goodbye to Cheryl’s Pop.  Anna and Sarah will go with them and will stay in St. Louis with their grandfather, while Geneva flies directly to Chile on April 8th and returns in June.  Then, Anna and Sarah will travel by way of a VBS in Greenville. A friend from Pennsylvania, Mercy, will join them and visit us for three weeks when they return to Chile (July 2-3).  The rest of us plan to fly April 8th-10th to Colombia and then on to Chile on April 24th, Lord willing.  Please pray for our time, ministry and safety as we visit with family and brethren in Colombia.  We are eager to get back to Chile!


              “Please pray for the children in Guatemala, who heard the Word of God preached during our daily VBS. Isaiah and I were there for about ten days. For a whole week we helped teach the children [at the Los Angeles church] about the promised Messiah, and salvation through Him alone. Pray that the children would begin to faithfully attend the Bible classes that the Rickers offer there every Lord’s Day, and that they would believe in Jesus Christ and also study the Bible. I would also like to ask prayer that I could go again to help teach in November or December at the end of this year. Pictured left is one of Josiah’s VBS students.

              “Also, pray for my friends in Chile. Although I was away from them for a very long time, pray that God would give them new hearts, and turn them away from sin and from darkness to the True Light that shines in the darkness. Pray that they would cease to love vanity and trusting in lies, and that God would give them grace, love them and transform their lives by His power. Pray that I may be a good example to them and that God would have mercy on each one of them.  “Likewise, pray for me as I teach at the Santiago Christian Academy in Santiago, Chile.  The children just returned to school for their second semester this week and I am helping teach first grade. Pray for my influence on these children and their families, and for all the other teachers as well.

              “I have also gone to a couple of camps since returning; one for young people which took place here near Santiago, and another one nearer to our home, which was a church or family camp. Pray that God would turn the young people away from vanity, keep them from worldliness, and give them a hunger for God’s Word. I talked with many who had not yet read the whole Bible, but who were now diligently reading, or hoped to begin to do so regularly. Also please pray for the children at the family camp who have Christian parents, that God would bless the parents that are homeschooling, and bring the young ones to Himself while they are still young. And pray, please, that God would help the parents to guide their children’s hearts.

              “Finally, pray for Julio’s cousin, Benjamin, who came over to stay at Julio’s house while I was there. We had many opportunities to speak about the Gospel and following Christ. Julio is unconvinced of his  salvation, but we spent a lot of time together, and perhaps there will be more opportunities to get to know him and his family in the future.  Thank you for your prayers.”


              “Thank the Lord for the brethren here, who have continued to meet and worship the Lord faithfully during the year we have been away. Please continue to pray for their spiritual growth and maturity, and especially for the many children in the congregation, that the Lord would grant wisdom and guidance to the parents and work in their own hearts for salvation.

              “Last week we had some fairly major issues with the pumps for the well that provides water to our house, and the brethren who live in the house in front of us here in Chile. We thank God, with the help of the brethren here, that we were able to get the pump all fixed in a fairly short time and it has been working well since then.”


              For December, January, and February, eight of us were stationed in Greenville, SC.  While there, Paul was able to have cataract surgery and we are so thankful to be able to report a successful outcome.  

              In Greenville, we found a viola teacher for Katie, a violin teacher for Anna and Sarah, a piano teacher for Faith, and a piano/harp teacher for John-Baptiste.  Thankfully, that was a total of only two teachers, so Cheryl did not have to drive every day to classes!  Our desire is to have recitals in Chile with a string quartet, harp, and piano music, and a time for Paul to proclaim the Gospel to all in attendance.  We were able to borrow a cello from a kind friend (he also helped us with the viola, and years ago helped with the violins).  Isaiah, Sarah, and Faith are all desirous of learning to play the cello, but we were not sure how we could get a cello to Chile (might have to pay for another seat).  It seemed improbable, if not outright impossible!  Yet the Lord is so good that a retired brother in the Lord at our church, who can fly anywhere, is willing to bring the cello!  Couple that with the generosity of the cello owner to sell it for a good price, and we have the Lord’s mercy providing what we need for the children to play for His glory, and the Gospel to be proclaimed during the recitals.  Would you pray for this exciting new aspect of ministry.

              Our church in Greenville (Hope Presbyterian) was such a blessing.  The fellowship was so sweet with Pastor and Mrs. Mark Evans and all the church brethren there.  It was a great blessing to see Pastor and Mrs. Ken Orr again. Our girls loved spending time with the Tucker girls as they played frisbee, went ice skating, and engaged in many other activities together.  It was wonderful to see old friends, meet some new ones, and enjoy delicious and sweet fellowship meals together every Lord’s Day.  Please keep this church in your prayers as they continue to be a faithful witness of the mercies of God in Christ Jesus.  We also had warm fellowship with Dr. Bennett, brother Bert Behlow, the Fords, the Lee family, the Saadati family, and many friends in the Greenville area.  Paul even taught a class and preached several sermons at HPC.

              In January Paul spoke to many employees at the noon Bible Study as we visited Nutramax Labs in Lancaster, SC.  It was great to see the Hendersons again, meet Corporate Chaplain Bliss Steele, and receive a tour of their new facilities where they seek to serve and glorify God as they provide wonderful health products to serve many people and their pets.  The Lord has given them a blessed testimony to many businesses and people in the community and we ourselves have witnessed the blessing Cosamin has been to people in Chile with whom we have shared it, and we are very thankful for Dr. Bob Henderson’s generous support of Gospel missions through the IBPFM.

              In February we also took a trip to Florida where we had a good, though brief visits with Mr. Victor Elder, Mrs. Pat Knight, Carole and Brittany Whitbeck, and Mr. Bill Suiter.  We were also blessed as we visited with the Free Presbyterian Church in Orlando as well as visiting several Chileans who happen to live in the Orlando area.  It was a wonderful joy to have Miss Caroline Tucker from Hope Presbyterian Church travel with us to Florida.


              Some of you have asked about the monthly support figures which have occasionally appeared in the Board’s Praise & Prayer list.  These figures only represent the difference between contributions received during that particular month when compared to the funds we received on the field that month. If, for example, supporters sent in $3,000.00 last month, and our salary and mission funds were $3,500.00 that month, Praise & Prayer would show the Durands at a deficit of $500.00 (which refers to that month only).  It does not mean that our account is in the “red”, or that we are doing “without” – it simply shows that the support sent to us that month exceeded the income the office received for us, during that month only.  We are most thankful for the many that support us, giving monthly, quarterly, or annually.  The Lord is good.

            If you, or your church, would like to give in support of this ministry you may do so by mail, or by going to and using the donation page; you can always check with the IBPFM office if you have any questions.  We praise the Lord for each of you who faithfully and generously give to the work of Gospel missions through the IBPFM, who enable us to concentrate on the Gospel ministry and reaching souls for Christ!

              Thank you all for praying concerning the second proposal for a new constitution for Chile.  The Lord has answered our prayers, and it was rejected by the people’s vote in December!  Please continue to pray for righteousness and the preservation of true Christian liberty in Chile.

              Thank you for your many prayers for us.  As Pastor Ron Vandermey recently wrote, “We need more than just a prayer list, we need a prayer life!” and “Power in prayer comes when you come humbly before the throne of grace, alert to the enemy, and thankful for all God’s mercies.”  May our Lord richly bless you and draw you ever nearer to Himself this year!

In God’s Gracious Strength and Peace,

Paul and Cheryl Durand and family