Dearest friends and family,
We trust you are well. We are so grateful for your support, your letters and little parcels – it seems that the PO Box is truly working! We are also very thankful for your prayers and your friendship.
News and updates
A new missional community in Cerro Placeres is meeting in a room at the top of a 16-story building with amazing views over Valparaíso. As we did a simple Bible study on 1 Peter 3: 8-18 last Tuesday, and planned and prayed as to how we would try and reach people nearby, we noticed some interesting things that Peter was encouraging the belaboured believers to do, which seem applicable to all our missional communities.
Peter starts by reminding them that they share in Christ because “Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous that He might bring you to God”, and therefore they will inherit the blessing of eternal life with him. Because of these unshakable facts, they are at liberty to live radically, not repaying evil with evil or returning insults to those who offend them. What Peter calls those early Christians to do falls into the area of strengthening their communities and being active in mission.
Their communities should be like minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble. There is no call, however, to abandon society because of the difficulties and persecution that the believers were facing. They are encouraged to bless those that treat them badly and be always ready to give a defence to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is within. If we are Christian communities that are on mission together, we should “not fear what they fear or be disturbed”.
I wonder whether when Peter says “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil”, he was thinking of some of the most momentous moments in his own life. In Luke 22 he betrayed Christ and suffered for doing that evil. But in Acts 4 and 5 he suffered for doing good and was arrested. Before being beaten, he stated: “There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it” (Acts 4.12). Despite being flogged, he and the other apostles went out from the Sanhedrin rejoicing that they were worthy to be dishonoured on behalf of the Name. They went straight back to their missional communities where they “continued and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah”.
Our prayer for this new missional community – and the other eight that are starting up around Valparaíso and Viña – is that we would be strong communities of faith and would grow in our experience and knowledge of God, but that we wouldn’t forget that we are on a mission. And that by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s empowering we can share the wonderful hope of an eternal inheritance that is ours through Christ Jesus.
Thank God for a great month in the South of Chile – it was a time for lots of reading, swimming, chatting and visiting new beautiful places. It is amazing how beautiful God´s creation is and how simple life can be. We were blessed by the hospitality of people and got refreshed by the teaching at the summer camps. We also enjoyed chatting and studying the Bible together in more depth as a family and as a couple.
David is doing well in his home schooling and we are enjoying the opportunity to teach him within a Christian cosmovision. It is a privilege to do this. We would appreciate it if you can continue to pray for him with regards to friends, that he may develop friendships through the different sport, musical and Christian activities that he is attending. We are proud of him for earning his first wage by giving Spanish classes via Skype. He really enjoys this opportunity.
Joshua continues to enjoy his school and sports. Thanks for your prayers for him too; do continue praying, that he can grow into a God-fearing young man
Ellelein is enjoying doing home schooling with David. At the same time, she has started writing articles for a Spanish Christian website called Acceso Directo.
There is a possibility of doing some videos with them too and she has already written the scripts. She struggles a bit with the house management but is thankful that all of this gives her an opportunity to serve God and her family.
She is also preparing a talk on 1 Peter to deliver to the women of our church and later on in the South of Chile; she has recently started another discipleship course with four lovely young and not so young women, and has been asked to do a family retreat and to lead one of the workshops at the national youth camp in October. Please pray as she manages to balance all of the above and makes wise decisions as to the commitments she makes.
Dan has currently been named as director of the Anglican churches on the coast, which is a challenge that he was happy to take on as it means working more closely with other Anglican churches here. He is also involved in “El renacer por la Pasion” as one of the board directors, challenging youngsters to ignite the Passion for Christ. This is a brilliant opportunity, especially in a place full of universities. He has recently had some back pains and is finally accepting that he is middle-aged!
Blessings to you all.
With our love in Christ