An Eventful Year
Dear churches, friends, and family,
It has been a long time since we updated, and for this we apologize. The last time we wrote, we were headed to the USA on furlough, almost a year ago. We have had quite a few changes in our life since then, and we’re excited to tell you all about them.
Let me begin by thanking you all for your prayers and support. They mean so very much to us, and we pray that God blesses you in equal measure to how you bless us.
We keep you in our prayers, as well. We pray that God continues to expand His Kingdom throughout the world, including the US and Chile. Social pressures are growing, and the world is becoming an increasingly hostile place for Christianity. Despite everything, His Kingdom continues to grow and we are so honored to be a part of that.
In September of 2014, we found out we were having a child. This happened about two weeks before our scheduled departure to return to the US on furlough, so we decided to keep it a secret until we arrived Stateside.
While in the US, we visited several churches, enjoyed the company of friends and family, and reported on how our life has been these last five years.
Besides a small scare with a possible thrombosis, Tabi’s pregnancy went smoothly, and after spending Christmas with her family, we returned to our beloved Chile, ready to work again.
SCHEDULES AND EVENTS
Our day-to-day and week-to-week life in Chile is, in general, rather regular. Much like you, our weeks tend to fall into a routine, blurring one week into another, and making time pass by quickly. In light of this, at the end of this update we’ll let you know what an average week looks like.
Blessings to you, and we hope you enjoy the update!
LYDIA ELIZABETH BOYCE
On the day of the birth, Tabi and her mother (who had come to visit and help out after the birth) had a fun day downtown. They then took the bus to what was supposed to be a routine check-up. As it turned out, Tabi was in labor, so she was checked in right away.
She has since then been a beautiful part of our lives. Learning how to be parents has been both challenging and rewarding. We know we have so much more to learn, but we look forward to it. We feel very blessed.
Of course, we could go on and on about how perfect and wonderful she is, but that’s not what a newsletter is for. Suffice to say that we are in love.
We have, for the most part, dedicated ourselves to our respective ministries. Tabi continues her work on translation, for her theology blog and for the book she’s working on translating. Mike continues to teach and write Bible classes.
Tabi’s theology blog continues to get visits daily. People arrive there from doing searches online asking Bible questions in Spanish. As time goes by, she gets more and more visitors. She hopes this trend will continue.
GOD MOST HIGH
She also continues to work on translating the book “God Most High”, but Dr. Jack Cottrell. The mission Palabra de Cristo will be printing it when it is finished. Because of her new responsibilities as a mother, it took some effort for her to get back into a work schedule, but she has managed to get into a routine.
Of course, learning to be a mother has taken up most of her time. Between feedings, playtime, snuggles, and other activities, her life has mostly rotated around our daughter. She wouldn’t change it for anything, but it certainly has been a challenge!
Mike continues teaching classes in local churches. The course offerings include: hermeneutics (how to study the Bible), basic doctrine, preaching, and Restoration Movement history. Mike enjoys the opportunities that have presented themselves and the doors that the Lord has opened. In this update we wanted to highlight one of these classes. Through a conference that we attended (and helped translate) Mike met a couple from a local church that had left its denomination, together with two other small congregations. They had decided that being in the denomination was unhelpful and divisive, and that instead of following that group they would attempt to follow the Bible only. Obviously this kind of vision interested us. Mike began teaching there this year with a class on how to study the Bible and is now working through the basic doctrine course. The preacher and other members who attend are eager to learn more to be steady in the faith and able to evangelize effectively and confidently. It has been quite encouraging. Please pray that things continue to go well with this group and that the Lord would open up more doors like this. Please pray also for the future of the teaching ministry we ponder and pray about the most effective way to focus in on training up ministers for the local churches, for evangelism, and for church planting.
Licenses and Bureaucracies
In more mundane news, after a lengthy process, Mike has a Chilean driver’s license. The main hold-up was that Chile requires an 8th grade diploma. Since we didn’t have one we decided to use his university diploma. That required requesting a new diploma, have it notarized locally, then the notarization validated by the state of Ohio, then that validated by the Chilean embassy. The whole packet then had to be revalidated here in Chile, then have an official translation done. All this was requested by the local officials. When all this was done and presented to the same local official he indicated that all of that was useless without having the entire packet confirmed by the department of education in Chile. We took the packet there and were informed that they can’t confirm it because they don’t have any official agreement with the US. So, after a year Mike finally got that sorted out and was able to move on to the driver exams (Chile requires written, practical, motor skills, coordination, reaction time, vision, and depth perception exams). The driver’s license is now in hand.
Mike continues to help teach a local evangelistic Bible study (that is, only non-practicing Christians or non-Christians are invited and the study is aimed at introducing them to Christ and His Church) and participate in unity meetings where elders and ministers from various Restoration Movement churches get together once a month to talk, pray for one another, and share in Bible study). Mike also remains committed to helping in the local church as an elder – doing preaching, teaching, and visiting.
What a blessing it is to be able to serve God in the local church, through Biblical teaching and preaching. We pray that God will use these opportunities to strengthen the churches in sound doctrine and bring about more unity through our commitment to Biblical authority.
In February, we attended a leadership seminar at one of the Christian churches in Santiago. We functioned as interpreters for two of the speakers over the course of two days.
Also in February, we attended a retreat that one of our friends here in Santiago organizes. Mike preached at one of the main sessions.
CHURCH AT THE POOL
Because our church switched to a home church setting, we had the freedom to meet in places other than homes during the summer. One of our church’s favorite activities? Have the service at a park with a pool! A whole day of worship and fellowship. Nothing better.
Our local church meets in different homes from week to week. Recently, Carmen, one of our members was in an accident. We have been meeting at her house for several weeks now so that she doesn’t miss out on coming to church.
Tabi’s mother, Lisa, came to help us out after Lydia was born. Holding grandchild #7!
Craig and Rose
Mike’s parents, Craig and Rose, also came to visit and meet Lydia. She is their #1 grandchild! Meaning, of course, their first . . . and their favorite, since she is the only one so far.
AN AVERAGE WEEK
Our church meets in the morning. We usually gather for a breakfast at 10:30, then a service. Sunday afternoons are either spent at home or visiting with friends.
Monday and Tuesday
Mondays are a day to prepare for the week, as well as to get back into our work schedule. Tabi takes care of things around the house and Mike works on writing courses, sermons, or articles. Tuesdays are basically the same.
Mike teaches a class on Wednesday evenings, so the afternoon is usually a good time to make any preparations for the class.
Thursdays are often the day the elders of our local church meet. Lately, Mike has been driving Carmen (see Highlights) to her doctor’s appointments every week. Every other Thursday evening, we have a Bible Study with non-Christians.
Friday nights Mike teaches another class.
Saturday is generally our day to do activities with friends. Whether this be going to an event, or just visiting, coffee and cake, or a barbeque, the important thing is to spend some time with friends.