We’re wrapping up winter and all the cold months. The plants are starting to flower, allergies are starting to act up, and the skies are getting fewer and fewer clouds. September also has the distinction of being the month in which Chile celebrates its independence. So there are a lot of fun activities coming up, but let’s take some time to rewind (there’s a term the younger generation won’t understand) and check out the last few months.
In the last newsletter, we had announced that we were changing buildings, because the church had outgrown its house setting. I can say that, when all the members come, this is still very much the case. And we have been adding new members since then, as well. But of course, as any church knows, we struggle to encourage faithful attendance. Still, little by little, our members are beginning to show more stable attendance.
On August 18th, the church hosted a lunch. They asked each member to invite their whole family. We were very encouraged to see that many of the families who don’t attend did come to the meal.
The children also now have a separate class. This has been a huge blessing, and we are grateful to their wonderful volunteer teacher.
In July, Mike headed up to the USA to make a special fundraising trip and meet with several churches and people. He stayed busy there, as well as continuing his ministries here, via video chat. Tabi and the kids held up the fort in Chile.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20.
In July, we headed to La Serena for a trip to watch one of the most beautiful works of nature– a total eclipse. We met there with another family of missionaries (the Hurleys) and had a wonderful time of fellowship. On July 2nd, the Hurley opted to stay at the cabin, while we packed up our kids and headed toward the mountains, where totality would be the most complete.
We all enjoyed it very much. The excitement building up, then the beginning of the eclipse. Mike took video and Tabi took pictures (both cameras protected, of course).
Our trip back was very long. What had taken us 3 hours on the way up, took us 8 hours in traffic on the way down. But it was worth it. So worth it.
Work is slow, trying to balance being a mother, a wife, a housekeeper, a missionary, and a translator. But little by little, the work does get done. Tabi continues to chip away at translating the Commentary on Romans.
These last couple of months were rough for Lydia. We had to take her to the emergency room twice. The first time was on August 3rd, for a fever that shot up from 98 to 104 in a matter of hours, and which Tabi couldn’t bring down with Tylenol. Mike was in the US, so a friend drove her to the ER. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and a partially deflated lung. She received treatment for it, and soon was on the mend.
Then, on September 1st, we were getting ready for church. Tabi came out of the bathroom and didn’t see Lydia slide her finger in the door where the hinges are. *slam* Once again, we were off to the ER. They took her in right away and cleaned up the wound, but told us she would need reconstructive surgery on her finger. So, after much paperwork and waiting, they checked her into the hospital. That evening, they did the surgery, and afterward, the doctor explained what had happened.
- Although she practically amputated the very tip of her finger, there was a sliver of skin left attached. And it happened to be the place right where the blood vessels run through the finger. This meant that the tissue was still alive and had a very good chance of having the best reattachment possible.
- She’s young. He would have just removed the piece from an adult, but children have bodies that heal much more efficiently than adult bodies.
So, she’s currently healing from that. Subsequent checkups have been good.
The institute continues forward, with new classes and a few new students. We are happy to say that classes continued even when Mike was in the US, via video call. He has two classes that meet once a week, one on Thursday, another on Friday, and another class that meets every other week, on Saturday. They are currently wrapping up Basic Bible Doctrine and Hermeneutics. Then all three classes will be moving on to Homiletics.
Each year, ministers of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ from all across Chile gather to have a retreat. This year, one of the groups of ministers in Santiago offered to host the event, so it was held in a town very near our home. They decided to speak on the topic of eldership this year, and the topic for Mike’s speech was a defense of plurality of eldership. We’re told it caused quite a stir, and much debate. Some of the ministers in more remote areas of Chile had never even heard of the concept! More than one pastor? Intriguing!
And just as a little bonus to wrap up this newsletter, we’d like to tell you about one of the foods you’ll find in Chile. It may come as a surprise, but a favorite food here is hot dogs! They do look a little different, though. A completo has the hot dog, then a layer of mashed avocado, then chopped tomatoes, and a generous helping of mayo to top it off.
Like in the US, there are other toppings to choose from, of course. Some come with onions, parsley and sauerkraut. Some come with tomatoes and green beans. But you must never forget the mayo! It’s Lydia’s favorite topping for everything. Don’t offer her ketchup (she doesn’t like it). Give her mayo every time!
Thank you for reading through this newsletter. We are blessed to have such wonderful supporters, and we are grateful for every single one of you. We love to hear from you, and are especially blessed to know you are praying for us.
P.S. Feel free to go check out our friends’ mission at Christian Chile Mission! They’re awesome people, and Dany is working toward setting up a Christian café, which is a dream we have both wanted to move forward for a long time. Simples Delicias.