As we enter the New Year, we are feeling quite blessed in so many ways. 2021 hasn’t necessarily been the easiest year for us, we see God’s working even in difficult times. We know that for many of you as well it has been a trying year. We pray for those suffering from loss and uncertainty be comforted by God and sustained in the coming year.
As of our last update, Tabi was working on translating Jack Cottrell’s commentary on Romans. She is still working on that. She still sings in our church meetings.
As of our last update, Mike was teaching classes online and continues as an elder in the local church and shares in the preaching with Jaime Escobar, with each preaching about 50% of the time. This continues to be the case.
As of our last update, Lydia was in kindergarten. She did great (as expected) and loved going to school. Next year she will be attending a virtual school for first grade, and we are sure she will do well with this too.
As of our last update, Caleb was getting lots of testing done. The results of a genetic study sent off to Germany came back with a diagnosis. Caleb has a genetic condition called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. We had never heard of it. So, if you haven’t, you aren’t alone! It is a rare condition affecting less than 1 in 100,000. We had to do a bunch of follow-up testing such as EKG, ultrasounds, ECG, MRI and blood work. So far, the results of those are good. He mainly is showing behavioral issues and delays in language and development. We are seeing occupational and speech therapists and searching for the best strategies to help him advance as much as he can.
Our church is back to fully in-person. We are trying to get back to the pre-pandemic format we used, where there was a light breakfast served and we sit at tables during the service, to encourage fellowship and seeing the faces of our brothers and sisters in the church instead of the back of their head. We still transmit on Zoom for members or visitors who need that for some reason (quarantines, health, distance). But absent a good reason, we ask people to make the effort to be present and experience Christian fellowship, believing that to be an important part of the Christian walk.
We hope to get back to some in-person studies and classes and to be able to travel and get together with people. We ask for continued prayer as Chile writes a new constitution that should be finished this year and then there will be a vote to approve or reject the new constitution. If rejected, the current one will remain in effect. Chile could use a lot of prayer for peace in the political realm, with regards to increasing crime, and some terrorist groups operating in the last few years, which seem to be getting bolder over time.
As of our last update we hoped to be in the US in the second half of 2022, and we still hope to do this. We will be working on scheduling church visits and planning our time in the US. If you or your church would like to get together with us between July and November, please let us know.
Of course, we are not Paul and our sufferings don’t compare but this passage expresses well my desire to continue serving the Lord and the church to help Christians reach maturity and to help current leadership and assist with the training of new leaders.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Col 1:24-29)