Newsletter 2015

Boyce FamilyAn 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.

PRAYER

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.

FURLOUGH

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

 

Lydia was born on April 27th, at 10:30 PM. At 8lbs. 7oz., she was a big, healthy girl!
Lydia was born on April 27th, at 10:30 PM. At 8lbs. 7oz., she was a big, healthy girl!

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.

It wasn’t easy just choosing one picture to share with all of you, but this seemed the most appropriate. She is dressed in a traditional Chilean dress for her very first independence day visit to the fairgrounds. Because she is Chilean, this seemed the best photo to share.
It wasn’t easy just choosing one picture to share with all of you, but this seemed the most appropriate. She is dressed in a traditional Chilean dress for her very first independence day visit to the fairgrounds. Because she is Chilean, this seemed the best photo to share.

TABI’S MINISTRIES

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.

Fullscreen capture 10282015 95723 PM.bmpPREGUNTAS TEOLÓGICAS
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.

Translation ProjectGOD 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.

P1250299MOTHERHOOD
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’S MINISTRIES

Classes

P1230769Mike 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

New carIn 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.

Bible Study

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.

LEADERSHIP SEMINAR

Leadership Seminar 1 Leadership Seminar 2In 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.

FAMILY RETREAT

P1230199Also 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

P1230612Because 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.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Carmen

P1250071Our 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.

 

 

Lisa

P1230930Tabi’s mother, Lisa, came to help us out after Lydia was born.  Holding grandchild #7!

 

Craig and Rose

P1240089Mike’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

Sunday

P1250086Our 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

P1230986Mondays 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.

 

 

Wednesday

P1250006Mike teaches a class on Wednesday evenings, so the afternoon is usually a good time to make any preparations for the class.

 

 

Thursday

Bible StudyThursdays 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

Restoration History ClassFriday nights Mike teaches another class.

 

 

Saturday

Lydia and JosefinaSaturday 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.

July 2014 Newsletter

Hi everyone!  Tabi here.

The weather:

We’re moving into winter here in Chile, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t beautiful days!  In fact, today as I write this newsletter, I look out my window at a sunny day with minimum smog (who could ask for more?).  Santiago also has the ability to produce spectacular sunsets.  Just one more reason I love living here.

Softly drops the crimson sun:   Softly down from overhead, Drop the bell-notes, one by one,   Melting in the melting red;
Softly drops the crimson sun:
Softly down from overhead,
Drop the bell-notes, one by one,
Melting in the melting red;
~ Susan Coolidge ~

Also, winter means rain.  And rain meansSnow covered mountains that for a couple of days, at least, the air is clear and you can see the majestic mountains surrounding the city.  Rain also means that your view of the mountains changes from many shades of purple and blue to varying shades of blue and white.  The snow-covered mountains look larger than life and are simply breath-taking.

The usual:

So what have we been up to?  Well mostly the same things.

Mike– Mike continues his ministry of teaching in churches.  For now, there’s only one class meeting, but he is working toward starting up others for next semester.  I go with him, some weeks, to his class to listen in.  It’s exciting to me to watch people listening to what he teaches, and actively participate, ask questions, and comment.  Even if they might not always agree (some long-held beliefs are hard to let go of), they are always eager to learn.  Mike also has continued his radio ministry, writing a one-hour show every week, dealing with varying subjects like evangelism, the church in the Bible, baptism, and why bad things happen to good people.  He also continues to minister as an elder of the church where we attend.

Tabi– I have also continued writing a one-hour show once a week for the radio.  Some weeks we go in and record it live, while other weeks we record it ahead of time here at home on my own equipment and send it in.  Right now, I’m working on writing a series that goes through the book of Mark, looking at it from a story-teller’s perspective.  I’ve had quite a lot of fun with it.  I’ve also started working on translating a book.  I’ll say this much: it’s theology, and the book is big (over 400 pages).   I’m not tackling this project alone, which is probably a good thing.  Mike helps me out when I’m not sure about the best translation, as well as proofreading my work.  I also have a Spanish-speaking friend reviewing it to make sure I don’t fall into any translator “ruts”.  I continue to work with my friend, Dany Vera, toward our goal of setting up a Christian coffee shop here in Santiago.  I will probably dedicate a blog to this in the future, once we have nailed down more details.

The news:

Technology news and blues— I got a new camcorder!  It’s a beauty and I’m very excited to have it.  For a long time, I couldn’t get the videos off the card because my computer wasn’t working.  When I finally got my computer working, I downloaded the videos and, a few weeks later, my external hard drive (where I had everything temporarily stored until I was sure I could safely back it up on the computer) stopped working.  Now I’m stuck again.  So, until I get things in order, there’s probably no chance of getting the videos from those early days.

Transportation news— As many of you know, we have relied on public transportation for getting around Chile now for four years.  Travel was getting increasingly difficult for Mike to get to his classes.  Sometimes he would spend 2 hours of travelling each way to get to one class.  We would try to combine trips, in order to best use our time, but we knew that eventually we would need a car.  Our sending church, Cornerstone Christian Church in Alliance, Ohio, began a fund-raiser for us, and raised the money we needed to get a car.  After several months of car shopping, we finally settled on one and began the process of buying it.  On July 3rd, having made a down-payment, they let us bring it home.  The paperwork (as per bureaucratic efficiency) took a while to finish processing.  So . . . we are excited to announce that as of July 15th 2014, we officially have a car.

New car

We opted for an SUV-style car, which would be able to take us wherever we needed to go, whether it be city or country roads.  We are very grateful to all who donated to help make this possible.  It is clear to us that this car is not ours, but God’s, and we have decided to dedicate it to that service.  In the two weeks we’ve had it, we’ve offered rides to church members who don’t have a car.  We also drove an adorable passenger to her home.  Aww.

Rachel and newborn daughter, Josefina
Rachel and newborn daughter, Josefina

We know it is both a blessing and a responsibility to have a car, so in this letter we express both our gratitude and assurance that we will do our best to use this car wisely.

Furlough news–  And finally, we would like to announce/remind all of our supporters that this year will be in the USA on furlough.  We will be arriving at the end of September and returning to Chile in January.  We plan to go to the ICOM (International Conference on Missions).  I will be contacting our supporting churches within the next few weeks with a schedule of our time there, so that we can establish a day to visit.  We’re very excited about going back and seeing all of you!  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.  I will leave all contact information at the end of this newsletter.

 

Prayer requests:

  • Our church is going through a transition period, moving out of the building we have been renting for a couple of years.  We pray for wisdom during this time and positive attitudes all around.
  • That we will be able to use our car wisely.  Sometimes, it’s still a better idea to take public transportation.
  • That Mike’s ministry will continue to grow and the interest for learning about the Bible will also increase.
  • For the future coffee shop and everything that will entail.

Contact information:

  • Email:     our.boycemail@gmail.com
  • Website:  Click Here
  • Facebook:  Click Here
  • Also, if you have Facebook, feel free to add Tabi as a friend.  She likes to post LOTS of photos.

May 2014 Newsletter

Day at the Beach

Greetings,
We want to thank you all for your continued prayers and support for our ministry here in Chile. Here is a brief update on what we are doing. We appreciate your prayers in each of these areas.

I (Mike) am continuing to teach classes in churches in SanMike Teachingtiago. Right now I offer basic doctrine, hermeneutics (Bible study), introduction to preaching, and history of the Restoration Movement. I continue to preach, teach Sunday School, and serve as an elder in the local church. I do some guest preaching in other churches and retreats and attend a monthly ministers meeting. I also now have a weekly radio program, and am working toward starting a more formal study program for training ministers and elders. This combination of ministries keeps me busy and happy. I love studying the Word and presenting it to people – whether in evangelism, for the edification of Christians in general, or for equipping future ministers. I love seeing the power of God’s Word working in people’s lives!

 

Dany and TabiTabi continues to work on translating articles from English to Spanish and posting them to her blog. She has now taken on a large translation project which we’ll tell you more about in the near future. It is an exciting project in itself, but will also be of benefit for my future classes here in Chile. She is working with a friend from our local church to start a Christian themed coffee house. They meet together regularly for planning. It should move forward quicker now that we have our permanent residency in Chile. Tabi has also taken on a weekly radio program. We do one hour each – back to back, to save trips since the radio station is two hours away on public transportation (it will be a much more reasonable 30 minutes once we have our car).

We are also participating in/leading a new home group Bible study. This Bible study consists of two Christian couples (us and one other) and the rest are non-Christians. They come from Catholic backgrounds but do not actively participate. We have decided to study the Gospel of John and simply invite them to get to know Jesus through His own Word. As I said before, I love seeing God’s Word working in people. When we were planning the study, the other couple had asked which study book we should use that would make it clear that we follow theBible Bible alone. I smiled and responded, “how about the Bible?” I truly believe that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”(Heb 4:12-13). If we believe that, we should put it into practice more often! Each time we meet I have seen two positive things. One has been people expressing that they have never actually learned about Jesus in church and that now that they are learning about Him from Him, they like it. The other has been that each time new people have been there and the non-Christian participants are the ones advertising the study and recommending it!  Please pray that their hearts will be open not only to study, but also to receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. Although the focus of our ministry is edification and training of Christians, every Christian has the task of sharing the Good News with the lost.

In all, as you can see, things are going well. As we move into fall and winter here we are looking forward to visiting the US in September and staying through Christmas. We will be scheduling visits to our supporting churches. If your church would like a visit, let us know! We will be going to ICOM (formerly NMC) in Columbus, Ohio in November and hope to see many of you there as well.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Heb 13:18-21

 

Following us on Facebook is a great way to stay up to date: https://www.facebook.com/cornerstonechileanmission and “friend” us on our personal Facebook pages.

Photos and Updates and Stuff, Oh My!

Fall
Who’s writing?

Hi!  Tabi here.  Look, there’s a picture of me from when I was in the US.

Wow, so the last time I posted here was in July of 2013, and that was to upload the newsletter of February 2013!  Such a long time!  Well, no worries, I’ve been on a blogging kick, so here’s an update for you!

We’ll go by months again because, apparently, I like to wait forever and do that.

Feel free to click on the photos, because they will take you (I hope) to a photo album.

March 2013

Mike continues to teach at various churches.
Mike continues to teach at various churches.
Our church did a Passover Meal.
Our church did a Passover Meal.

April 2013

Mike teaches at a church in Montijo.
Mike teaches at a church in Montijo.

This church is really active and supportive.  And their musicians are spectacular.  Love them.

May 2013

We took a hike at the foot of the Andes with Alberto.
We took a hike at the foot of the Andes with Alberto.

June 2013

Anniversary
Happy 7th anniversary to us!
We had a baby shower for Kari!
We had a baby shower for Kari!
We played mini golf with Alberto and Juanito.
We played mini golf with Alberto and Juanito.

It was Juanito’s birthday.  Also, this place is closed now.  😦

July 2013

Cali likes to "help" Mike study.
Cali likes to “help” Mike study.

August 2013

I went to Ecuador to visit my mother.
I went to Ecuador to visit my mother.

All kinds of fun things to see there!

We went to a leaders' retreat at the coast.
We went to a leaders’ retreat at the coast.

September 2013

Alberto and Juanito came for a weekend.
Alberto and Juanito came for a weekend.
We started a program on the radio.
We started a program on the radio.
We went to a "fonda" or fair in Paine.
We went to a “fonda” or fair in Paine.

October 2013

We moved!
We moved!

Moving and fixing up the house took up pretty much ALL of our time this month.  Phew!  Who knew it was such hard work?

November 2013

Last evening of classes for the Montijo church!
Last evening of classes for the Montijo church!
Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving.

Living in a foreign country sometimes forces you to find ways to cook things without the instant shortcuts you get in the US.  I’m not complaining, though, because the results are made-from-scratch delicious!

December 2013

We took a trip to Frutillar with Jim and Kari (and fam).
We took a trip to Frutillar with Jim and Kari (and fam).
Then we went to the island of Chillan.
Then we went to the island of Chillan.

January 2014

Dany and I spent a day baking gluten-free goods.
Dany and I spent a day baking gluten-free goods.

Dany is my future partner-in-business.  We’re planning to set up a coffee shop with all kinds of baked goods, including a selection of goods for people with dietary restrictions.  This day, we practiced several recipes that were gluten-free.

February 2014

We went to a weekend retreat.  Mike preached at one of the sessions.
We went to a weekend retreat. Mike preached at one of the sessions.
The video card failed on our computer.  No more video editing for me until it's fixed.  :-(
The video card failed on our computer. No more video editing for me until it’s fixed. 😦

March 2014

Nothing much has happened in March yet.  Here's a photo of a sunset.
Nothing much has happened in March yet. Here’s a photo of a sunset.

Well, that’s not strictly true.  We had a tremor, but not a particularly big one: 5.3.  Shook us up pretty good, though!

Well, that’s about it for the update!  We’ll see you guys later (and I’m hoping it won’t be in another year).

February 2013

A zampoña (or pan flute)
A zampoña (or pan flute)

Greetings to our brothers in sisters in Christ. May the Lord bless you and enrich you always.

It’s my (Tabi’s) turn to write the newsletter, so be ready for a long (but fun, I hope) one! February is wrapping up, summer in Chile is at its peak, and everyone is on vacations. Even we took a vacation a few hours south with some friends. So . . . what have we been up to these last few months?

In November, we took a short trip to the United States. Mike was there for two weeks, so as to not leave his students for very long. I spent a month, during which time I visited a couple of churches. We are planning a 3-4 month furlough for 2014. Until then, work continues as usual here in Santiago.

In December, after swinging by Mexico for my niece’s wedding, I arrived back in Chile. Shortly thereafter, the church threw a Christmas party. They had breakfast, music, a service, and cake. They gave all the children in the church either a Bible or a Bible-themed book. It was a fun day.

Cornerstone Chilean Mission's booth at the ICOM
Cornerstone Chilean Mission’s booth at the ICOM

January, of course, brought the New Year. We celebrated with Oscar Vera and his family. They also invited four of the kids from Residencia Familia Cristiana (a children’s home run by the Swansons). Once the New Year had been happily rung in, it was back to work.

Mike continued teaching his classes, and also began studying and researching to write three new courses: Restoration History, Revelation, and Hebrews. At the church, he wrote the first of a three-step discipleship program, the prayer and hope being that everyone in our church will grow in Christ and become not just a member of a church, but a true disciple.

I focused on improving my website (www.preguntasteologicas.com) and continuing to translate and post articles on it. Its main focus is to have questions asked of professors and preachers, and their responses in what could be called “bite-sized theology.” Sometimes, people need an answer that is short a

nd easy to access. So far, I have gained permission to translate the works of people like Dr. Jack Cottrell, Bob Russell, and Jim Estep. I have also begun to find Spanish-speaking teachers and preachers to offer short responses to questions, as well. All articles pass through my hands, and I endeavor always to make sure the theology is Bible-based. Most of the resources of this type in Spanish are highly Calvinist or charismatic. Preguntasteologicas.com offers a different point of view.

Mares trample the wheat at a trilla a llegua suelta
Mares trample the wheat at a trilla a llegua suelta

February is the month of vacations and of summer fun. Festivals pop up all over the country, taking advantage of the vacationers. Near the beginning of February, we took a church group out to one festival that marks years of tradition—the Trilla a Yegua Suelta, a wheat threshing event using mares to trample the wheat. Modern times have brought technology that makes the process more efficient and clean, but once a year, this event is held to remind young generations of what it used to be like. The actual threshing of the wheat is a small, but significant, part of the whole event. There is also dancing, singing, joke-telling, and lots of food. The huasos (Chilean cowboys) take the opportunity to show off their best and brightest clothing, and most beautiful mares.

During the threshing part of the event, the huasos go out and lay down a layer of wheat. Then, a small herd of mares are released onto the ground and chased around, so as to trample the wheat, separating the grains from the chaff. After a while, the mares are removed and the huasos go back in to throw the wheat up in the air, allowing the wind to blow away the chaff. Once that is done, they lay down another bed of wheat, and the process begins anew. I’ve read that in the past, many farmers were too poor to have a whole herd of mares come trample their wheat. They would go to a community market and offer to host a wheat-threshing festival in exchange for a mare.

Two verses came alive for me when I attended this event. Personally, I love when that happens.

“He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Lk. 10:2

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Mt. 3:14

To finish up this letter, I’d like to share with you a little about the vacation we took with our friends, Cristian and Daniela. We went to a town that, technically, lies only about 4 hours to the south and up into the Andes a little ways. The road for the last quarter of the trip, however, is so rough that the little car we took had a very rough time making it in. After a total of about 6 hours, we reached our destination—Siete Tazas Park. We found a camp site and set up our tent, started up a fire, and got down to the serious task of enjoying our day.
P1110764The most beautiful part of our trip, however, was Sunday morning. Cristian, having talked extensively with Mike, decided that there would be no better place or time for him to be baptized than in the river that morning. We climbed down to the river and there, in the crystalline waters, Cristian was baptized. Two boys watched from a distance, curious about what was happening. So Cristian’s first act as a born-again Christian was to be a witness. We headed back to our campsite and had a small Communion service together. We asked if he had anything to share. He nodded.

“I’m a simple man,” he said, “a little shy, and not really into anything big and showy. And that’s what I love about Jesus. He was also a simple man. He taught using the things around him. I’m glad be baptized just as Jesus was, in a river. I’m glad to follow a simple man.”

 

Friends, may we learn to follow our savior in the same way—simply and sincerely.

Yours in Christ,
Tabi Boyce

July 2012 Newsletter

Dear friends, family, and supporters,

It is—and has been—my (Tabi’s) turn to write the newsletter for a while now. Given that I have gone four months without sending one out, I probably have some explaining to do before I dive into everything we’ve been up to.
Several months ago, I had this idea for how to turn our newsletter into a video update. It would include news updates, a “person of the month” section, and a “Chile tidbits” section. I named the project Kimelü, the Mapuche word for “to make known.” I scripted it, filmed the first rough episode (if you could call it that), and began editing the video content. At this point, my computer problems began.

First, the monitor gave out. That wasn’t too hard a problem to get around, since we have other devices that could connect to it and function as a monitor. I kept editing for about a week. Then the computer started crashing. Sometimes, it wouldn’t turn on. Sometimes, it would turn on, but not allow the other device to connect. The problems got worse and worse until one day, it just wouldn’t work for me anymore. I took it in for repairs.

The technician, having checked my computer, told me that the hard drive had been ruined. It needed to be replaced. Any files, programs, or settings I had on the old one would be lost. This was a devastating blow to me. I checked an external hard drive of mine to see if I had a back-up of the information. I did, but I couldn’t get to the information. The technician suggested that perhaps the hard drive had corrupted my backup. I had backed up my pictures and music separately, so I hadn’t lost that . . . but I had lost everything else.

We bought a new hard drive for the computer, the same size and with the same capabilities as the old one. A couple of weeks after we got the computer back, Mike found a way to access my backup, and I recovered all of the files I had believed lost forever. I felt like the woman who lost a coin of value to her (Lk. 15) and, having searched her house thoroughly, found it and threw a party.

Now here I am, writing a newsletter on a working (if considerably emptier) computer. I am, bit by bit, recovering the files and programs I used to have on it. Until I get things back to normal, I have decided that going back to the letter format for the newsletter is probably the best option for now. I offer my deepest apologies for the long time without hearing from us. I made the mistake of thinking that something fancy would make up for a long silence.
So what have we been doing all this time? Here’s a letter I wrote in May (but never sent because I tried to turn it into a video).

 

Hello, friends and family! Tabi here, writing the newsletter this time around.

I keep wondering: Where does the time go so fast? And why is it in a hurry to get there, anyway?

We are comfortably into May, the weather has cooled down from sizzling temperatures back to something much more comfortable. It even rained one day. Complete with thunder and lightning. Now, having grown up in a tropical area of Mexico, where thunderstorms are fairly frequent in the rainy season, I deeply enjoy hearing storms outside my window. The lightning illuminates the sky, the thunder booms and rolls by, and then everything goes back to the rain whispering, “Shhhhh . . .” Santiago does not get these kinds of storms very often at all. Having a vibrant thunderstorm the other night was a delightful treat.

In April, my mother came to visit Chile. She stayed for two wonderful weeks, time in which we visited several tourist spots in the city, as well as traveling a few hours south. She seems to have had a good time. I know I did.

Earlier this month, Mike fell pretty violently ill. He told me that his back hurt and itched, and when I checked, I saw he had an angry red welt. We wondered if maybe a spider had bitten him. As soon as he felt steady enough the next day, we hurried to a nearby clinic. “Did you see the spider?” the doctor asked. “No,” we replied, “we just assumed . . .” He asked a few more questions, then wrote out a prescription, as well as an order for several lab tests. “I think it’s shingles,” he told us, “but get the tests to make sure.” To make a long story short, it was shingles. Mike had been taking an allergy medicine that lowered his immune system, which made him catch a stomach virus, which totally depleted his immune system, and caused the shingles to break out. He’s recovering quickly, and that’s a praise.

I’ve taken to doing translation work, since it seems that the radio station is out of commission, at least for a few more months. I’ve also had time to dedicate to working on updating our Facebook page, as well as a new project I’ve got going called “Operation Encouragement.” I’ve made a group that dedicates itself to doing anything they can to encourage someone else. Whether that be leaving a hand-written note for them, giving a compliment, doing random acts of kindness, joining the “free hugs” movement . . . it doesn’t matter, so long as they find a way to encourage someone else. We keep in touch on Facebook. It’s only in its opening stages, but already people are sharing encouraging things they’ve seen . . . which, of course, is encouraging to me, as well.

If you have Facebook, remember to visit our page. We post pictures and updates there regularly. We love to hear from you via comments or simply by “liking” our stuff.
That letter takes you up through May. Here’s the rest to catch you up through June and July.

In June we celebrated our sixth anniversary by going to a cabin in the Andes for a couple of days. We hiked every day, grilled all of our food, and had a lovely time. June was the month where everything went awry with the computer. With no computer to use, I turned to deep-cleaning the house, selling old furniture, buying new, and getting things in a little more order. June also marked a new experience for Mike—he got his first interns. Jay Lanunziata and Brittany Meinsen came early in June to stay in Chile for two months. They wanted to work at the Swanson’s children’s home (Residencia Familia Cristiana), but the Swansons wouldn’t be around to receive them, so Mike received them instead. They arranged to have the two interns work at Residencia Familia Cristiana (RFC) and live there, under the watchful eye of the supervisor and resident psychologist, Fabiola Ojeda. Mike has been in regular contact with the children’s home and with the interns, trying to make sure their experience here is positive. I have continued to cook there once a week, searching for recipes from all over the world in order to give them new culinary experiences.

July was fun. We had a 4th of July party with the kids at RFC, and invited a few American friend over to join us. We played board games with the kids and had a blast. Later on in the month, we took the interns far south in Chile, to a town called Puerto Varas. It’s extraordinarily beautiful, and we got to see sights, as well as meet our Christian brothers and sisters down that way. I also got most of the kinks out of my computer in July, which to me is another cause for celebration.

So there have my extremely long update for you all. Do remember to check out our Facebook page, if you have Facebook. You’ll find us as Cornerstone Chilean Mission. Or you could drop by our website: Cornerstone Chilean Mission. We love to hear from you (probably as much as you love to hear from us). Once in a while, we receive a hand-written letter, and it blesses us greatly.

May the Lord bless you all richly.

 

In Him,

Mike and Tabi Boyce

March 2012 Newsletter

Summer is coming to an end here in Chile. We are enjoying some cooler temperatures now with highs only in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s. We still have no clouds most days. Kids go back to school at the beginning of March, following their summer vacations and church attendance picks up as family vacations are mainly over. For me, this has meant resuming my classes. It looks like I will have 4 groups going through courses. Three of them will be doing basic doctrine and I will be writing a new course for the other group. The largest group has 12 people signed up. The second group will have around 6 people. The third group is just forming, so the size is unknown. The group getting a new course will have 3-4 people. It is the group that has gone through my other three courses and is eager to proceed. I am very happy to see the courses moving forward in this way. The Lord is seems to be blessing this work a lot. My other ministry activities have continued. I continue as an elder of the local church. The elders rotate preaching and teaching. My main role in the eldership is coordinating the preaching and teaching, developing sermon series and Sunday School classes. I revise the sermons when the others preach to give tips and suggestions, as well. Tabi and I participate in home group and are hoping to start planning some activities with the church’s young adults.

Tabi’s work has faced a setback. The website that hosts the radio where Tabi does her program was hacked and started distributing malware. The missionaries that run the site were forced to take it offline. They have decided to go ahead and use this opportunity to modernize the site before going back online. They expect to start the radio program again in May, Lord willing. Tabi will be helping on some church projects in the meantime and we’ll see what else God may have in store for her. One great thing in store for her (us) is that her mother will be arriving to spend a fortnight with us!

Overall things are going well here. We hired a real estate agent to help us find office rental space. I am hoping to be able to use it for my classes, make better use of the space in our home, and hopefully to enhance my productivity. We are looking at various options including places that might serve as a home and office, might be adequate to share with the local church, etc. We are asking the Lord for wisdom in considering locations, price considerations, and so forth. Our first application for residency was not accepted on a technicality. This is not uncommon. A local church with experience with these matters (and where I am teaching one of my courses) has graciously offered to help us in this. We are grateful for pretty good health (besides some minor colds and such). We are grateful for the good friends we have here and the many opportunities we have to minister. We are also grateful for the thoughts and prayers of all of our friends and family in the USA. Thank you for all your support, and prayers, and Facebook messages, and emails.

We meet for prayer with other independent missionaries (Jack Swanson and the Fought family) weekly. If any of you have things you would like us to be in prayer for privately or in this prayer group, please let us know.

Prayer Requests
· Radio station progress
· Office hunt
· Spiritual growth and ministry effectiveness
· Wisdom in a whole host of matters

Blessings,
Mike and Tabi Boyce
Cornerstone Chilean Mission
330-596-2390

August 2011 Newsletter

We’ve had an exciting time here lately. We’re glad to hear that everyone is okay after the earthquake in the US!

We had a funeral yesterday for a member of our congregation. He battled cancer for about 4 years. He was faithful to the end and a witness to his whole family. Their testimonies mentioned that Juan Antonio continuously shared the gospel with them throughout his illness. We praise God for His faithfulness, the faithfulness of His servant Juan Antonio, and our future hope gained for us by Christ.
In other news, we are leaving for a leadership conference about 5 hours south of Santiago. We leave in about 10 minutes, so I had better hurry up. Starting last year, they made the conference for church and ministry leaders and their spouses. Pray for a good time of edification and fellowship.
Tabi’s radio program continues on the web. Her biggest prayer concern currently is finding a co-host to take over for the time we will be back in the States.
My (Mike) classes continue to go well. I have continued to make contacts in other churches where I will be teaching classes next year. The biggest prayer requests here are 1) Getting good teaching materials here to Chile, 2) more students and follow-through on the part of participating churches, and 3) a future, dedicated class space.
Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming time in the US. We will be coordinating an open house in Alliance, OH at Cornerstone Christian Church for a Saturday in early October. We hope to see many of you there.
Blessings,
Mike and Tabi Boyce
Cornerstone Chilean Mission

June 2011 Newsletter

Hello everyone,

 

Life in Chile

We are having a good time in Santiago, Chile’s winter now. In the winter we get lows in the 30’s and highs range from 40’s up through 60’s. It is also the rainy season. It isn’t really all that much rain compared to most of the U.S. but more than enough to flood the streets here. Our street seems to be especially susceptible to flooding. We celebrated our anniversary on June 3rd, marking 5 years!

 

Tabi’s ministry

Our ministries are progressing. Tabi has been hosting a radio program online at Radio Integridad. Her co host will now be forming his own program. Here is the link to listen: (http://www.integridad.com/radiointegridad.php). Tabi’s program airs from 3:30-5:00PM eastern time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She talks about topics relevant to Christian living and plays music. Some topics have included: Christian service, bullying and respect in debate, church traditions, and family relations. It is an interactive program using a live chat program. Just as a warning, it is in Spanish. Tabi continues to help in the Sunday School class for kids when necessary and helps lead the singing on Sunday mornings. Tabi had been doing a fair bit of translation work, as well.

 

Mike’s ministry

I, Mike, continue to teach classes from the house, and am working on how to get some good reading material for my students. I’ll be starting the 3rd round of courses in July. In the first round I taught a hermeneutics class for 6 weeks. In the second round I expanded the hermeneutics class to 8 weeks and introduced an 8 week basic doctrine course. In the 3rd round I will introduce a preaching course for those who have successfully completed hermeneutics and doctrine. I had a meeting on June 21st with a young leader from a local church, Darío, and will be helping teach a biblical study on Thursday evenings there. In addition to my teaching ministry outside our congregation, I am also teaching Sunday School, have been named an elder of the church, am helping plan sermon series, am part of the preaching rotation, am proof-checking the sermons of the others who preach, and have a few other responsibilities in the church we attend, Iglesia de Cristo Jesús es el Camino (Jesus is the Way, Church of Christ). It is a great blessing for me to be able to serve in these ways, especially teaching and training. My Spanish continues to improve. I switched over to writing lessons plans and sermons in Spanish (rather than writing in English, then translating) several months ago. At first Tabi had a lot of proof reading to do on each. She doesn’t have to do quite as much now in each document. She does still check all of my documents so I can be sure I am saying what I intend to say.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Tabi and I are planning to be in the US in October and November. We would like to start arranging times to visit with any of you who are interested in October and the first half of November. We will be heading to the National Missionary Convention Nov 16-20 in Atlanta. Please be in prayer for the trip, the visits, and our transportation situation (we sold our cars before coming to Chile). We’ll be trying to get a little more support since we came on about half of our original goal.

 

 

Thanks so much to all of you have sacrificed for our sake and for the Kingdom. It is always encouraging to remember that prayers are being offered on our behalf, and we don’t doubt God’s power to respond to our prayers. We wish you all many blessings.