About 30 minutes into day two of VBS, I looked up to see our big family van pull up to the entrance of the event center where we meet. Ray opened the door and a stream of children came running towards the bounce house we had set up. Continue reading Let the Children Come
The life of a missionary and hospitality go naturally hand in hand. We often find ourselves both in the giving and the receiving end. I think of our times on furlough when members of various churches around the country host us for a meal or over several nights in their home. We may be strangers as we pull into their driveway, but we leave as friends with these brothers and sisters in Christ. I also think of the national church members who have taken considerable time and energy to host us, and also show us how to set up and live life in a new place. We started over twice in a new country-once in Mexico and once again in Uruguay. Both times we were needy and on the receiving end of much Christian love and care. Continue reading Recovering the Art of Christian Hospitality–Book Review
Summer is quickly coming to a close in the Southern Hemisphere. Today was the first day of school all across the city of Montevideo￼. Because our seasons are opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, the school year runs from March through December. Continue reading First Day of School, Missionary Style
We have been in a busy season of hospitality over the past few months. It has been our joy to have had our guest room occupied often and to frequently have visitors around the family meal table. I would like to introduce to you one of these visitors, Vanesa.
Vanesa is a 22 year old Venezuelan woman who is making a new life for herself here in Uruguay in response to the deep economic crisis that her country is experiencing (you can read more about the crisis here). Her and her Venezuelen boyfriend, Manuel, have been attending our church plant for over a year now. She came to stay with us for a few months at the end of the year, as she was looking to transition her living situation and strengthen her walk with the Lord. Continue reading Ministry in the Home
I (Michele) have spent much of my adult life filled with so many dreams and aspirations that I have thought I need several lifetimes to get everything done that I want to accomplish. I’ve dreamed of going back to school for a master’s degree, of learning to play a musical instrument well, of working as a lactation consultant, of devoting more hours to our ministry…the list goes on and on. This doesn’t even touch on the good deeds which I would like to focus on. This past year, with my 8th pregnancy and then time spent with baby Lucas needing to be hospitalized, I’ve actually added a new word to my vocabulary that has revolutionized my dreaming. The word is finite. Continue reading Finite
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
– 1Th 5:16-18 ESV
We give thanks for what our gracious and sovereign Lord is doing. He has called us to plant churches in Uruguay and we are laboring in our first church plant in the capital of Montevideo. IPEM (Iglesia Presbiteriana Evangélica de Montevideo) has been in existence as a mission church (that is what we Presbyterians call a church which is not yet self governing) for a little over a year now.
Praise the Lord that we are meeting weekly on the Lord’s Day each Sunday evening for our public worship service. I have been preaching through the Gospel of John, which is a great message for our church. At the end of 2016 we started a membership class called “Los fundamentos de la iglesia” each week before service, though we took a few weeks off during the holiday season. There are currently 7 individuals attending the class and we are praying that each one will desire to become a member and join with us in laboring for the glory of God through this church plant.
Please be praying for IPEM and for how God might use this church as a lighthouse, leading travelers through the darkness and fog to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the effective preaching of the Word of God; pray that the Holy Spirit will attend the proclamation of the truth with power.
- Pray for our membership class: that the Lord will grant wisdom to Pastor Mark and me to lead and teach these classes and that the people will learn and grow in the faith.
- Pray that God will use this church and our mission to be a beacon of light; ask that we will have boldness as we ought to have.
- Give thanks to God for His faithfulness, grace, mercy and power.
From the beginning, we have sought to make prayer the foundation of our church plant. We have no illusions that we bring something new, unique or flashy to this very secular nation, something that would allow us to succeed where other missionaries have failed.
We, along with many other missionaries, have a treasure that is contained in jars of clay. The Gospel is living and powerful and capable of changing lives. But it is only through the power of God that eyes will be opened and people will bow before the Savior. For this reason, our church plant has met every Thursday night for prayer.
Sometimes visitors come. Sometimes church members come. Often it is just the two missionary families. But we come together to pray before our King, that He would be merciful on us, and on the people of Uruguay. There is a spiritual battle, and we feel it each Thursday as we prepare to attend.
Please pray that we would be faithful in making prayer the foundation of our ministry AND please pray that the Lord would soften hearts in Uruguay.
Recently, a fellow missionary approached us with a 12 passenger used van that he is selling. It is more economical than a newer model, and it will both be big enough for our family, and big enough to use for a variety of ministry purposes. We have been doing a “Go Fund Me” campaign to raise the funds, since MTW no longer receives contributions for personal needs of this nature.
We rejoice to report that God has provided the necessary funds to purchase this van!
We want to give a hearty thanks to all those who contributed and ask that you would continue to pray for the details in purchasing it and obtaining the proper documentation in Uruguay.
Our missionary teammate, Rev. Markus Jeromin, has been focusing on English outreach, among other things. He started an English Bible study on Wednesday nights, and two English classes on Saturday afternoons. Both of these outreaches have proven to be effective as a way to show love in the community and as a way to develop relationships.
If you remember from past prayer letters, the Jeromin family signed up to come in 2016 to help our mission while our other teammates, the Richline family, have been on furlough. They have settled in well here, and have developed some good relationships in the community. Although they originally planned to be here just one year, they are hoping to be able to stay with our mission for the next three years, through our next furlough. We need more laborers. They were willing to drop what they were doing in their lives in the U.S. and bring their 4 young children to answer the call to serve here. God has blessed their work abundantly and has blessed us with their friendship.
Please pray that the Jeromin family may be able to continue serving in Uruguay longer, if the Lord wills. Please also ask the Lord to bless the English outreaches.
Life in Montevideo can be challenging at times. We have had a big struggle with mold in our house during the cold and wet winter. It grows on many of our walls and ceiling – probably half or more of the walls were covered in mold. We were considering the cost of getting it cleaned and painted, when one day the owner came by with a painter and they agreed to wash and paint all the moldy areas.
Praise God that the walls have been painted, and please pray for long term mold solutions.
As winter in the Southern Hemisphere ends, the mold problem subsides – but we start to deal with mosquitoes and flies. This year there is concern that the mosquitoes may be carrying dengue fever and Zika virus. For our last two summers, we have not successfully been able to cover our doors with screens, and it is essential to keep them open for air flow. We have ordered some magnetic screens that tape on the door frame.
Please pray that we can keep the mosquitoes out of our house this upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer.