“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.
It all started with the question: “Where are you from?” The young man who works at the pizza place wanted to know why I am here in Uruguay. When I explained who we are and why we have come, the conversation turned to the things of God. From his questions, I gather that he is fairly skeptical of the Church in general and of the Bible in particular. His first concern was what we thought of the latest Pope’s favorable pronouncements on homosexuals, but then he quickly called into question the authority of the Bible by pointing out that it had been written by men. This in turn opened a door to talk a little with him, but then mostly to his co-worker – a young woman who says she believes that God is a force and who says that she can’t believe that the account of a talking serpent in the book of Genesis could be historical. At the end it all, I believe we were able to raise some good points and share a short synopsis of the gospel message. What a wonderful opportunity from the Lord. It is because people like these young folks that we have come to Uruguay – so that many may be called to believe on the Name of Jesus!
While we are blessed to be able to serve here in Uruguay, it does come with its own challenges. One challenge we face is in purchasing a vehicle. Until now we have functioned via buses and taxis, but that has proved challenging, especially as we become more integrated into life here. After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to pursue purchasing a used vehicle. Autos here sell for more than 2 or 3 times the cost than they do in the U.S. Because of that, we will need to raise additional funds. We have found a van we are interested in and are hoping to purchase it or another of similar size. We are asking the Lord to provide a total of $17,000 toward costs.Would you consider a special contribution toward this need?
Since this is a personal need, Mission to the World cannot process contributions toward it. Also, the contribution would NOT be tax deductible.
Winter seems to have descended early upon us in Uruguay. The weather has been cold and grey since the baby was born in mid-April. Although winter doesn’t officially begin until June 20, I have been watching the weather report every morning for over a month, waiting for a warm day, to no avail. Continue reading A Taste of Uruguay – Tortas Fritas→
It was Saturday, five days after my due date. The baby was coming quickly, though we did not realize it. I had had some occasional but strong contractions off and on, probably for much of the day, but I wasn’t paying too much attention. Then I had an hour of intense labor beginning a little after 5:30pm. We called the doula, but when she arrived they had all but stopped. Ray felt like we should go into the hospital but I wanted to wait until I could say they were both regular and strong. I decided to lay down. I had three strong contractions, the last of which included an urge to push and we decided we should go to the hospital, which is just a 10 minute drive from our house. Things got intense as my water broke right before we pulled into the emergency room driveway, and Ray was afraid he might have to deliver this baby in the car (thankfully the doula was driving)! Continue reading Welcome To Our Newest Blessing→
The alarm rings at 7am. We probably don’t need to wake up so early to make it to school at 8:30, but it is our first week, and our first experience with “morning school”. It is March and autumn is beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. I kick myself that I didn’t go to bed earlier—life happens on a later schedule here and I haven’t yet disciplined myself to go to bed early. I wake up the two boys, one in 5th and one in 4th grade, who attend a local school, and move on to my chores, amazed at how productive I can be when the house is quiet. Continue reading My Life as a Missionary Mom→
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The long, relaxing summer days are coming to a sudden end. The new school year starts again this Monday. Summer seemed to fly by. It is never long enough. But there is also excitement over new routines and new experiences. In my almost 19 years as a parent, I always saw us as a family of die-hard homeschoolers. But, I am now preparing for our second year in a local, private school. Last year we sent our then 4 and 8 year old children, reasoning that they were young enough to pick up the language. This year we are also sending our 11 year old. It was clear that in order to gain fluency in both the language and culture he had to attend school. Our church plant is small and without any other children, and his weekly lessons weren’t enough. Continue reading A New School Year→