Friends, here is just short list of the News we want to share with you this month:
ARRIVAL: We arrived back to Chile on January 11th. The trip went well, and even though we left the States with bad colds, we arrived without any difficulty. It was wonderful to be warmly greeted at the airport by our Chilean friends and to be able to share sweet fellowship with so many folks.
MINISTRY: Dave has been preaching and teaching for the last three weeks at the Bible Baptist Church of La Reina, and last week we went to the family camp of the Bible Baptist Church of Macul, where Dave preached the opening message for their upcoming Missions Month.
BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH OF LA REINA: Our church here in Santiago is at the most critical point of negotiations with the city regarding the expropriation of our property and buildings for the new highway. We should know within the next few weeks what to expect within the near future. Pastor Hugo has worked so hard, and we are truly grateful to the Lord for this man’s dedication to the task.
WILDFIRES: Upon our arrival to Chile, we learned that there were several wildfires burning close to Santiago and throughout the central-southern regions of the country. Over the last few weeks the fires grew in number to over 100, some started from the extreme heat, some started by careless travelers or vacationers, and some had been purposely set. The government declared a state of emergency but was unable to deal with the magnitude of the fires. They asked for help from the international community, and several countries sent firefighters and equipment. The United States sent a 747 Supertanker to help, and that plane and its crew were featured as great heroes!
But much damage was done. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed. Several lost their lives. We are extremely sad to report that the town of Santa Olga, where one of our missions is located, was completely burned down. The main families of the mission were evacuated by Pastor Gary and his family in their van. There was only room for the people and whatever they could carry in small bags. Within hours everything else they owned was gone. Over 1,100 houses in that town burned to the ground.
The whole country rallied behind the people of Santa Olga, and relief efforts were quick in arriving. Several of our pastors and church members went right into the area with food, water, clothing and other essential items. Pastor Gary and his family and the folks of the Bible Baptist Church of Constitución spent many days in the town, helping to search for items that may have survived the fire. These folks visited and gave out whatever they could, and they witnessed and preached.
The Sunday before the fires, a lady named Marcela was saved at the mission. That week her family was rescued by a firefighter from the fast-moving flames. Sadly, that firefighter later became one of the victims. In the days following the tragedy, Pastor Gary and his wife have led at least five firefighters and two civilians personally to the Lord.
Please pray for the following requests:
- Those who lost their homes in the fires, for strength and provision.
- That our Santiago church will have a favorable outcome with the negotiations on our property.
- The Disneys – for wisdom, health and strength as we work to be an encouragement and a blessing to our people.
Thank you for all that you do! You will never know how much your prayers, support and communications have meant to us these past years. May the Lord richly bless you!
DAVE & PEGGY