‘ …everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for work on the Tent of Meeting.’ Exodus 35:21
We have been reading through the book of Exodus together at church over the past few weeks and have been reminded again of the way that the Lord God not only rescues his people but also works in them and through them. We are so thankful for the many ways that we have seen the Lord move hearts to share in his work here in Chile.
November marked a new start for the Anglican Church of Chile as it reached the end of a process of transition and institutional re-organisation. As some may know, groups of Anglican churches are led by ‘bishops’ whose role is to co-ordinate mission and outreach and to care for their pastors. The Anglican Church of Chile used to be led by one bishop but has recently divided itself into four new sections each led by a bishop. Our prayer is that this administrative change would help local mission to be more responsive to its context and effective in its organisation. Please pray for bishops Tito, Enrique, Sammy and Abelino, as they seek to lead, motivate and co-ordinate outreach in their parts of the country. Please pray on that the Lord would be moving hearts in each region and raising up future leaders who would be willing to share in his work of building up his people in every part of the country.
As we zoom in from the national to the local level our church here in Santiago expresses both how the Lord has been working and our continued need for his sustaining and provision. We have been really encouraged to see our church growing over the past few years - new people have come to hear about Jesus for the first time and regular members of the church family are knowing the love of Lord Jesus in new ways. We give thanks for Juan Esteban, our pastor; Diego, a part time pastor and student at CEP; and Alan, a teacher at Barney and Martha’s school who is also part of the leadership team.
In the last few months we have been asked as a church to take over the care of a church family who are without a pastor. The vision is that over the next few years we will seek to nurture and then ‘re-plant’ this church. It is wonderful to be able to serve another church in this way but it will be a challenge. We are excited about what the future will hold for both church families but conscious of the strain that it will be in the meantime as we suddenly have twice as much of everything to organise and resource. Give thanks with us for this opportunity and please pray that Juan Esteban would have the wisdom that he needs to care for and lead both of these congregations. Please pray that this new stage would be a time of growth and renewed commitment for both church families. Ask that the Lord would move in our hearts and make us all willing to share in his work of making Jesus known in our communities.
All the organisation and admin on a national level and all the mission and ministry that happens on a local level only happens because of people. It happens because the Lord is moving hearts so that people are involved. It happens because the Lord is moving in hearts so that they might believe in Jesus, trust him and grow in his love. We continue to be so encouraged by the students at CEP – a handful of whom will be leaving at the end of term and stepping into daunting roles in the New Year. Please join us in giving thanks and praying for them.
We have also been encouraged by how the Lord has been working in the lives of a number of individuals in our church family over the past few months. Mary’s bible studies and times meeting up with women from the church have been particular opportunities to share with people as they meet with Jesus and are changed by him. Amongst these encouragements there are also some very real challenges. Please pray that we would have the wisdom and love that we need to walk with various folk through some difficult pastoral situations.
Thank you so much for joining with us and praying for us in this work – we give thanks to the Lord for those like you whose hearts he has moved to share in his work here in Chile.
With warmest greetings,
Luke and Mary
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