For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2: 8-10
In the New Living Translation verse 10 reads, “so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” These verses from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus are full of important truths—about salvation and grace, our own existence, and God’s pre-planned purposes through each and every one of us as Christians. Regarding God’s good “prepared in advance” purposes, in my prayer journal I have written, “Put in play, kept in play—expect results!” Let’s all celebrate that truth this month as we carry out God’s good purposes together in our own settings, as he takes them forward to fruition.
SANTIAGO MISSION PROPERTY We fully expected to already be housing mothers coming from other parts of the country with their child now hospitalized in a Santiago children’s hospital to undergo long-term treatments. The construction of the new nearby children’s hospital has been completed and we were notified that the last days of September and first days of October are being used to transfer all the children in treatment from the old building to the new one. The new hospital has a bed capacity for 300 patients—roughly double that of the old one. We thus now look forward to beginning this new ministry in the first days of October. Please pray for a successful move of the hospital and for our good reception of those mothers. God has prepared us for this new ministry and will see it through.
Another facet of this new work needing prayer has to do with our Foundation make-up of people of different cultures. There is nothing automatic in our ability to understand each other and work single-mindedly together, something difficult with people from the same culture! 😊 Please pray for us as a unit.
CHILDREN’S CAMP & RETREAT CENTER We have new developments to share regarding the establishment of the children’s camp & retreat center in middle Chile. We are partners in this with Domingo and wife Sandra. The large amount of land originally owned by his father was divided between Domingo and a brother and sister. All three have a house built on their particular parcel, although only Domingo’s brother Rodrigo actually lived in his house there. Domingo & family live in Santiago and his sister lives in Concepción, roughly 40 minutes from the property. In our trips to the land these last years we have thus become accustomed to visiting with Rodrigo. Donald and Glenn, visiting in late August, also met Rodrigo.
On August 31 Rodrigo had a hip replaced and in the morning of the day he was to go home from the hospital, September 7th, a blood clot formed on his lung and he died. He was well-known and well-liked, both as a professor and active in the political representation of the people for years. He also became a Christian roughly three years ago. His parcel of land now goes to his wife and children (now grown). Since all three parcels of land are adjoined, with none of his family wanting to live on his parcel of property, this could mean additional land available for purchase for the camp & retreat center. We pray first and foremost that their family is able to work together and come to unified decisions. We know that if the Lord would want us to have access to any of the additional land that he will make it available. Regardless, he has a pre-determined purpose and plan for the new children’s camp & retreat center and that he will see it through. Thank you for praying with us for this family and toward the future of this important outreach & ministry. We will be hosting some three-day tent-camping experiences on Domingo’s property this next summer during the months of January and February.
TIME IN THE STATES This month of October also includes the beginning of Janine’s and my time in the U.S. to visit supporting churches and participate in the annual Int’l Conference on Missions (ICOM), this year held in Peoria, IL the weekend before Thanksgiving. We will also have Thanksgiving together as family with our children and grandchildren (What a treat!) We will have with us at ICOM two special guests—Karina, who with her husband make the marble figures we sell in the States, and gifted Chilean pastor and singer of the Psalms, Patricio Curinao. (More on the ICOM in November’s Praise and Prayer Letter.) Please pray for our travels and for all facets of the ministry in Chile during our absence. May God be honored throughout as he takes us and it forward to fruition, along with his work through you all as well.
Praising, praying, and fasting with our “Prepared in Advance” God,