International Ministries

The Chile-Haiti Connection

October 7, 2010 Journal
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Haiti Devlopment Advisory Team

Dwight has been in Haiti since September 23.  He is serving on the Haiti Development Advisory led by IM missionary colleagues Bruce and Ann Borquist (Brasil), with Ray Schellinger (Mexico), and Nzunga and Kihomi Mabudiga (Haiti).  We will be there until October 7.  The purpose of this Haiti Development Advisory Team’s visit is to create a master plan that will guide IM’s and the Haitian Baptist Convention’s stewardship of the relief funds designated for economic development projects.  We have had significant and exciting conversations with our Haitian partners and studied development projects that are producing results.  Our purpose is to identify partnerships and recommend a process  that will strengthen Haitian Baptists’ capacity to “raise up the former devastations” (Isaiah 61:4).   

We are returning to our countries today, and praise God for the signs of the kingdom we have witnessed in Haitian churches and development ministries. 

Barb Speaking in Austin

Please pray for us.  Almost as soon as I return, Barb will go to Austin, TX from October 11-19.  She is going to display Mapuche weavings and attend the Global Voices Women’s Summit.  www.globalwomengo.org/summit/   She will preach at FBC-Austin on Oct. 17, and will enjoy time with my parents and many friends.

Earthquake/Tsunami Relief 

The earthquake/tsunami relief work still carries a sense of urgency.  We are now serving ten communities, having discovered this month three more “villages” of temporary houses, or mediaguas.  Although we are entering springtime, these families face at least two more years living in 10’ x20’ shelters.  We are still able to provide insulation, room additions, basic furniture, food and hygiene kits to help make their homes more livable. 

A few weeks ago I was invited to a thanksgiving service in Cerro Verde.  I listened to dozens of people stand up to say how much these “kits” have helped them through these months of loss.  While we strive to make sure the help is channeled through the local church, they know that Baptist Christians in the U.S. love them and care about them.  They are amazed and thankful.  I wanted you to know this.

First Mapuche Ordination in Decades 

The day after I return to Chile, we will go to a Mapuche church in a community called Llongahue, where our friend, Francisco Catrin, longtime lay leader, will be ordained for the role and service of pastor.  Very few Mapuche churches have ordained pastors because the dominant urban Chilean churches, and yes, missionaries, did not encourage the contextualization of the gospel in the Mapuche culture.   Well, that alone is worth several future newsletters.   For now, let us say that October 9 will be a day of celebration for our Chilean Baptist friends.  Francisco will be the first Mapuche pastor in our convention in over thirty years.

The Berean Institute will be re-starting classes and workshops in November.  Our Mapuche churches are re-christening it as a Center of Reflection and Development.    The vision is to equip Mapuche churches to live the gospel out of their own culture, in their own language, and participate in their own development.  We’ll be starting with Mapudungun classes, and a combined biblical study with practice improving reading comprehension.  Once again, “the vision comes…, it does not tarry.” 

World Mission Offering 

Your gifts toward our ongoing support make these and many more good things possible.  Your partnership and support is deeply gratifying.  It pleases God and it serves the Kingdom. 

We invite you to consider an annual or monthly gift to the World Mission Offering.   Many of you already designate your WMO for our support.  The World Mission Offering is a wonderful way to have 100% of your gift go to sustain missionaries, and the partners and projects that they serve.  For example, the Baptist Theological Institute of our partner convention in Chile can keep on providing pastoral training because of the World Mission Offering.  To learn more about the WMO, please see www.internationalministries.org/drives/wmo_2010 .

Thank You for Praying 

Remember, pray for Dwight’s Haiti trip, Barb’s Texas trip, and support the World Mission Offering.