International Ministries

Only Three Days

January 3, 2008 Journal
We are on the third day of the New Year 2008. We are only three days from Three Kings’ (Wise Men’s) Day which is widely celebrated in Hispanic/Latino families, and also three days away from commencing what has to do with the Youth Camp in Chile.

We have begun a year of a lot of commotion around the world, where in Jerusalem many await the arrival of the US President while many in Israel continue to fight and hope for a new Palestinian state to emerge at the same time as the USA is going through a presidential campaign. We have begun a year in the midst of turmoil in Colombia while Venezuela, Argentina, and others seek to intervene in Colombia’s attempts to rescue long-time hostages. We have begun a year in Chile where a baby out of wedlock is celebrated, because he/she is to be the first grandchild of our lady President.

Missionaries around the world, regardless of their sending mission agency, tend to share more widely of the success stories and those testimonies where God has done miracles, us included. Yet, we too often neglect to share of the struggles of the faith which many Christians around the world, including you and us, live through while they’re going through it. We usually wait to see the miracle happen so we can have something to share. We repent of it. That is not fair to the reality of life in the field, and is not helpful to you as our partnering churches, brothers, and sisters, who need to know what is really going on. In order to really uphold each other, in prayer which is our utmost need, we need to be true to reality. In honor of the history of our sending mission agency, celebrating 200 years in 2014, we commit to return to those principles.

We have grieved with the church in Ohio whose member has hurt his right shoulder and hence his ministry to international countries is temporarily affected. We have grieved with the church in New York, which had lost a handful of elderly members by the end of the year; perhaps they just wanted to begin the new year in their new home... We have grieved with a young man in Chile whose hopes to begin his college education almost got chattered for lack of resources and encouragement from his extended family members and neighbors. His father working away from home and his mother struggling with the sadness of a baby between her husband and another woman; families affected by challenges beyond their children’s control. We can report, though, that God did perform a miracle and this young man was able to enroll to begin in March though the details are still unfolding. He was giving thanks to God on Sunday for helping him with “step one” as he called it.

As we begin a new year, know that we will not only share of the happy endings but also of the struggles in progress. We will covet your prayers for the real church in Chile as we continue to pray for real churches in the States, Puerto Rico, Fiji Islands, Israel, UK, Spain, and virtually around the world where we have brothers and sisters from whom we frequently hear from. We shall do it Pauline style, as urged in Phillipians 1:3-11, which goes both ways, to you and to us.

Because of the age and the year we are a part of, we are three days away from commencing our journey to receive those who will come from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 again in action!), those coming from Pennsylvania, and those coming from Puerto Rico, joining our Chilean brothers and sisters at the Youth Camp, Jan. 7 to 14 in San Carlos. We covet your prayers throughout the week for safe journeys, for God’s anointing of the whole experience during workshops, evening meetings, meals, good weather, recreation, camping out, and as we will be witnesses of Jesus Christ to the unbelievers who will also be enjoying the facilities. May we truly embody John 17:3b, the theme for the week.

Right after Camp, we head south to Temuco for Mision Chilena meetings (Jan. 15 to 19). This is Mision Chilena’s board election’s year. Please be in prayer that God will appoint those who will be leading our convention for the next two years.

2008 is here with new beginnings, new challenges, and new mercies. May we journey together in true partnership; rejoicing together and struggling in our faith together as well.

Pressing on toward the goal,

Your missionaries in Chile

The Bonilla-Giovanetti family