On January 9, Eric flew to Santiago de Chile to visit with one of the New International affiliate families of the Americas Region. He had the privilege to preach at the Metropolitan Church of Christ and also had a couple of visits with Pastor Sergio. We had a good and productive time with Habacuc & Liz Diaz, New International's family participating with the ministries at the Metropolitan church and in a Christian School serving both missionaries and Christian families in Santiago. The Metropolitan church has been through some difficult times in the last couple of years but it is exciting to see that the congregation is recovering and beginning to grow again.
In this visit, Eric saw several major urban areas that need new dynamic churches. Haitians have migrated to Santiago in significant numbers and a Haitian outreach could have a major impact. One concerning note however, the Church generally in Santiago seemed discouraged with reaching this and other fast growing communities in the urban areas of Chile. Several Christian leaders seemed to feel that the "evangelistic zeal" has become less intense in Chile and the culture is moving away from Christ at a significant pace.
New International has the same heart and vision, Transforming Lives Globally. We wanted you to also be aware that donations can be accepted in both names presently, but eventually the "New International" name will need to be used for checks. The webpage donation page has been simplified and donations can be done through debit cards, credit carts or electronic checks.
It was a great blessing to have CM Habermelh (new director of International Missions at Compass), Heidi, who is a staff member in the missions area and Rowy who is the director over the Rooted program at Compass share this life changing discipling program. Our team hosted these good friends and we were able to share quite a bit about the vision of the network.
On February 21 begins one of the network's major annual events, AVANZA. AVANZA is the IMPACTOnetwork's assessment of potential new church planters. Three couples are confirmed to participate in the four days of teaching, group activities, interviews and evaluations concentrated on these three couples that are considering planting a church with the network. Eric will be one of the observers evaluating these couples. Dee is on Grandkid duty, since Holly is the director of the four days of AVANZA.
February 24 / Eric is preaching at La Viña.
February 26 / Eric is joining the Management Team for La Viña. Dee continues to direct the Sunday School program at La Viña.
March 27-30 / Mexico Missionary Reunion
April 2 to 9 / We will be doing a field visit to Haiti. Two New International affiliates are in Haiti. One in Port-au-Prince and other in norther Haiti, Pigon. We would ask you be praying about this trip. There has been major unrest in Haiti with anti-government riots. We are hopeful that things will return to normal by the time of our visit. We have had to cancel two previous trips because of challenges in-country.
April 22-24 / Houston Pastors' Visit in Queretaro. Two congregations in the Houston area are coming to Queretaro to talk about partnership with the next church plant in Queretaro this year. They are indicating that they are wanting to bring leaders from other congregations that could potentially partner with the network.
1. PRAISE, we both have been working to get more healthy. Eric has lost 50 pounds and Dee over 22 and we are walking almost everyday. We are excited about the progress we are seeing!
2. Be praying for the visit of the Houston Pastors to Queretaro. We are praying that these congregations will catch the vision for reaching the cities of Mexico and partner with us on the next church plant.
3. Be praying for Andrew (our son) as he looks at an opportunity for ministry in the next couple of months. He has been invited to participate in a new church plant. He will need to work while serving and he is also looking at raising support that will cover a portion of his living needs. We are exited for him but there are still a lot of details to work through and will involve a move to a new city.
4. A PRAISE: We have had two major donations to the IMPACTOLatino ministry. We are very thankful for a generous gift from SouthEast Christian Church in Louisville, KY and the Compass Christian Church in the Dallas area. We also welcome the Woodland Hill Christian Church of Abingdon, VA as a partner with the Duggins Family and IMPACTOLatino. And we are thankful for the individuals and families that participate with us and have for many years! THANK-YOU!