International Ministries

A Great Door Has Opened

August 12, 2015 Journal
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A Place to Gather Oneself

Someone at the airport must have a sense of humor and even better, empathy. Who else would put up those signs for the "Recombobulation Area," greeting harried travelers? 

In these months of re-establishing ourselves in Chile after an eight-month home assignment, we have often set up our own recombobulation areas, where we can say God met and received us. 

We believe God is opening doors for us to walk through, making our horizon clearer.

We are happy to report that, thanks to many of you, we surpassed our support percentage goal of 90%, making our return to Chile possible. Plus, we got to meet lots of new friends and visit many longtime supporters along the way. 

This is how grace comes, in faces, conversations, and in those moments when, after telling our story of the mission of God in Chile, you say you feel like partners with us, in prayers and financial support.

So, towards "recombobulating" ourselves, let us update you now

·        on our sons, Jack and William, 

·        our current activities and plans, 

and in a subsequent newsletter we will tell you about the group that visited us in April.  

The Boys

Jack learned to drive in Texas, and got to go hunting and shoot his first deer.

On multiple occasions, our friends, the Huffs, shared themselves and their ranch in West Texas. What a treat that was for our family, to be out under the big Texas sky. 

While home in Austin, Jack kept up with his class in Chile, as we did home-schooling. Now that we are back in Chile, he is a sophomore in high school, loves and excels in physics and math, and is just as crazy about mountain-biking. He is active in his church youth group, also.

William is in fifth grade. Some of the things he loved in the U.S. were swim classes, bike rides and playing in the endless variety of parks in Austin and wherever we traveled. He is the artist in the family, always drawing something, when not climbing the nearest tree.

Jack and William loved the freedom of travel, from South Carolina to Colorado and Wyoming and Green Lake. They loved being with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Nevertheless, they could not wait to be back with their compañeros, and eat Chilean bread, and they are very happy to be back in Chile.

Pray for us as we begin preparing them for the next several years, especially as Jack begins to discern where he will go to university.

"A sure horizon will come around you."  (from a poem by Wendell Berry, "Do Not Be Ashamed")

Current Current Activities and Plans

·        In April, Barb traveled to Nicaragua, to meet with missionary colleagues Joyce Reed, Mylinda Baits, Laura Parajon, and Adalia Gutierrez, our Area Director. They shared experiences in their ministries with girls and women and talked about ideas for future collaboration. Mylinda helped present a workshop on using art to minister to trauma survivors, which is particularly apt for Barb's work with girls in vulnerable family situations.

·        Barb continues to serve as a consultant to the three women's cooperatives she started. Two of them are virtually independent and the third is well on its way. They are producing high quality yarn from Merino wool, and products that sell well in Chile.

·        When we were in Wyoming last year a sheep rancher from FBC-Douglas decided to partner with us by providing Merino wool, as her glad stewardship of God's bounty. There are still a lot of hoops to jump through to import it, but meanwhile she is tithing her own wool production toward the purchase of Chilean Merino wool for this year. Thank God for Tomi Strock!

·        Barb's main focus now is the Girls' Clubs project. By the end of the year she plans to have completed a manuscript for the book presenting the curriculum and lesson plans. Praise God for four friends here, a professor, a psychologist, a doctor, and a teacher, who are helping Barb with the editing and translating. Besides several regional churches, Barb also directs the program at a local Christian school located in Temuco's most vulnerable sector.

·        Dwight's number one priority for the remainder of the year is to finish the installation of rainwater harvesting systems. When we returned, Chile was suffering a terrible drought, especially affecting Mapuche small landholders. Now, though, no one questions that storing rainwater before the dry season begins can help significantly.

·        The drought also hurt local bee populations and honey production. Normal losses are 10%, but last year many lost 50% and more of their bees. So this will be a year of recovery.

·        Dwight also believes it is time to turn away from the modern, industrialized model of beekeeping, to a way of beekeeping that deals with pests and disease naturally. We will transition to and do trials with a kind of hive that doesn't require constant inputs of capital. So this will be a year of discovery, too.

·        Conflict Transformation - Dwight was invited by the regional, inter-denominational pastors' council to participate in a commission that is holding a series of listening/dialogue sessions with some of the major Mapuche activist/political groups, to hear their concerns, with a view to facilitating new proposals and conversations between the government, Mapuche groups, and landowners, and to end the violence. He cannot say more about it now, but asks for your prayers.

·        Dwight also taught a series of Bible studies based on Dan Buttry's book on Conflict Transformation for our local church. We will promote these studies in other churches throughout the year.

·        The work continues with the Volunteer Relief Network. Dwight serves as the interim Director, mainly to help bring a formal structure to this spontaneous movement that will make it a sustainable ministry of the convention.

·        Finally, Dwight is studying for a Permaculture Design Certificate, which we believe has much to offer Mapuche subsistence farms, and beyond. 

"A great door for effective work has opened..." (I Cor. 16:9)


Please pray for these endeavors, that through them a door might be opened to proclaim the mystery of Christ and the Kingdom of God, that we might serve to help people become "oaks of righteousness" who change the world in the power of the gospel. (Isaiah 61:1-4)

This sermon that Joel Gregory preached at the recent Baptist World Congress speaks to our condition. It has gripped our hearts and ministered strength and grace.

We pray for you, also, that a great door might be opened to you, wherever you are, to make known the mystery of Christ.

Dwight and Barbara Bolick

International Ministries

Temuco, Chile