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Roger & Laura Dye
Church Planting for Today's Latin America
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Wow, what a whirlwind trip to the south of Chile! Not everything went as we had planned, but each event played out exactly as God had planned. Let me (Roger) tell you about it…
 
In PUERTO MONTT (Oct. 12-13) we had a marriage retreat for couples in leadership. I shared Los 5 Conceptos Perdidos del Matrimonio (The 5 Lost Concepts of Marriagewith four couples. Each of these 5 principles is counter-culture, but since our modern society has such a terrible track record of broken marriages, being counter culture in this area is a really good idea. We have to retrain ourselves to think biblically about marriage, and these 5 Christian principles are so completely contrary to our culture's thinking about marriage, that we may have trouble accepting them at first. Just remember that our society has not been able to make marriage and family work, so we have to try something different, something directly opposed to the way society is doing it, something unapologetically biblical. 
 
I felt like I was the coach in the locker room at half-time during the championship game. Our team was down by two points, and they knew that if they were going to pull it off, something drastic had to change in our strategy. Except this is not a game, and it's not the championship that's at stake; it's our church, our society, and our nation that hangs in the balance.
 
In OSORNO (Oct. 13-21), I preached both Sundays, we had The 5 Concepts leadership conference, and we shared El Arte del Matrimonio (the Art of Marriage) video conference with local couples in Christian leadership.
 
 
Sunday I preached from Luke 6:46-49. Since this is a parable, Jesus is not really teaching us how to build a house. Although He was a carpenter and knew that a solid foundation is absolutely necessary to build a house that will be able to withstand the storms, Jesus was not giving a class on architecture. This is a parable, and Jesus was teaching us how to build our lives, our marriages, our families on a solid foundation so that they will be able to withstand any storm. So let me share with you what this passage sounds like when you take the parable and apply Jesus' teaching directly to your life. Let's read these verses and substitute the application (the word "family") for the parable (the word "house"):
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
When you see what Jesus is saying, it is a powerful motivation to make sure your family is built on the Rock!
 
Monday - Thursday seven couples participated in the 5 Concepts conference in Osorno. I was still in the coaching mode but this time it felt like an informational meeting for the JV tryouts, with the parents present. The group in Puerto Montt is a church plant, the pastor and an elder from Osorno come out weekly to guide and encourage them, but these couples are the ones on the front lines every day. The group in Osorno is an established church, and their pastor is with them to lead the charge, so they don't feel the same weight of responsibility as the group in Puerto Montt. But God was at work in their lives as well! The one reaction that keeps echoing in my mind is the lady who shared, "I had no idea that marriage is a covenant and not a contract! I didn't know there was a difference. Understanding what a covenant is completely changes the way you approach your marriage." Amen!
 
Wednesday Laura and I celebrated our 20th anniversary! We had a quiet lunch together, walking along the river and discussing the journey God has given us during the last 20 years, and where He is leading us now.
 
Friday - Saturday we directed the Art of Marriage conference for couples in Christian leadership in Osorno. It was hosted by (1) la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Osorno, and promoted by both (2) the Unión de Pastores de Osorno and (3) the Instituto Reformado de Capellanía. Thanks to fellow MTW missionary Greg Senter and Pastor Alex Frites who handled all of the preparation and promotion for the event. (And a huge thank you to Greg's wife, Marilyn, for hosting our family!)
 
We were quite pleased with the number of different churches and denominations represented, although we were hoping for more people in attendance (about 36 were there). There were 11 churches represented, Presbyterian, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Lutheran and various Pentecostal and non denominational churches. The Reformed Chaplaincy Institute was also represented
 
There were many positive responses to the Art of Marriage. Here a few that stand out in my mind:
 
INTERDENOMINATIONAL RESPONSES
 
We got the sense that every person and marriage present came away with a sense of hope and renewal. Each was grateful for the opportunity. Beyond the personal benefit that many expressed, some of the denominational and organizational plans that resulted are:
 
1. The Unión de Pastores de Osorno wants to do another Arte del Matrimonio event next year, but with a much greater effort to get every pastor in town to attend with his wife and church leadership couples. The general comment was that "All of our pastors need this kind of information about marriage! It's never taught in our churches."
 
2. All of the leaders involved expressed a desire to continue growing in their own understanding of biblical marriage and to bring this conference to their own congregations.
 
3. The representative from the Reformed Chaplaincy Institute plans to incorporate this video series into their curriculum, offering it as a training course for marriage counseling, and making it available to their married and engaged students.
 
4. The Presbyterian churches in Osorno and Puerto Montt are using Manteniendo Su Pacto (Keeping Your Covenant) to kick off their small group ministries, both as discipleship for believers and as an outreach to the unchurched.
 
Sunday, Oct. 21, I preached on conflict from Colossians 1:19-20 and 3:1-17. At the rear of the church a man grabbed my arm, "I am a psychologist and I deal with conflict all day long. I have a business workshop tomorrow with 40 men who are angry with each other. I was taking notes during you sermon because I have never seen conflict from a biblical perspective." He and his wife insisted we have tea with them that evening.
 
THANK YOU so much for your faithful intercession on behalf of the church in Chile and Latin America! Your prayers and partnership with us are key to reclaiming our generation for Christ.
 
A special note to everyone who enjoys Laura's perspective on life and ministry: she has a new post at our website.
 
Rejoicing in Christ,
Roger and Laura Dye
 

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Roger & Laura Dye · 7709 State Hwy 213 · Winnsboro, SC 29180 · USA
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