Roger & Laura Dye — Chile
Church Planting for Today’s Latin America

2011 Christmas Greetings and Good News!
Our gratitude to God and to you overflows this Christmas! Thank you for your prayers, your generosity, your kindnesses and overwhelming support of our family for so many years!
Singing His Praises,
Roger and Laura Dye
Leadership Marriage Retreat
Twenty-seven leadership couples from nine cities attended the retreat
The Impossible Day
Friday was going to be an impossible day. Before the presbytery marriage retreat even started, I knew it was going to be impossible. Our Chilean leadership set the retreat to begin right after presbytery. Presbytery is usually quite an effort to prepare for and attend to everyone’s needs: food, transportation, even lodging for those who travel 30 hours by bus. Following the meeting with a special dinner was not really all that feasible. So I, Laura, went into the day prepared for failure at some level.
The gas ran out just before our kickoff dinner. That was a game changer. It was too late to order more. With no gas there would be no cooking, and we were expecting fifty people for dinner. My dear friend said, “Don’t worry. I will take care of things.” She proceeded to walk around with that not a worry in the world gait and attended to everything. The twice-baked potatoes were put on the grill. They converted the percolator into a double-boiler to melt the chocolate fondue. Amazing! The shortage of drinking glasses somehow was managed as they washed and rewashed. It was seamless for the couples enjoying guitar music by candlelight. So the impossible day really was all that and more, and God took pleasure in blessing our socks off in the beautiful chaos!
I wish you could have been there Saturday morning for the introductions after breakfast. Each couple stood up and introduced themselves. Most couples felt the need to give greetings, explanations, thanks, testimony, and tell jokes during this time so it was really a fun, free for all time. It was more than introductions though!
In 1998 we all longed for a church planting movement, but there was just us in Reñaca and Cristo Rey in Santiago. Not much was going well. How could we dare to dream such a thing? But all the missionaries prayed and longed for a national presbytery. The breakfast introductions were leaders from Arica, Osorno, Puerto Montt, La Florida, Maipu, Lonquen, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, and even a couple hoping to start a church in Algarrobo. Each stood up and recounted God’s goodness!! Amazing!! Each leader had battle wounds and scars of some sort. Some of their wounds were still throbbing, but by God’s grace, there are churches in all of those places! (See a map.)
The conference didn’t have a rigid pace. It just meandered through the day. That is something that really gets on Americans’ nerves, and it would have ours as well, but it just seemed right. Later our houseguests said that was the best part. They weren’t marched around all day from this session to that one. This retreat was supposed to be the stimulus for training marriage mentors in their own congregations, so Roger offered or exposed them to as many of our resources as possible. Everyone left smiling and gushing about everything. Having let go of all the plans, I could hardly think of anything we did would mean so much to them, but God certainly took the reins, and we got a wonderful ride. (Watch a slideshow of the retreat.)
God touched our hearts with their parting comments:
"God spoke to my life."
 "I came out of obligation and on the verge of resigning my pastoral call, but I leave on different terms."
 "My wife and I were not equally convinced we could benefit from marriage counseling, but now we fully committed to doing it together."
 "I thoroughly identify with the testimony of the elder who neglected his family for the sake of the ministry,” commented an elder. Roger laughed, "So you felt your wife's elbow in your ribs?" "Absolutely not! It was a kick in the pants!"
 "We had a chance to talk about things that we've never talked about before," commented a bride-to-be.
An elder, recently located to a thriving town, "We have no real, Bible believing churches at our new location. We are excited about planting a new church, and we'd like to to host a marriage seminar as an outreach event for unbelievers.”
About our family. . . 
Mom Dye has recently gone through an ordeal after falling through the attic floor to the garage. She fractured her pelvis in three places, but is now at home recuperating with lots of help. There is the professional help through the night, but the other help is really amazing — overwhelming for us missionaries so far away. The church has brought meals every day, friends and family taking care of every need. We haven´t really worried for a minute about whether or not their needs are being met. It's the next best thing to being there!
Daddy Park, in the progression of Parkinsons’, has lost a good bit of weight. Last night we got a worried call from Mom. I made one quick call to Cathy Timms (a cousin, neighbor, and nurse). She was at Mom and Dad's house in minutes checking Daddy out. "Yes, he has crackling sounds in his chest. And get to the doctor tomorrow!" It is overwhelming how you all take care of our families. It comforts us to know that they lack nothing while we are here. 
Chilean Public Education Update 
You may remember the anti-bullying pilot project in Iquique (October Prayer Letter). A friend responded with great news about the Healing Species Compassion Education™ Curriculum Program. I, Roger, passed the information and curriculum samples on to my friend. If you don’t like details, just pray that God will move the right people to get the job done. If you like the details, read on…
Public education policy in Chile is made at the top levels of government and passed down to the municipal school systems. Our friend is an elder in one of our churches in Santiago, and is a member of the Chilean Association of Technology's Committee on Education, which is a private consulting firm for the government's Ministry of Education. He told me that everyone on the committee “who does not have political influence” is very interested in the program, but "the people with power” have not responded.
As a member of the advisory comittee to the Ministry of Education, our friend was invited to a UNESCO sponsored meeting in Paris, France, Dec. 15-16. That’s where the real decision-makers will be. Please pray that he will be able to hold a meaningful conversation with the right people in the Chilean Ministry of Education.
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