The Partner in Mission relationship between Perkiomenville Mennonite Church and The Tabernacle of Christ Church in Vina del Mar, Chile, continues to grow. What began with a divine encounter by the two pastors in New York City in 2002 has blossomed into an ongoing partnership of mutuality. Recent events have deepened this relationship.
With the help of Franconia Mennonite Conference, Pastor Alfredo Navea, was able to attend Franconia Conference Assembly in November. He was received warmly by conference participants many of whom, who greeted him in Spanish expressed interest in his ministry. Through the discussion of bylaws and other conference business, he received inspiration about organizational structure for the churches in Chile which he oversees.
In November the third mission team, from Perkiomenville in three years, traveled to Chile for ministry and work on the church expansion of their church building. They mixed and poured cement for the floor of the building addition and participated in several worship services. The Tabernacle of Christ Church had banners in the church and presented Pastor Charles Ness with a plaque celebrating their Partner in Mission relationship.
In January two young adults, one from Perkiomenville MC and one from Boyertown MC, will go to Vina del Mar, for approximately three months to assist with the first ever Summer Bible School Program. The Sunday school children at Perkiomenville collected money to pay the cost of the Spanish Bible school curriculum. They plan to hold Bible school in at least three locations in the three month period. The inspiration for Bible School came from a visit of nine persons from Chile in 2005 to assist with the Perkiomenville Summer Bible School.
This Partner in Mission relationship is a blessing to both churches. It is helpful to the church in Chile with financial and practical help with their building expansion. They benefit from the preaching and teaching ministry of mission teams as well as ideas about church management and structure ideas. Lifelong friendships are being formed.
It benefits Perkiomenville by providing opportunity for persons from the US to observe both social and church life in another culture. We experience the passion of worship and confident faith of the brothers and sisters in Chile. Each time as new persons go with a mission team, the vision of Godâ€™s Kingdom is expanded. Our congregation is enriched by this relationship.
Work also continues on the REAP Chile program which is seeks to establish a micro-finance program to assist church members to start their own small businesses.
Others are welcome share in the blessing of this partnership. The opportunities and needs are more than Perkiomenville can handle; specifically, the financial requirements of pastoral support and completion of the church building are beyond our ability to meet.
Pastor, Perkiomenville Mennonite Church