When missionaries leave the field that does not mean ministry comes to an end.
Chuck and Betty Ostlie of Fargo, N.D. have learned that over the past few years as their service has not stopped. It has just changed.
Retiring from their mission work in Chile in 2012, the Ostlies have spent the past five years reacclimatizing to life in the United States, but they have also been talking about their work and the continuing work on mission fields around the world.
The couple recently visited Echo Alliance Church as part of its missions conference to talk about Chile and its official designation as a “reached” country.
The Ostlies, who spent more than three decades serving in various capacities and locations of Chile have seen the changes taking place in that country, adding there is currently one couple left in the country helping with the transition to closing the official mission work of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in that country.
No, that does not mean missions work will not continue, it just means that the Christian church is well established there, which now allows those missionaries who were serving to carry on the task of making disciples of all nations in other parts of the world.
“The Alliance church has been in Chile for more than 100 years,” said Chuck.
A sign of its ability to stand on its own in the faith is indicated in the fact that Chile has sent out 10 missionaries of its own to other parts of the world.
Toward the end of their time in Chile, the Ostlies served in a role that was intended to strengthen the ideals of marriage and help couples of all walks of life through the Marriage Encounter program.
“What we offered through Marriage Encounter was a program that opened the door to sharing faith outside of the church,” said Chuck Ostlie, adding the events are held at a neutral site.
Betty Ostlie said so many lives and marriages were transformed through Marriage Encounter, adding that program is still going strong in Chile.
While 20 percent of the people of Chile are considered Christian, the people of the national church in that country still have a task ahead to continue to spread the good news to the other 80 percent of the people.
The Ostlies still maintain many of their connections in Chile, but they have also found new chances to minister in their community.
“God has opened up some new opportunities for us,” said Betty.
The Ostlies said they are happy to be home and are open to what God has in store of the rest of their lives.
“Change is good,” said Chuck, adding while they do miss the people and the places in Chile they know God has another plan for their lives.