Rodrigo Avila

Recent Ministry

The last two months have been quite intense. We have many reasons to praise the Lord for his provision and guidance as we get closer to our move to Chile.

Our Susana is growing fast and getting cuter and cuter by the day. She is now three months. We have been working on getting her birth certificate and passport.

I was glad to give a presentation about our move to Chile in our fellowship group at Grace Life. The update went well, and people were excited to hear about our future and how God will work through us in spreading the gospel.

I preached at Fairview Height Baptist Church, where I’ve had the privilege of filling the pulpit periodically for the last five years. I also gave a presentation about our plans. This church is considering supporting us.

  • Please pray that it will come to fruition.

Sheila’s Father Passing

Sheila’s father, Roger Schutz, was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of May. Unfortunately, the disease progressed very quickly, and within three weeks, he passed away. The doctor said he had never seen cancer so aggressive in his 30-year career.  When we received a call that he had taken an unexpected turn for the worse, we took the first flight from California to Minnesota.

We were so thankful we arrived at the hospital on time to talk with Roger while he was still conscious. He was glad to see us, and he was able to communicate in a whisper. Later, the whole family gathered around his bed, and each said a few things, read scripture, sang hymns. We took turns praying for him and thanking the Lord for his life. We sat by his bedside reminiscing and telling each other our memories about him. Roger passed into the presence of our Lord at 11:33 that night.

Roger was a wonderful man. A faithful Christian who loved his Lord, his local church, and his very worn out Bible. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

It was an honor to preach the gospel at my father in laws funeral. Preaching in English is always an extra challenge, but I was encouraged to hear from several people that the message was clear and biblical. 

  • Please pray for the family as they draw comfort from our Lord Jesus Christ during this time.
  • Please pray for Sheila’s mother as she mourns the loss of her husband.

My Last Week at Grace to You

Friday will be my last day at Grace to You. I have two weeks of vacation, and we plan to stay in California for a few more weeks while we pack and take care of the logistics. We plan to move to Minnesota in August to visit family and from there move to Chile. We are planning to be in Chile by September. It was a huge blessing and an honor for me to be a part of this ministry. I have learned many valuable lessons while working at Grace to You.

I am busy training my replacement, Alan. Please pray that the Lord will use him in mighty ways while he serves at Grace to You!

We are still a long way in reaching our financial goal, but we trust that the Lord will keep moving His people to help us financially so that we can plant a church and start our gospel ministry in Chile.

Donate Today

We ask that you pray for us so we can have everything ready to go. And we also ask you to consider supporting us financially so we can go to Chile as soon as possible and start sharing the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you

Rodrigo, Sheila, Ian, Evan & Susana

Introduction Letter

We are very happy to share with you some exciting news. First, Sheila gave birth to our new baby daughter, Susana, on Monday, March 11th.  She weighed 6 pounds and 5 ounces and measured 19 inches.   Mommy and Susana are doing very well.  Her brothers and I are all thrilled to welcome her to our family. Our second big announcement is that God willing, we will be returning to Chile this year to begin pastoral ministry starting a new church.

We have an intense burden for Chile.  According to the last census, sixty-seven percent of all Chileans consider themselves Roman Catholic. Only seventeen percent are Evangelicals. Twelve percent say they don’t belong to any religion.  We have decided to return because we know that in Chile, there are millions of people who have heard of Christ and the Bible, but who do not know the true biblical Gospel and have not been born again.  

Additionally, we have noticed that in Chile, there is a growing interest, especially among young people, to know biblical and historical doctrines.  We believe that this opening interest is both a sovereign and merciful work of God. In answer to our prayers, God is opening a door for us to return to Chile for ministry.

In response to the trends that we see in Chile, we desire to plant a church in Valparaíso, my hometown, in which I can preach regularly and serve as the pastor. We want to evangelize the lost so that they may turn to Jesus Christ and then disciple the believers so that they grow in his Word and become like Christ.

I am a member of Grace Community Church and a graduate of The Master’s Seminary. I have taught and led Bible study groups during the time I served in this church. Currently, I work at Grace to You as a sermon editor and Internet coordinator. The knowledge and experience I have gained in these organizations have been vital to my spiritual and personal development. I thank God for giving me the privilege of being part of these ministries. We desire to return to Chile to put into practice all that God has taught us through godly men and women who have influenced our lives for good during all this time.

It brings tremendous joy to me that Sheila, my beloved wife, is entirely supportive of this new stage of our lives.  She speaks Spanish fluently since she learned the language during her time as a missionary in Chile for six years. She knows the Chilean culture and has an excellent relationship with my family who will be welcoming us back to my hometown.  The transition for her from living in the US back to Chile will be easier for her than for someone who has not lived in another country.  Our two boys, Ian (10) and Evan (7) are very excited about our move to Chile. They are eager to learn Spanish more fluently and get to know the culture and the popular places in Valparaíso and the rest of the country.  They are also happy to know that they will now have a deeper and closer relationship with their grandparents, uncles, and cousins.

I have been researching the ministry potential and the reasons for us to return to Chile for quite awhile.  Interviewing current pastors around Valparaíso has led me to some important conclusions. There are over three hundred thousand inhabitants but only a few biblical churches. What the region needs is a church committed to biblical preaching and the training of future church planters.

God has opened a relationship with a mission organization that has been supporting National Pastors since 1956. White Fields Ministry has the same purpose and convictions that we share—we are committed to establishing strong, self-sustaining national churches whose pastors live among the people providing an example of a biblical Christian in the context of the local community. The President of White Fields is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and was previously a staff pastor at Grace Community Church. With their encouragement and assistance, we believe that we will be able to establish a faithful church that will become a training ground for future Bible preaching pastors.

We are writing to you to share that we need your help. First, we need you to pray for us. Pray that God will provide everything necessary to reach the goals that we are certain He has placed in our hearts.  You can join our prayer team by adding your name to our list to receive emails and read our latest news reports.  You can also visit our information on the website: http://www.whitefields.org/pray/pray-for-a-pastor/chile/ 

Secondly, we are seeking to raise financial support. You can make your donations through White Fields in the best way that works for you. You can donate from your credit card or from your checking account online at the webpage, or you can mail a check with the enclosed giving slip in the envelope provided. You can give a one-time gift or prayerfully join us with automatic monthly donations.

We would also appreciate if you would help us share the news of our ministry goals. Your church mission committee might be interested in allowing us to share our plans with them to consider supporting us, or maybe you have some mission minded friends that you could give our brochure.  We trust that God will provide all that is necessary through the generosity of His people. The Apostle Paul shared, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5 [NASB]

We are approaching the “first day” of our new ministry in Chile. We hope you will join us as partners in this gospel ministry. 

In Christ,

Rodrigo, Sheila, Ian, Evan & Susana