Michael and Jo are both teaching at the Centre for Pastoral Studies (CEP) in Santiago, Chile. Michael teaches Old and New Testament and Biblical Greek and Jo teaches Biblical Counselling. They also mentor graduates and help at their local church. Michael and Jo will remain in Chile until the end of 2021, when they will return to Australia and finish their service as missionaries. Their four grown-up children are now living in Australia and attending

The Charles are serving with:
Reflections from Jo on life in Chile
"Chile is currently experiencing a massive increase in COVID-19 cases, leading to increased restrictions and further decimating the poorer sectors of society still reeling from the social unrest of last year. There are cries of injustice as cases rise and beds become scarce. Local friends are desperately disappointed in their leaders and long for justice and peace. We are entering our 11th week of isolation although our zone is less affected, with some freedom to go out.

Counselling classes at CEP continue online. In an attempt to increase my teaching fruitfulness, Emma agreed to be recorded from Sydney via Zoom, being ‘counselled’ by me in Spanish so that I could share this in class as a teaching tool. This was an effective (and humbling) activity, as we paused the video to talk about the dos and don’ts of my session with her. How gracious of God that even my errors could be useful! 

Each week, in addition to teaching, I attend a counselling supervision group to grow my counselling skills. Recently a number of opportunities have opened up to counsel pastors’ wives. They have come about because of the long-term relationships that we have built over the years, and it’s great that I am able to provide this pastoral care online. I also read the Bible with a younger Chilean friend each week, and keep in touch with several of the CEP students’ wives as they deal with the pressures of coping with study and children in very small apartments. I’m encouraged by their awareness of God’s presence with and in them, and their willingness to change and grow in this difficult time.

Another blessing has been the opportunity to share more with our neighbours who have expressed interest in what we believe in the face of this pandemic. Pray for courage and sensitivity in our conversations with them."
  • How can I be praying for Michael and Jo?

    1. Praise God for the many good works prepared by the Lord for the Charles, at the Centre for Pastoral Studies (CEP) and in the wider community. Thank God also for the way God continues to provide opportunities during the increasing Covid restrictions- Jo’s counselling and pastoral care online opportunities and reading the bible online with woman.

    2. Pray for God’s protection and mercy in the (still) rising Covid-19 cases. Pray that Chileans would know God's hope and comfort as these cases lead to increased restrictions and further decimating the poorer sectors of society still reeling from the social unrest of last year. Thank him for giving Michael and Jo good health, and for the freedom to exercise

    3. Thank God for the opportunity to share the gospel with their neighbours, who have expressed interest in what they believe in the face of this pandemic. Pray for courage and sensitivity in Jo and Michael's conversations with them.

    4. Returning back to Chile looks very different than anticipated. Covid has meant that Jo and Michael's kids can’t visit in July and thet are unsure if a trip home in December is possible. This has made Australia and loved one’s feel even further away, but lately God has been reminding them he is near and very much cares. 

    5. Thank God that Michael and Jo have been able to see God use and work through previous students they have taught. These students are now preaching and ministering within local churches.  

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  • How can I care for Michael and Jo?

    1. Keep in touch – when the Charleses send a prayer email, reply letting them know that you are praying for them. 

    2. Adopt the Charles' at your small group. Send them letters,  organise a phone or Skype call, or friend them on social media.

    3. Michael and Jo's young adult children, Sam, Caleb, Emma and Lola are now living in Australia and attending NEAC. It’s tough being so far from family and adjusting to living independently at the same time – get to know them and find out how you can support them.

    Let the charles know you are praying for them at mjcharles@cms.org.au
  • How can I give to support Michael and Jo?

    CMS is a society of members, supporters and supporting churches. We undertake to send and support missionaries as they seek to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The financial support received comes only from individuals and churches who choose to give.
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  • How can I consider going with CMS?

    Has God been stirring you to consider serving him as a missionary somewhere around the world?

    CMS is passionate about sending the gospel out into all the world and dedicated to finding, training and supporting people for that task. If you are considering whether you could serve God overseas: pray and chat more with your NEAC minister or with CMS. 

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