Neal was very young when he placed his trust in Jesus. He has had the privilege of having parents who are also missionaries. He is a certified diesel mechanic and loves anything to do with oil, metal, tools, and grease. While living in Bolivia for the last six years, God has given Neal a love for the people and a burden to help give every person an opportunity to place their faith in Christ.
Karen was raised in a loving Christian family and at an early age came to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her grandparents were missionaries and her mother grew up as a missionary kid in Bolivia. Karen’s parents introduced her to missions and encouraged her to live her life for God and to follow His desires for her. Karen enjoys scrapbooking, music, gardening, reading, and anything else even remotely creative.
The Durfeys arrived in Bolivia in May of 2001 and began working at Tambo doing maintenance work. Tambo is a boarding school run by New Tribes Mission. The school provides a quality education for missionary children allowing their parents to be out in the field reaching the tribes of Bolivia. It was a homecoming of sorts for Neal as he spent his junior high and high school years at the boarding school. The Durfeys were able to work alongside Neal’s parents in this ministry and established many wonderful new friendships and got reacquainted with some old friends as well.
In August, they began Spanish language study. During this same time, the Durfeys developed a ministry with the local church working closely with the pastor. The pastor only had a bicycle so it was difficult for him to visit church members that lived some distance from the church. The Durfeys were able to use their truck to visit several people in one afternoon. They also used their truck to take people to the hospital and to transport the local youth group to a neighboring town for a day of meetings and sports. Yes, a big old 4-wheel drive truck can be a tool used by God.
In December 2002, the Durfeys moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Their new ministry involved many different jobs. They were responsible for taking care of the mission guesthouse. The guesthouse had an apartment for their family and six separate guest rooms. Karen headed up the scheduling department and made sure the rooms were ready when the visitors arrived.
Neal was involved in a variety of ministries. His main responsibilities were bookkeeping, legal work, overseeing all the buying for the tribal missionaries, and keeping up with maintenance. The ministry is all about helping and serving others.
The Durfeys desire to work with the team of missionaries serving the Simba tribe in Southern Bolivia. NTM began work with the Simba trible in 1995. The current population of this tribe is approximately 6,500. They speak the Western Guarani language and are animistic in their beliefs. This team, motivated by the love of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, exists to evangelize, disciple, and assist Simba believers in establishing functioning, indigenous, New Testament churches among the Simba people.
As the Durfeys have served the Lord in Bolivia, they have found that God provides a wide variety of ways we can serve Him. Please pray with them that God would continue to give the Durfeys many opportunities to serve Him and the people of Bolivia.