Thank you for all your prayers. In the past month there have been various trials that only prayer could resolve. Not only personal trials but also greater trials for our dear brothers in sister churches who are part of our lives. With the trials or storms, also come the blessings from the windows of heaven.
Jesus said in Mark 10:29-30, “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” There are children of others that God places in our hearts as close as our own children. One of those is Cynthia, a daughter of a national missionary to the city of Neuquén. God has answered the prayers of her parents and many of us with a fiancé who has a desire to serve God with his whole heart. What a blessing as here in Argentina there are few such men or women whose heart is so dedicated. Andrea, from Comodoro Rivadavia, is another person from the verse above who God has answered prayer for a godly spouse. There are also three young men who will be ordained into the ministry this next month and what a blessing it has been to be a small part of two of their lives. God has blessed JoAnn and me a lot more than a hundredfold in our life here in Argentina in so many areas.
But with the rainbows come some storms. A good church in the city of La Plata caught fire and was completely destroyed including all their library and Bible institute studies. Only two items were saved: the pulpit and the pastor’s Bible. The seminary in which we minister is also going through some very rough waters. Also one of the graduates, David, received notice of cancer in a biopsy of a tumor on his pancreas. He pastored a church in the last few years in Rosario and God burdened him to go to southwestern Argentina to start a church in a city of 23,500 souls that has no Gospel. We also received notice that his father, who is a dear friend of ours, had a stroke. We later learned that it was not a stroke, but Bells Palsy.
Closer to home, Satan is doing his normal in causing division over simple stupid matters among some families in our church. For example, people believing that their personal pride is more important than the reputation of Christ. As a pastor each time that I need to council a church member in their conduct it is so humbling realizing how many times that the Holy Spirit has had to deal with me as well. Why do I bring this up? To remind you that we are in a spiritual battle that never stops and it is the same for you and your pastor. Each time we relax we are bombarded with another situation that brings us to our knees once again. Paul stated it quite adequately in 2 Corinthians 11:28-29 when he was sharing a little of the persecutions and trials that he had gone through ending the paragraph saying, “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?” Please pray for your pastor throughout the day and take those of us who you support to the Throne of Grace as Satan and man’s sin nature never stops. Praise God that, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
The ministry here is going faster than our feet can keep pace. Along with the dark clouds God has given silver linings. The Avalos family has been attending for several weeks and has been a continued blessing. Adan’s grandfather is ending his time on this earth and that is hard for him, as they are close. The members here sent an offering to help the church in La Plata that burned which demonstrated their growth, especially when one stated, “How can we expect God to give us a harvest if we do not plant seed?” Another special blessing was that the church voted last week to support monthly their first missionary.
The printing ministry is doing well and there are orders for over 50,000 tracts from sister Baptist churches, which should be completed by next week. We had some problems with the digital duplicator but they seem to be resolved. We are praying that God would provide a color printer for paper 12 inches x 17 inches, so that we can print full colored tracts, posters, prayer cards, and other items that would be used by this ministry and the ministry of others.
We have had three visitors stay with us this last month when they came to the Capital, which changed our normal routine, if there ever can be one. We enjoyed sharing our hearts for the enormous amount of souls who need Christ. What a blessing they were! Next month there is a brother coming from Florida for a few days. We pray we will be used in a manner that will glorify the Lord. He is coming for the purpose of helping us with the ministry for 4 days and broadening his view of missions.
For those who wonder about my health, God is still blessing. The kidneys are still doing well and the cardiac doctor gave me a stress test last week. I did not flunk it either. The ticker still is going like the old Timex commercials – it just keeps ticking. It is so nice to be back where God has placed us and yet we still miss you all.
In our Lord’s care,
in the heart of Buenos Aires so that Christ can be in their hearts