This is the LORD’S doing…

“This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

2014-12-07 bautismo 115 With more joy than words can describe, James had the privilege of baptizing ten believers this Sunday! I believe all of the adults were saved just this year, while most of the children were practically raised at this church, trusting Christ at home with their parents or in a children’s class.

 

While many more have made salvation decisions in 2014, a total of 15 have followed Christ in believer’s baptism.

New Church Plant

In another post, we told you about a future church plant in a little town about a hour north of us.

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Here is how the first meeting went…

2014-11-30 duggan 005On the eve of the new church plant the weather forecast predicted heavy storms throughout the night, but sunshine the following morning. Since the small town where the Lord has led us to begin this work mainly consists of dirt roads that are impassable after inclement weather, we decided we would wait and see what happened before cancelling the first church meeting. By midday it was still raining, and the family who hosts the meetings told us that no one would want to come out of their houses. However, we determined that since we had canvassed the whole town saying we would be there on November 30, then we ought to be true to our word, in spite of the adverse circumstances!

At 4:30 p.m., with five adults from the Pilar church and one of our children as our pianist, we headed north to Duggan. A little over an hour later, we parked five blocks away from the house, transferred the keyboard and our small pulpit to our host’s cargo van, and the six of us piled in for the bumpy ride through the muddy ruts. God blessed the first Sunday service of Duggan Independent Baptist Church with wonderful music, preaching from His Word, and a total of 19 in attendance!

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Honestly, starting a work in a rural town of 1,000 was never part of our plan, but God opened the doors!  Part of our ministry philosophy is to “look where God is working and join Him there” (Blackaby), just as the early church did in Acts 11:22-23, “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”

In contrast to starting a church in Pilar (with a population of 300,000), it is poles apart. The most exciting aspect to us is seeing our people do so much of the work! The host family is a member of the church in Pilar with a burden for their little town. When we held the first Sunday services in Pilar just five years ago, we had no one to play the piano, no one trained to counsel or even to teach children. It is amazing what God has done in such a short time!

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Project: Building Together

Details are coming together to host work teams in 2015! The architect is drawing up the plans and submitting them to the municipality next week; the complex where our teams will stay is giving us an excellent rate; and we are gathering quotes for the building particulars. One challenge we are facing is what to do about parking. We can easily rent space nearby in order to get our plans approved, but we are also considering other long-term solutions. Please pray for wisdom in these decisions.

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Future Church Plant

For several months now, James has been holding home Bible studies in Duggan (a rural town about an hour north of Pilar) on a weekday afternoon. Some have trusted Christ through these meetings, while others are still attending and listening. We sense God’s leading to move these meetings to every other Sunday evening, one step closer to a church plant. areco study copy There are several men from the church in Pilar who will be going out and helping with the Sunday meetings. So, actually, the reason for the move to Sundays is two-fold: hold the meeting at a time more conducive for people’s work schedules and give our men opportunities to minister.  Please pray the Lord would give much fruit in the town of Duggan and this would help our men to develop their preaching abilities.

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Evangelistic Outreach

Praise the Lord for 90 ladies, 31 of them visitors, at our ladies’ tea! These visitors, many of whom we have prayed for their salvation for years, heard the Gospel three different times during the tea. Please pray for God to work in their hearts and that they would put their trust in Christ.

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Building Project

2014-09-21 ibip 015 2014-09-21 ibip 016With an average attendance of 95, the new building continues to be full. The next steps are to get plans drawn and approved, plus the foundation poured. Please pray that the Lord would lead and provide for this next phase. Last month, we told you about the possibility of purchasing a steel building, but it fell through because it had already been sold. It did, however, open our eyes to the idea of looking for something similar.

We are excited about hosting various mission teams to work on the new building in early 2015. Of course, you don’t have to be on a team–we welcome help at any time and at any stage of the project!  If you or your church is interested in being involved, please let us know.