Rehearsing What God Has Done
December is typically slow for meetings, but nothing seems to slow down for this family! We reported to five churches and had two other special meetings, besides all the typical Christmas activities! One of those churches, Calvary Baptist in Gray, Georgia, is a small rural church, but bursting at the seams in their love for God and missions. They gave us a generous Christmas love offering toward the land fund for building a church building in Pilar. Thank you!
Another church’s youth group collected an offering which is going toward summer camp scholarships. Eight teens will receive help, so they will be able to go to camp. Thank you for your generosity!
The majority of our other love offerings from meetings has gone to make up for the deficit of being under supported. Please pray for God to provide the remaining eight percent of our support as we return to the field in February. He has been faithful to provide so far, and we are confident He will continue to equip us to do the work to which He has called us!
Good News from a Far Country
God continues to bless the ministry in Pilar under the leadership of Pastor and Mrs. Schmidt. The Sunday morning attendance is maintaining an average of 65; there was a record of 40 at the annual Christmas Eve service; and 11 teens are signed up for summer camp so far. Pastor Schmidt invited the men to come early to pray with him before the service last week, and nine showed up!
The Schmidts have been in the ministry for many more years than we have, so we are trying to observe them (from a distance) and learn from their godly examples. They serve joyfully and make the ministry of the church their first priority.
One of the most encouraging reports we’ve heard is that one of the laymen, Benjamin, has begun a Bible study for married couples, with four couples attending. James has worked one-on-one with Benjamin for two years, and this is the first time he has shown this kind of initiative. Please pray that the Argentine men will respond to God’s call to be leaders in the church. As one pastor put it, “I do not believe the problem is God’s silence; I believe the problem is a deafness to the call or an unwillingness to respond.” (Bud Calvert, God’s Passion).
It’s been an interesting balancing act to stay focused on stateside ministry while keeping up with the needs on the field. Our neighbors, friends, and church members–Alejandro and Andrea Quaglia –have been vital to us during this time. Since they also speak English, they have helped with issues with our house, translated for the Schmidts, and jumped in to help any way they can at church.
With mixed emotions, we will have to say goodbye to this sweet family in March when Alejandro’s company transfers him to Miami, Florida. We did get to take a few days to see them in Miami while they were taking a survey trip. We got to help them look for a house and learn about our American culture. They immediately found an excellent church and Christian school, First Baptist Church of Westwood Lake. We are so excited for the opportunities ahead for them, especially for the children’s education. Please pray for the Lord to fill the gap where they had been serving in the church, as well as their fellowship with us as dear friends.