Rehearsing What God Has Done
Driving 6,100 miles. Passing through 13 states. Sleeping in 12 different places. Preaching in 10 meetings. Constant 5 weeks on the road. Two snowstorms. Yep, that pretty much sums up January. One new church did take us on for support, bringing us up to 93%. Since we don’t usually spend much time north of the Mason-Dixon line, we did take advantage of that with a few home school history trips, which we all enjoyed!
Through this entire furlough we praise God for a reliable vehicle, our own place in Tampa we can call “home,” wonderful supporting churches, two new churches, safety while traveling, good health for the most part in spite of our hectic schedule, and all our needs met…and then some!
Good News from a Far Country
Several weeks ago, Pastor Schmidt began to invite the men of the church to come to the Sunday morning service early in order to pray for souls to be saved and the church to grow. (It’s one thing to ask a Latin to be on time, but arrive early?!?) Well, the first Sunday there were nine men, and then it grew to 16 folks, and then 28 total!
This past Sunday they finished praying and began the service. Two first-time visitors, a husband and wife, came in and sat down. At the time of the invitation, the wife trusted Christ! They later said that they had been walking around town that very morning looking for a church. They found nothing, so were on their way back to the bus station when they passed our building and heard the congregation singing hymns. It’s times like this when you know it’s all God’s work, and we just need to remain faithful.
Ten teens and three children had a great time at the respective summer camps. God worked in a great way in each of their lives. Pray that the decisions made will stay with them, and their parents will support them. These kids face incredible temptations in their schools and need our prayers.
Goal Setting 2011
As we near our departure date of February 22, we are fine-tuning our ministry goals for 2011. In 2009 and 2010, the focus in the Pilar Centro church plant was on inward spiritual growth as we were trying to help the believers to grow to the point of being willing and able to help others. Now, we feel we can focus more on evangelism. As far as our long-term goal of reaching into the gated communities, we will continue evangelistic activities to make contacts and build relationships.
Ministry Goals for 2011
- April – Begin a Saturday morning evangelism program. The first several weeks will be in the church, teaching the Netcasters course. Then, we will put what we’ve learned into practice, visiting known contacts as well as knocking on doors. Average 10 adults out soul winning each week.
- April – Tuesday afternoon ladies’ Bible study will begin to meet in various ladies’ homes with an emphasis on inviting the unsaved. See two unsaved ladies attend per month.
- Continue small discipleship groups (8-12 people) on Sunday nights on a semester basis (April through June and August through October). Create at least three small groups – men, ladies, teens.
- March – Appoint annual church leadership positions – secretary, treasurer, janitorial, nursery director, and children’s church coordinator.
- April – Begin a Tuesday night leadership Bible study for men who are candidates for deacon. These men will be required to do their homework and go soul winning. Four men actively involved.
- Actively search for an appropriate piece of property on which to build a church building. Identify likely property/location by July.
- Promote special offerings to raise funds through the church for the property. $1,000 pesos ($250) per month.
- Encouraging furlough meetings
- God’s blessings in Pilar under the leadership of furlough replacements, Pastor and Mrs. Schmidt
- First-time visitors, one salvation decision
- Married couples’ Bible study led by layman, Benjamin
- God’s protection and provision in our travels
- Bible Baptist Church in Shickshinny, PA took us on for support!
- Safe and uneventful return to Argentina
- Men to continue fill leadership roles when we return
- Lauren’s medical bills (two ER visits)
- Monthly support – 93%
- Wisdom and funds to purchase property for the church to build their own building
- 2/6 – Hillsdale Baptist, Tampa, FL (49th anniversary service)
- 2/13 – Mikado Baptist, Macon, GA
- 2/22 – Depart for Argentina
- 2/25 – Schmidts depart Argentina
- March – begin canvassing for special first anniversary services at IBI Pilar
- 3/21 – First anniversary of the church plant in Pilar