“I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.” (David Livingstone)
In early 2014 God provided the funds to buy the church property and shortly thereafter, our offer was accepted. By God’s grace, after more negotiations and waiting for documents beyond our control, we were able to sign and take possession July 30, 2014! To God be the glory! Here is a short video of all the work our church people did (100% volunteer work!) in only 10 days:
Since then, we had to take out a bathroom and the office to make room for 30 more chairs. With 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.
If God would have you to give toward this need, you can send a check to Baptist World Mission marked “Greenwood Church Land Fund.”
Please make all checks payable to Baptist World Mission. Also specify whether your contribution is a one-time gift or if you plan to continue the support in future months.
Baptist World Mission
P.O. Box 2149
Decatur, AL 35602-2149
If you would like to give electronically, you can follow the instructions here: http://www.baptistworldmission.org/automated-giving.html.
Alternatively, you can try this link.
Please note: Baptist World Mission, DOES NOT take any percentage off of donations. They charge us a set amount per month for their incredible amount of services offered to us. Theirs is one of the lowest amounts charged to missionaries of any missions organization of size.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Note: IBIP refers to the church plant, Iglesia Bautista Independiente del Pilar
Why does the church need to buy property?
With a growing church body, our major need right now is to purchase property and build a building or remodel an existing one for the following reasons:
- Need for Space – We have outgrown our current facility. Acquiring an adequate building will give plenty of room for future growth. We need an auditorium that is between 1,500 and 2,000 sq. ft and has at least 3 children’s classrooms.
- Need for Permanence – In Argentina, many “evangelical” (the name given to any non-Catholic church) groups rent a facility and then disappear quickly. However, owning property gives a sense of permanence in the community and security to its members.
- Need for Stability – Rent is increased by at least 10% per year and the contract is renegotiated after 3 years. This makes it unaffordable and often unfeasible to stay in a rented facility for more than 3 years.
- Need for a National Pastor – Once the church is alleviated of the burden of a rental contract, it will then free up funds to help pay a national pastor’s salary. We want the church to be prepared as soon as possible.
What are IBIP’s objectives in purchasing property?
- Give room for growth – The church needs an average attendance of about 200 people in order to afford to pay a national pastor. This mean the auditorium should be approximately 2,000 sq. ft. with at least three separate children’s classrooms.
- Establish a permanent presence in the community – Property ownership allows the church to register as a public entity with the government. This allows the church to reduce its tax burden. The fact that a church owns its own facility lends credence to its mission within the local community.
- Exercise wise stewardship of our resources – Loans are not only next to impossible to obtain in Argentina, but their rates fluctuate and can run 30% annually or more. Renting offers no long-term solution to the churches financial challenges. Argentina’s economy has historically had a ten year recession cycle leading to runaway inflation, affecting rental costs.
- Prepare the groundwork to hand over the work to a national pastor – Within the framework of a stable, growing church that owns its own building, the leadership can focus on identifying and possibly training a national pastor who would take over. At that point, the missionary can plant additional churches.
As an American, why should I give toward this need?
We believe that God’s blessing on one group of His people is an excellent way to advance the cause of Christ in other places around the world.
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:33-34).
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality (2 Corinthians 8:14).
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Is buying land or building a building with US dollars a violation of the indigenous policy?
We strongly believe in establishing indigenous Baptist churches through Baptist church planters. We believe that providing a permanent facility for a young church plant, in order to protect them from unfair usury related to financing through national banks or ever-increasing rental agreements, is a wise stewardship of the resources that God provides for His children. This short-term giving project will result in a measure of stability for the work that God has established in this country that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.
Are the Argentine nationals giving toward this project?
The church folks here are actively involved in raising the necessary funds for this project. They have donated roughly 20% of the total amount raised.
We are well aware of the dangers of breeding dependence on foreign funds and I want to assure you personally that has not happened in this church plant. The Argentine offering currently pays for the rented facility and the expenses for the same.
Is IBIP looking to purchase land or a building?
We wish to purchase either an empty lot $100,000 dollars or a building that could be converted into a church facility. We have found prices ranging from $100,000 for a small, empty lot up to $700,000 for a move-in ready building.
Does IBIP have a national in mind to take the pastorate?
We are praying that one of the deacons would be the future pastor, and he has expressed his call to the ministry. That is something we have been praying for since the time this church plant began. The church needs to be in the best position possible to take on that man when it is God’s timing.
What about the building?
As soon as we purchase the property, we will be ready to host work teams to work on the building! If you or your ministry would like to help with the construction phase, please contact us!