Perspective

It all started in 2012 in an awkward storefront, with a vision and a goal of saving for an ample piece of property in a central location. Two years later, the land was purchased and two years after that, the church has a new building with room for growth. God does indeed pay for what He orders! We thank God for His provision and protection, as well as His strength to sustain us during the past four years of this process.

2016 Inauguración #buildingtogether

2016 Inauguración #buildingtogether

Building Inauguration Sunday

See photos of the event here.

See a six-minute video here.

[youtube http://youtu.be/xq8uWZBv5VE]

Thank You

Many of you played an important part in this process, whether it was praying, giving and/or coming down with a work team. Thank you for being an instrument for His glory. Just a few weeks before the inauguration, one more work team came down to help install the dry wall. Six adults from Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, Florida), as well as James’ brother from South Carolina, gave the project that final push toward completion so we could be ready for the big day.

Wednesday, 3/16 - work day #5 - CBC work team #buildingtogether

 

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Renovation Realities II

August 10 we had our first service in the new building. The Lord blessed with a full house those first two weeks! So, out came the sledgehammers again! We took out a bathroom and the office to fit 30 more chairs. We now have a little more elbow room.  (Click here for current pictures.)

2014-08-31 IBIP 006

The next steps are to get plans drawn and approved, plus the foundation poured. However, we have a unique opportunity to purchase a dismantled steel building. This structure would allow us to erect a two-story-high roof over the construction site. We are currently negotiating the purchase price and are estimating a cost between $8,000 and $12,000 for the purchase and transport to our property. We currently have $5,000 to use toward this project! Please pray that the Lord would lead and provide for this next phase.

After that, we would like to host 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!

mission trip

Renovation Realities

In our last update, we shared with you the huge answer to prayer regarding the property purchase. Thank you for all your replies via email and Facebook, showing your support and to let us know that you are praying. That is extremely encouraging!

Now that the waiting is over, it’s time to get to work! The church folks are putting in many hours renovating the existing structure, so we can begin holding services there on August 10.  So far, we have been able to knock down all necessary interior walls, replace the roof and do most of the landscaping. Over this next week, we hope to paint, clean and get set up for Sunday.

2014-08-03 ibip 015

 

Keys in hand!

Our hearts are full as we write this post, reflecting on God’s provision, protection, guidance and grace over the past few months. God provided the funds to buy the church property. In March that 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 today, July 29!  To God be the glory!

2014-07-29 cabral 007

We already started clearing away some of the overgrowth, and have a church workday scheduled for Saturday for the real demolition to begin!  Our goal is to get the existing structure usable in order to have services starting August 10.  From there, we will begin the process of drawing up plans and pouring the foundation with the hopes of work teams helping with the permanent church building!

mission trip

You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire!

For our daily family devotions, we’ve been reading This Day in Baptist History II by David L. Cummins and E. Wayne Thompson.  Dr. Cummins is now in Heaven, but he was our BWM deputation director for many years.  So, even more reason this book has a special place in our heart.

Today’s devotion, July 6, was very timely.  It tells of a forgotten philanthropic hero, Robert Arthington of Leeds, England.  Mr. Arthington sacrificed his own creature comforts in order to give as much as possible to missions. He even underwrote the cost and upkeep of a steamship so that missionaries in Africa could reach the lost along the Congo River.  I can only imagine the profound joy in Mr. Arthington’s heart when he went to Heaven and met believers from African nations who came to Christ because messengers came on a steamship up the Congo to share the Good News!

This is what Dr. Cummins tells us of Mr. Arthington’s personal life in the 1870’s:

He deprived himself of all but the barest of necessities, wore the same coat for seventeen years, and even begrudged the use of candles, that he might devote the utmost farthing to world evangelization…[He,] a Cambridge graduate, lived in a single room, cooking his own meals; and he gave foreign missions five hundred thousand pounds on the condition that it was all to be spent on pioneer work within twenty-five years. He wrote these words: “Gladly would I make the floor my bed, a box my chair, and another box my table, rather than that men should perish for want of the knowledge of Christ.” (emphasis mine) 

In our day of materialism, how we need to examine our own giving to see whether it reflects our love of souls or our love of self. May God raise up, not a few millionaires to support the work of missions, but a host of men and women with the spiritual determination of Robert Arthington to sacrifice and to send forward the knowledge of Christ.

Fast forward to 2012 — I read in the papers that box office sales in the States are breaking records. The theme parks at Disney World have to close their doors as early as 10:30 am because they have already reached their maximum capacity.  Americans seem to have discretionary funds to spend. Meanwhile, missions giving is down in churches across the country.  Missionaries are taking longer than ever to raise the necessary support to leave for the field.  Veteran missionaries on the field are losing support. Churches are having to cut back on mission trips.  Why?  Have we lost sight of the eternal?  Would you be willing to follow Mr. Arthington’s example and make personal sacrifices in order to give more to world-wide evangelism?  Would you sacrifice the immediate pleasures in this world for the sake of  eternal rewards in Heaven?

Missions Conference Answered Prayers!

We are praising God for working in a mighty way over the past several days!

Our special speakers, Pastor Brent and Shelli Armstrong, from Tucson Baptist Temple, were supposed to arrive Wednesday morning. We had planned for them to share their testimonies with our church people on Wednesday night during the mid-week service. However, they were delayed by 24 hours due to a mechanical failure with their plane. Everyone showed up on Wednesday evening expecting to get to meet our special speaker, but God had other plans! James explained what had happened and then asked that we all just pray, one by one, for the conference. As a church body we literally cried out to God, begging Him to work in our hearts through the preaching of His Word and for souls to be saved. After an hour and a half we had to quit because it was getting late, but those who didn’t have young children probably could have stayed for at least another hour.

On Thursday morning we picked up the Armstrong’s from the airport and allowed them to rest up after their extended trip. (You can read about their journey on Pastor Armstrong’s blog.)

Why are YOU Having a Missions Conference?

Several folks have asked why a church plant in a foreign field would have a missions conference. That’s a good question. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is given to EVERY believer, not just those in the USA. However, the focus of this conference was a bit different than the average missions conference in the States. The focus here was mostly on answering God’s call to serve Him full-time rather than supporting missionaries (but we’ll get to that soon!). God answered prayer and greatly worked through the preaching. One couple approached us after the first night saying, “We’re willing to do whatever God wants us to…where do we start?” Amen! There was a good turn-out among the members at the meetings Friday through Sunday.

Evangelistic Opportunities

On Friday afternoon we had an evangelistic ladies meeting. There were 10 visitors, one of whom trusted Christ! She is already scheduled to begin Basics for Believers with one our members.

On Saturday afternoon we had a men’s cook-out. There were at least 6 men visiting, one of whom was one of our neighbors!

On Monday evening we held a Business Ethics seminar. Because Pastor Armstrong was a successful businessman before going into the ministry, we wanted to use that as an outreach tool. It was advertised on the radio and open to the community, so honestly, we had no idea if there would be 5 or 50 people there. Actually, there were over 30 adults! The response was phenomenal. People were blown away by the concepts and Biblical principles presented.

This family brought a total of 11 first-time visitors during the week! Please pray for us as we follow up on those who need a visit.

Hearts Overflowing with Thanksgiving

We are so thankful for the ministry of Pastor and Shelli. They were a tremendous encouragement to us personally and in the ministry. They were a blessing to our church folks in their speaking and with their examples. We thank God for the work He did through their visit to Argentina. (You can read their summary of their trip here.) Thank you to the folks at TBT for lending us your pastor and pastor’s wife for a week! We look forward to reporting more of the fruit of this trip in the near future!

By His grace alone,

James and Amy Greenwood

Missions Conference

 

Pastor Brent and Shelli Armstrong

The preparation is done. The speaker has arrived (after a 24 hour plane delay!). The time has come for Missions Conference 2011! Please continue to pray for God to use the preaching of His Word to convict, touch, and work in hearts this week. Pray that He would call men, women, teens, and children out of this church body to serve Him full time. Pray that He would call a man to serve as the national pastor of this church. Please pray for several evangelistic activities during the week as well – a ladies’ meeting on Friday, a men’s cook-out on Saturday, and a seminar on business ethics on Monday.