Faithful stewards. That phrase best describes James and Joyce Sechrest. As furlough replacement missionaries, they were entrusted with our house, our dog, our church, but most importantly, the care of souls here in Pilar. For over five months they faithfully stewarded each one with great diligence and love. They left our house better than they found it, a very spoiled Yorkie (in a good way), and a footprint of godliness, kindness, and pastoral care in the hearts of people in this community and the Pilar church. Praise God for their example and ministry.
After some bittersweet farewells, we hopped on the plane bound for Buenos Aires! God gave us grace through all the hurdles of customs and typical traveling trials. The Crowders greeted us at the airport, and James was excited to get behind the wheel of his manual transmission to maneuver through big city traffic again. We honestly felt like we had been gone 5 days instead of 5 months in the sense of feeling “at home” in our surroundings right away.
James and the deacons had a debriefing meeting to discuss what they had learned during our absence as well as to plan out the year. We met five new people on Sunday who have begun attending since we’ve left. We are excited to see how God will continue to work.
We praise the Lord for the ministry of Roger and Sharon Crowder during our furlough. They took excellent care of our house and the ministry. Many church folks gave testimonies of how their example has impacted them. One resounding message we heard was, “I want to finish my life well as they are doing. Instead of retiring and putting my feet up, I want to keep working for the Lord as long as I am physically able.” They allowed God to work through them to encourage the spiritual leaders to even greater service. We hope and pray that the fire they kindled will lead to God calling a man to be the permanent pastor of this work.