We are very thankful to have our tickets purchased for returning to the US for our first furlough.
There are three main focuses that we plan on accomplishing during our time in the US is to:
1. See family that we have not seen in a long time.
2. Take care of the business end that is behind the scenes, such as renewing passports, drivers licences and many etceteras following.
3. Visit with as many of the churches as possible that have been holding us up in prayer during our first term.
We plan on arriving in the the US on the 20th of September and returning to Cordoba on the 16th of February.
(Interesting trivia side note: It was on February 16th of 1992 that I accepted the Lord and was saved!)
Gospel of John booklets sent off to be printed
This is a project that we have worked on and tweaked and re-edited several times during the last couple of years. At the time of this report we have worked back and forth performing minor layout edits and are waiting for the final product to come back to us. When the books are finished we will have 1000 copies in this first printing. We are very excited about the possibilities of having them in our hands to be able to use. They will be a wonderful blessing!
“Nobody is doing this!”
Most people prepare a book to be printed in order to sell it. When the printer brought me a sample copy of the “Gospel of John” booklet, he told me how impressed he was with not only the completeness of the content of the book but the fact that we are planning on giving this work away for free. He told me, “none of the other groups are doing anything like this.” People are many times unaccustomed to something of value being freely offered without any personal ulterior motive. Our motive is that people come to know Jesus as Savior and to begin to walk with Him in a life of discipleship.
A Lot to Get Finished Up Before Flying Out
We have been busy getting preparations arranged for both leaving the field for 5 months as well as planning our time there. We are thankful for a landlord who is very flexible in allowing us to pay our rent and many expenses in advance and to keep an eye on things for us while we will be gone. We will be continuing our language classes and the kids’ violin classes by Zoom while we are in the US. It will be very important for us to maintain contact with individuals here in Argentina while we are away so as to not go backwards too much during our absence from the place. We are planning to keep our podcast audio messages going out on the normal schedule while we are on furlough. The idea of being back in the US for only 5 months and getting all accomplished that we are planning feels daunting to say the least, but we have a great big God that daily strengthens us with His presence.
“My mother is blind. I will share your audio messages with her.”
This is what the friendly delivery driver told me after I handed him one of our flyers and shared a little about Jesus. He got really excited that we had so much available to scan and listen to. He explained to me that his mother was blind and liked listening to messages. He also told me that they were Jehovah Witnesses. Please pray for them that they may hear the truth and believe. Here in Argentina we have met several people who affiliated as a Jehovah Witness that had no idea what their church taught. Once a Jehovah Witness had knocked on my door and argued with me saying that he believed that Jesus was God in the flesh and that he was sure that they didn’t teach otherwise.
“I really like the flyer that you gave me.”
One day last week, my daughter and I went to a shop downtown that I had not been to in a few months. The man that works there had mentioned to me that gone through some of the messages that were on the flyer. Please pray for the salvation of people to whom we are speaking. Many times we will share the message with people around us and not know whether or not we are making an impact. Keep faithful in your part of the world sharing the most important message that has ever been written!
Thoughts from Stacie
It’s hard to know how to prepare for future events as plans can change so quickly. I didn’t want to get my hopes up about our first furlough. It almost looked like we might not be able to go on furlough this year. We’ve lived here in Argentina three years and we really need to come back and see our family. We were advised to go ahead and get our tickets. If we wait for a “perfect” time to travel it may never come. Then again it could even get worse. Now that we have our tickets we are able to focus on getting ready to travel.
It’s surreal to think that in only a few weeks we will be back in the United States. Pray for us as we will need to stay healthy and all 7 of us need to pass the Covid Tests in order to fly out.
Homeschooling and Flexible Schedule
One advantage we have for travel and ministry is Homeschool flexibility. We are able to travel really any time of the year and not have to worry about the kids missing school because we can homeschool anywhere any time. Our children have grown so much in the past three years. We are looking forward to picking them up some more curriculum that we will be able to use during our second term.
The only classes we will be missing will be the older children’s band classes but we will be returning to Argentina at the perfect time for the children to start band again in the new year. We will also miss the Homeschool Co-op that we were helping with but we’ll be starting a new year and semester of the co-op after our return. We’re really only missing a couple of months before the Argentine summer break begins.
Difference in Seasons
In August we had some really cold days of Winter and a few warm days. It’s hard to adjust to sudden temperature changes. Probably one of the crazy things we’re trying to anticipate is that we will be leaving Argentina in the Spring and arriving in the United States in the Fall all within a 24 hour period. Then in February we’ll be doing the same thing. We’ll be leaving the United States towards the end of winter and arriving in Argentina the end of Summer. Please pray for us as we really won’t have a lot of time for our bodies to adjust before we jump into another change.
So much to write about! God is so good!
A hot cup of coffee on a cold day
Sharing the message of the Lord many times begins with simple actions and gestures. One of the people on our list that gets our podcast messages is the water man. Each week he deliveres water to our door and has been receiving our audio messages since June last year. We always have a few moments to talk. One freezing day this month, when answering the door, I presented him a hot fresh cup of coffee. Please pray for him and his family.
First time to be able to drive outside of the city
After about a 10 month wait, we were able to get our papers for our car in 3 days! We were able to leave out of town for a couple of days and visit the countryside. The kids had such a fun time being able to do simple things like throwing a ball in the yard and playing in the dirt. We had an opportunity to share the gospel with the owner of the the AirBnB where we were staying. Please pray for him! He considers himself as a modern Argentine, meaning that he sees a relationship with God as something from his grandparents’ generation.
He did tell me that he suspected that there is more to having a relationship with God as he once had somebody working for him that had a bad drug addiction but broke the addiction after coming to Christ. He was receptive to receiving the podcast messages each week. Please pray that God will use one of the messages to help him to know the Lord!
Travel Fund has been provided
We received a couple of special offerings this month that helped us reach the goal we set for being able to go on furlough. Please pray for us as we are looking at dates and pricing tickets for our trip back to the US.
A month of immigration meetings
Here in Argentina there is a two week winter break in the middle of July. The government lifted the quarantine just in time for people take their vacations. Before we left the city Stacie and I stopped by immigrations again and were told to come back the following week. So after got back from our trip, we went back the following week and were told to come back with all our children two days later. That led to a whole afternoon with them still stuck on one part of our paperwork. They needed to close so they then told us they will email on Friday to let us know what we need to do.
Immigration papers hand delivered to our Door!
The next day after spending all Thursday afternoon at immigrations someone came to our door. We were surprised to see the lady that was working on our case the day before. She had brought our papers to us. We were so suprised. She really didn’t explain what had happened but the papers say “Permanent resident” on them so it looks like we have recieved the status and are now just waiting to receive our ID cards.
“I Love Podcasts!” the next day a new subscriber
We are constantly looking for opportunities to hand out flyers. We stopped at every store we had frequented during our stay out of town just to say “goodbye” and give them a flyer with free Bible Study lessons if they want to learn more.
These flyers have really been well received by the people we give them to. One Sunday afternoon we gave one to a delivery driver and he excitedly declared he loved podcasts. The next day there was a new subscriber. It might not be the same person but the audience is growing. Each time a person listens to our podcast they are receiving the gospel. We know God’s Word never returns void. Please pray for each one that they will listen and take the next steps.
Thoughts from Stacie
When we sent our report in June we were dealing with new lockdowns and things being closed. Schools were closed, extracurricular activities were halted. However just as tight as things were closed up in June things opened back up in July.
We celebrated 3 special holidays in July. One of the days celebrates the founding of the province of Cordoba. Which is the province we live in. Then for the 4th of July we celebrated our United States Indpendence Day. Then the 9th of July is Independence Day in Argentina. We celebrated each of these by adding new flags to our collection. The top two flags pictured are the US and the Argentine Flags and the lower two flags are the Texas and Cordoba flags. Each of these places have a special place in our hearts.
Argentina also celebrates Friends Day in July. Scott and I have been enjoying taking some traditional Argentine Folk Classes together. We enjoyed dressing up for Friends Day with the rest of the class. If you want to learn the language and culture of an area it really helps to jump in and find new things to do that forces yourself to interact with normal everyday people. Being willing to step out of our comfort zones and make new friends opens many doors to share the gospel.
Scott mentioned above that we were able to rent an AirBnB and spend a few days outside of the city. Where we live we do not have a yard. So whenever we are put under lockdown by the government there isn’t many places for the kids to play. When we heard the lockdown was to be lifted for vacations we took that opportunity to escape the city. (By the way: Driving by Kilometers Per Hour is very intimidating.)
The kids really loved being able to go outside without masks and play as much as they wanted during our get away. It was even safe enough for Joanna to go outside by herself. Freedom and safety is such a precious thing that many take for granted.
The kids really loved being able to go outside without masks and play as much as they wanted during our get away. It was even safe enough for Joanna to go outside by herself. Freedom and safety is such a precious thing that many take for granted.
Music Classes Resumed
When we returned from our trip we were happy that things remained open. All of the children’s band and violin classes started back up and in person classes resumed. Things aren’t quite the same as they used to be before the pandemic but we are trying to take any opportunity the Lord allows us to get to know people and share the gospel.
I want to thank everyone that has sent me love offerings. I have received them and will try to send out some Thank You notes. Mailing a letter here is quite a process so I hope to maybe get them all taken care of at once. If not I will try to catch up on letters when we go on furlough. Thank you for all the encouragement, love, and support you have shown us.
“Can I take a picture of that?”
When I handed one of our flyers to a man and shared with him all of the resources on it, he didn’t realize that he would be able to keep it. He was about to take a picture of the QR codes on the paper.
On our flyers there are codes that will take you to our PDF of our Gospel of John, our podcast and many individual audio lessons. Pray that each flyer passed out will make a difference in people’s lives.
Unexpected Phone Call and 4 Hour Visit
We received a phone call one night from the bread vendor with whom we were meeting with each week last year before the pandemic started. We spoke on the phone for about an hour catching up. Lately he has been selling face masks in the streets. He told me that he has been carrying the Bible that I gave him last year. Please pray for him!
Every time that we have met together I have emphasized how to be saved and the importance of sharing that message with others. On the phone call he had mentioned that he wanted to find something written that he could give out to people as he was talking to people and making sales in the streets. When I told him about our flyers, he was very interested and planned on coming over the next day at 11:00. At around 5 in the afternoon we heard a knock on our door. During the visit, we discussed several subjects and shared several verses. I gave him a large stack of flyers that he assured me he would use. Please pray that these flyers would be placed in the hands of many people!
“Can I cut your branches?”
This is the question that I have been asked at least four times this year by the same person. There is a man that walks down the street and wants to cut branches off of trees for pay. The answer to the first question is always the same. I expain that the tree in front of the house is not mine but the owner’s. I tell him where he can find the landlord in order to ask.
“Do you have a coat that I can have?” he asked.
I replied, “I already gave you my coat last month when you asked me for a coat!” At this point I wondered why he wasn’t wearing the coat that I already gave him.
As he pointed to his worn shoes he asks me, “Do you have any shoes that I can have?”
I then replied, “I also gave you a whole bag of shoes when you asked me last month.” Again, I was wondering why he wasn’t wearing any of what he was already given.
“Do you have anything that I can have?” he finally asked, hoping for money.
“One moment,” I return with some food that their family can cook.
Please pray for people to see their greatest need for a Savior, One who bled and died on a cruel Roman cross and three days later rose again and now invites all, rich or poor to repent and believe in order to be saved and forgiven!
A Cup of Locro
I had mentioned locro in previous reports. It is a stew made up of hominy, pumpkin, beans and various assorted meats.
We had eaten locro on several occasions and earlier this year watched it being made, but had not made any authentic locro up until now I bought the meat from the butcher that I had given the Bible to in the past. I asked his opinion on what he likes in his locro.
Cooking locro is an all day endeavor as it takes several hours to prepare. That evening my locro finished along with an authentic red sauce that I made following a recipe.
I personally hand delievered a cup of the fresh locro to the butcher at his shop. He did not know that I planned on bringing him some and was truly touched that we thought of him and cared to share with him! Please continue to pray for the various people that we are reaching out to in the neighborhood.
You can click here for the printable PDF of this report.
One Door Closes Others Open
One of the biggest blows for us this month was on the 8th. Marcelo decided to accept help from another church that does not share our core beliefs and were offering them several things. For about three weeks my wife and I noticed a change in the brother in regards to the preaching and teaching. We decided that it would be best to distance ourselves from their group. We are continuing to pray for them that the Lord would show them His will through His word.
Hugging the Bible
On the same evening that we had our last Saturday at Marcelo’s house, the Lord gave me a special opportunity to share the message of His love. That evening we felt so down about the events of the day and the closing of over two years of intently pouring into the life of Marcelo, his family and his people. I had gone to buy food for the next morning from a kiosk that I haven’t visited in a while. At the moment, I was more like the disciples at the well of Samaria, thinking of food, than looking for the Lord’s open doors, when the Lord gave me an opportunity to share with the owner of the store. After visiting for a while, I asked her if she had a Bible at home. She said that she no longer did as she had given away her Bible to a nephew. Within 5 minutes, she had a Bible in her hands. She was litterally hugging the Bible as we spoke. Please pray for her!
Later in the same week God gave me another opportunity to give someone a Bible that did not have one. With him it was my second time to speak with him. On the first occasion, he asked me several questions which I not only answered but also shared how to be saved. On this occasion after receiving a Bible he asked me many more questions and shared the gospel again. I pray that the Lord will use His word to reach him! The ironic thing is that these were all Bibles that I had originally bought to take to Marcelo’s, but if we would have taken them there then they wouldn’t have been on hand to give to them at just the right moment. God’s ways are higher than our ways!
Another Large Spike in Listeners to the Podcast
On the very next day, we were encouraged to see another large spike in listeners to the podcast. On the same day that we taught our last lesson at Marcelo’s house, we found out that there were 86 listens to the podcast on that day! I don’t know if it was 86 people listening to one message each or one person listening to 86 messages, but it was encouraging to know that somebody was listening.
Jesus is not just an addition to one of the many saints!
One thing that weighs on our hearts is the misunderstanding of who Jesus is and what he came to do. In the middle of trials, many people here seek their help by praying and crying out to different saints. Pray that people will understand that there is only help and salvation through Jesus!
Troubles at Immigrations
We followed all of the necessary steps for renewing our visas for this year. We were assured that we had everything needed to change our status to permant residency. When we came to the office on our appointed day, the kind lady that we spoke to last month was out on maternity leave. We were sent to another person that was obviously having a bad day. To tell the whole of this story in detail would require at least 10 hours, so I will spare you the details. It is enough to say that we spent 2 days that week in immigrations with no results at the end.
That same day I emailed the “Minister of the Cults” in Buenos Aires that would need to sign our document for us to finish our immigration process. Earlier this year it took us over a month to get this signature.
Also, the same day that I sent this email, the entire country returned to a strict lockdown again. As a result he emailed me back saying that there is nothing that they will do during the quarantine! Please pray! We know that God has all of these things in His power and that He is still in control of all things!
The return of the Quarantine has started a whole new level of fear in the people and problems.
“You’re finished with your immigration documents…
for last year”
We had gone to the immigration office and were there a little over 7 hours. At the end of the process, they handed me back my papers and said that everything was taken care of and finished for last year during the pandemic. Our next step would be to go home and start the long process over again for this year. We were a little discouraged at the moment over the seemingly never ending process, until another missionary encouraged us by letting us know that this was actually good news and that the next leg of the process would not be so bad since we are just completing three years and should be able to get our permanent visas this time. We have already uploaded our information to the website again and it appears that the process should be quicker going forward. We were able to pay part of the immigration fees online already and the rest we will be able to pay the first part at the bank and the other part at the post office.
Food and Fellowship
On the third of the month we had an outreach at Marcelo’s house and in the plaza close to his house. One of the older ladies in the Barrio that everyone calls “mama” and her son made a big pot of “Locro”. Locro is a traditional stew here in Cordoba that is popular as it begins to get colder and during special occasions. We had several people from the neighborhood come by and bring their kids. The Lord gave opportunities to speak with several people. The following Saturday we met together again to eat the leftovers from the previous week and talk about the Lord again. We have had a good number of kids and adults come back each week so far. My kids are taking a great part in preparing devotionals, songs and activities to share during the time on the Saturday outreach.
A Spike in Listeners to the Podcast
On the 21st of the month we had a large spike in listeners to the podcast. During the month we have given out flyers to several people and are not sure where the new traffic is from, but are excited when people are listening. Many times analytics can be more discouraging than encouraging in the moment when you are sharing all of your heart in a message and it appears that only a few heard it. We have to remember that we are responsible for sewing the seeds and watering them and God is responsible for the increase. It has been a great blessing having these flyers ready to give to somebody that we meet. I keep several in my Bible case when I am out and about. The Lord has given us several opportunities to share with people!
Do you have a Bible at home?
This was the question that I asked the butcher two weeks ago. The Lord opened up a moment to share again with one of the butchers that I had mentioned to you all before. He told me that he had been going through some of the things on the flyer that we gave him previously. When I asked him if he owned a Bible, he said that he did not. I told him, “we will take care of that today!” Within 5 minutes he had a Bible in his hands! I could tell that he was genuinely touched by this. We can see the Lord working. This was a moment where God had changed our original plans for that evening and opened the door for me to talk with this butcher whom I have had other like conversations with in the past. Sometimes we don’t understand why our plans change but we try to stay vigilant for the open doors God provides along the way. Sometimes God gives us the exact right words to say at the very moment it needs to be heard. Please continue to pray for the people with whom we are speaking and pray that the Lord gives us both wisdom and timing in our words!
Thoughts from Stacie
Surprise Bible School
April was a bit of an interesting month. The previous months we resumed meeting each Wednesday for the home Bible Study in a nearby neighborhood. I also resumed teaching the children’s Bible lesson before the preaching each Wednesday. Then Marcelo expressed a desire to do a youth outreach on Saturdays. So we agreed to help. The Saturday before Easter I was asked to reteach the Passover lesson I presented that Wednesday. It takes a lot of work for me to prepare my lessons in Spanish and the illustrations for them. My lessons probably seem very simple to those that hear me but making myself clear in another language isn’t easy. I agreed to reteach the one lesson but did not realize they wanted me to bring a lesson the following Saturdays as well.
The kids love seeing what I surprise them with each week but I was not prepared to come up with two such lessons a week. After a little confusion we figured out what they were wanting and organized a working plan where I still only have one lesson to prepare for Wednesday evenings. It really blessed us to have our teenagers Hannah and Jonathan come to us and volunteer to help us out with the Saturday Bible School. Now each Saturday I start by giving a review of the previous Wednesday night’s lesson and review the memory verse with the children. Then Hannah or Jonathan bring a short devotional on a similar topic. Then Scott leads a game and brings a short lesson. Afterwards we share a snack with the kids. We try to keep the lessons, games, and devotionals inside of an hour followed by an hour of fellowship where the kids can play with their friends.
Also in April we were approached with the opportunity to reach out to other homeschool families in Argentina. With many school shutdowns last year there has been a surge in Argentine families beginning to homeschool. Another missionary wife ,knowing we’ve homeschooled a long time, reached out to me asking if our family would like to participate and help in a Homeschool Cooperative that she and a few other mothers were heading up. She assured me it would not be a ministry of any particular denomination or church but just a group of homeschooling families sharing knowledge, resources, and encouragement with other homeschooling families here in Argentina.
While it’s not considered a ministry of a particular church, it is in a sense a personal ministry for each of us involved. For our family it’s an opportunity to meet more families and see what doors God opens from it. We started the end of April with 9 or 10 families represented from all over the Cordoba Province not just from the city where we are meeting. Most of the children attending are Elementary and Junior High ages. We hope we will see these families again in May and that maybe God will use these contacts to open doors in other towns around our city and other areas here in Argentina.
Outreach to the Youth on Saturday
Marcelo had mentioned to me that in addition to the Bible school that we are having for the younger kids on Wednesday before the preaching, he wanted to try having an outreach to the older youth in his barrio (neighborhood). We have been having a special time on Saturday night with snacks, games, singing and a Bible study. While teaching the Bible study, I can tell that some of these kids are listening intently and processing the information. Much of what these kids have seen and experienced in their home lives cannot be put into words. Please pray!
Next Saturday we are planning on having a time in the afternoon to take a soccer ball down to one of the plazas close to his house and talk to the kids about the Lord. Please pray for not only salvation of those hearing but for wisdom and safety as there is no police presence in this area that is very troubled. His neighborhood is referred to as “tierra de nadie” or “no man’s land” You that regularly pray for us and for the people of Argentina have our thanks with words that also cannot be expressed!
Homelessness is also on the Rise
In the last few months we have seen much more open homelessness and street vendors than normal.
Homelessness. Shacks being set up by the homeless is not anything new, however the number has increased as well as the places where they are setting up a place to stay. There are several “villas”, small mini villages of houses made of cardboard and crates. If you were traveling through different parts of the city, you had to know where these were for personal safety. As we see the homelessness and desparation increase, robberies and other crimes have also increased. There have been an increase of robberies in the neighborhood where we live as well.
Street vendors. In past months it was very common to see several street vendors in the center. Now due to the increase in the number of street vendors there is much more activity in smaller neighborhoods. Please pray that people will not only come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but will repent of their sins and completely trust Jesus for salvation.
“Wow, can I have one too!”
This is what one of the butchers asked me as I had given his friend one of our flyers. The full color flyers that we had printed have been a great success! We have already handed out many of these not only in our neigborhood but in the center as well. Several business owners that are on our podcast Whatsapp list have made room for a stack of our flyers in their stores. One of them had moved one of their own to another spot and had said that the one that we had was more important and needed a more visible spot. Please pray for two butcher shops in the neighborhood, as I had an opportunity to share the gospel in both places. There is a great need but also a great distrust of any organized religion. Pray that teaching gently with patience and love will win the hearts of the ones that so badly need to understand God’s great plan of salvation 2 Timothy 2:22-26
Please pray for us as we have an appointment with immigrations on the first week of April.
We celebrated 2 birthdays in March.
Elijah’s Birthday was the 19th and Hannah’s on the 26th.
It was a blessing to be able to invite some friends to our home for both parties.
You can also view this and our past reports on our Monthly Reports Page.
Stacie is teaching a weekly kids’ class!
It has been great getting to have face to face services at Marcelo’s house again. He had asked me to ask Stacie if she would like to work up a lesson before the Bible study on Wednesday nights. Last year the night before the quarantine started, we had our first big outreach like this with several kids present. Since starting again this year we have had much smaller numbers but everyone present has been throughly enjoying the time together.
We understand you better now!
This is what I was told one night after preaching on Wednesday night. They told me that before they had a harder time figuring out what it was that I was saying but now they were able to understand more. I guess that the language classes have been paying off!
If you have ever been in a cross-cultural situation where you are learning another language to preach and teach the heart of God and the depths of His word, then you will understand the difficulty. Over the last year during quarantine we have continued our language classes through Zoom and have continued to teach on the podcast and through Youtube and Whatsapp. There is not a day that goes by that we are not learning a new word or phrase and how to best apply the new found knowledge. Please continue to pray that the Lord, who made the tongue, would continue to aid us as we speak His message to the world!
5000 full color flyers printed!
We finished up teaching through the 22 doctrinal statements this month on the podcast. After finishing up the teaching, we made a separate post for each doctrine and linked the audio lessons to our “what we believe” page on our website. I then made a full color, single-fold flyer on high-quality, glossy paper that has the plan of salvation with a QR code to the “gospel of John” booklet that we prepared previously. Also on the front of the flyer is information on how to connect to the weekly teaching on the podcast and website. On the inside and back cover it shows the 22 doctrinal statements under the title of “how to recognize a scriptural church, a study in christian doctrine”. Next to each doctrinal statement is a QR code that will take them to my audio teaching on the subject.
We plan on passing these out over the next few months and praying that the seeds that are sown would take root. Our first purpose is to see people saved. Secondly, our purpose is to begin the discipleship process. We are praying that through this the Lord would touch hearts to open their home for a Bible study where they can invite their friends and family to hear the word of life. Even if half of one percent respond by wanting to have a home Bible study it will have been worth the effort!
Greek New Testament Parsing Guide translated into Spanish!
We would like to express our great thanks to Maurice Robinson for allowing me to translate his work “The online Greek New Testament parsing and declensions for all occurring forms” into Spanish. To my knowledge nothing like this existed before in Spanish and if it did it wasn’t freely available. This resource will be a great blessing to students of the Greek Scriptures and New Testament and will be made freely available on our website. It has an alphabetical vocabulary of the entire Greek New Testament with its Strong’s numbers and its grammar codes. We pray that it might be a great resource. I believe that it will fill a gap in the Spanish speaking world. It may be downloaded, copied, shared or printed as long as the content is not modified and it remains free of charge. Pray for us as we continue to share Jesus with a lost and dying world!
Thoughts from Stacie
We appreciate having so many people praying for us. We never know what doors will open at any moment. One minute we think our schedule will be going one way and just one phone call or conversation later doors open to go another direction. After almost a year of closed physical doors where we had to do things digitally, now doors are beginning to open up in the physical world. The kids will be going back to in person band and violin classes again. Please pray for our children as they interact with other children again in Spanish. We are coming out of the long lockdown of 2020 feeling a little shyer than before. It feels strange with all the mandatory masks and self distancing protocols getting in the way of good communication. Please pray for us that we are able to conquer these barriers in order to share the gospel with those we will be seeing regularly.
Happy New Year and Off to a Good Start
Every year my family begins the year by reflecting on the goals set during the last year to compare what we wrote versus what was accomplished. We always find that many goals were met, some were lost along the way and other goals that we had not initially planned were later added and finished. 2020 did not turn out how anyone initially planned but we have been amazed by God’s goodness as He added to our ministry here in Argentina. With the start of 2021 there was a lot of talk about the government in Argentina returning us to a strict quarantine. (The quarantine never was officially lifted in December but people en masse acted as though it did) There were several travel restrictions and it was believed that on the 15th of the month that it would possibly become stricter again. Thankfully, that time came and went without any new government restriction. We pray that things will continue to open up further and look forward to possibilities in the future.
“Can we have Jackie Chan’s Autograph?”
The Lord gave me the opportunity to share the gospel with a homeless couple. I had just come from a vegetable store and bought a sale on lettuce and tomatoes. As I was walking home, I saw a homeless couple that had piled up boxes to make an enclosure on the side of the road. It was like the Lord was telling me in my heart to share some of the produce that I just bought. It turned out that they had a box full of rabbits under a blanket that they did not have food for. I began to share the gospel with them.
After they listened to the presentation, they had a request. They said that they wanted me to get them Jackie Chan’s autograph for them. You see, here in Argentina, many people seem to think that everyone in the US is extremely rich and knows everyone famous. They told me that they really liked Jackie Chan’s movies and really wanted his autograph.
I let them know that I really didn’t know that many famous people except one that was the most important of all time, Jesus Christ! From there I was able to share the gospel a second time.
Later that day I returned with a Bible that they could keep. I found that they changed addresses. They had moved their things to the other side of the road! He told me that he would read the Bible that I brought them. She told me that she would not read it since she was Catholic and didn’t need to read the Bible. Please pray for them and many like them!
Learning to Drive All Over Again
We finally received our vehicle title towards the end of the month. We have had the car parked before this as we waited for it. It would be very hard to sum up in a few words how strange it is to drive for the first time in the busy city after not having driven in over two years. Part of acquiring culture includes conquering strange and irrational fears that seem to surface at strange times.
Stacie and I both had embarrassing, funny experiences from that day that didn’t seem very funny when we were in the middle of them but at the end of the day we laughed hard together about each one. Thankfully we ended the whole month with nothing damaged except for our pride.
We are still waiting for our information card for our car that should have come with the title. We will not be able to drive outside of the town without this important card. Please pray that we can get it soon!
First Time to Get to Meet Together in Almost 10 Months
At the end of the month, we were able to be with Marcelo’s family in their house for a Bible study. Again, words cannot express how much we have missed being with them personally on Wednesday nights. We had about a 3 hour Bible study and did not get home until after midnight. We will continue sending out our podcast, Whatsapp, Facebook and Youtube messages each week and are looking for what the Lord has in store for us next in person!
Finishing Up Projects
|One of the projects that we |
have been working on is
teaching through the 22
We should be finishing this
series up by the middle of
February. When it is finished we will be able to point people with questions about what we believe to this set of lessons much like the “Doctrine Project” that ABA Media had prepared.
|Also about the middle of February we should be finishing up our study in the Sermon on the Mount. It has been a study about the basics of descipleship. We plan on orginizing it like the other study into a structured study that we can lead people through.|
|We are also about to finish up a PDF of a Greek/Spanish New Testament parsing guide that will be able to be freely shared and used in our Spanish speaking seminaries and as an aid to Spanish speaking pastors and Greek students anywhere!|
Furlough 2021? 2022?
One of the events that we are planning is our first furlough. We would like to be back in the states around October 2021, but that will depend on many things that are outside of our control. We will be starting a fund to offset the price of travel. Please be in prayer for this item as we have several items of business that will need to be taken care of at some point in the mid to near future.
Thoughts from Stacie
Scott had enough in the report to fill a whole page but I felt like adding a little from my perspective so let’s just add a third page for those of you that like the behind the scenes.
In January we celebrated Joanna’s 4th birthday. She had a fun day complete with a shopping date with Daddy and her first tea party using my fancy tea set that I got for Christmas.
When we lived in the States I always loved to pull out my fancy dishes and have tea parties with the kids. I couldn’t bring my tea set with me so we hadn’t had a fancy tea party since we moved to Argentina. When we first moved here I showed Scott a set that reminded me of our wedding set. He remembered and surprised me with that complete set for this past Christmas and told me we could add to it if we wanted to invite guests in the future.
Another fun thing that happened this month was a friend of mine here in Argentina asked me if they could borrow our sons for a video they were doing for a world wide youth ministry.
They just needed a couple of boys around Jonathan and Elijah’s ages to represent a boy and his brother whose mother taught them about world missions and one of them would grow up to be a missionary.
I enjoyed getting to visit with my friend during the video shoot and Jonathan and Elijah were excited to be a part of a missionary story. They feel like world famous actors even if it is just for one scene in a short film.
Driving has been a real adventure. It’s been a couple years or so since I’ve driven a car and even longer since I’ve driven a stick shift. I can still hear my dad’s voice saying not to ride the clutch. Which means I still want to ride that clutch. But after a few days of driving I’m beginning to feel a little more confident again and am hoping to be able to get on a longer road outside of the city sometime soon to move beyond the 2nd gear.
It’s a beautiful car and the kids all said it was comfortable for them too. Scott was able to install the taillight this month and now we are only waiting to get our car’s identity card that will allow us to drive outside of the city. Once that arrives we can plan a longer family road trip.
We already feel the difference this car will make in our ministry. We were all able to travel together to another neighborhood where in the past we had a Bible Study before we were shutdown in quarantine.
Before it took two taxis to get us to that neighborhood and if we got a ride back it took either two cars or two trips with half of us having to wait for a ride. This time we were all able to go together in our own car. It seats seven but is small enough to fit in a normal car size parking space.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. We are so thankful that God uses His people to do His work. With God’s help and the encouragement you all give us, we are able to move forward quicker through the doors the Lord opens before us.
May God richly bless you in all that you do for Him and the spread of the gospel around the world.
A Special Thank You for the Special Offering to buy Bibles and Print the Gospel of John Book
This year, while we were in quarantine, I finished preparing a Gospel of John booklet that has a clear plan of salvation, the complete text of the Gospel of John with the beginning steps of discipleship at the end. About a month ago a church, which desired to remain anonymous, had connected with us on what they could do to help us share the Gospel here in Argentina. We mentioned our desire to print these booklets to be able to give to people that we meet.
They had graciously voted to send $1,000 to either print the Gospel booklet or buy Bibles. We will be looking for the best options for getting them printed as soon as possible. This booklet will be a great resource as it could be used not only to visually share the Gospel, but also as a basic study guide for beginning discipleship sessions with someone. On the back of the book there are links to our Podcast as well as our Youtube channel. If we can get somebody plugged into our podcast we can continue to speak the Word of life into their lives. This book is free to download and copy, so if you know anyone in your community that speaks Spanish you can freely share it with them!
We Miss Having Places Like O’Reilly or Autozone
Culture in other countries can be very funny sometimes. We miss the fact that in the US, every town has an Autozone, ABC or some kind of autoparts store. The experience is usually very straightforward. You enter the store, buy your part and leave. Done.
Here in Argentina, in a city of almost one and a half million people, it was very difficult to by the part that we needed for the car recently purchased. When we bought the car, we bought it at a discount, knowing that it was going to need the rear light assembly. When asking whether the part was in stock, the auto parts store did not have one and were unwilling to order one from the factory for fear that the price would change while it was being shipped.
They gave me the number of someone else that might have the part. They did not, but they told me of another that would have the part. They did not but were willing to order it with a 7-10 day wait. I told them to order the part and two weeks later received notice that it came in.
When I arrived with the money to pay for it, they explained that it was not there but at the other location on the other side of town. He printed off the bill for the part and I traveled to the other side of town and was able to get the part that we needed. After several trips and translations, we finally have that part that we need! Praise the Lord!
The Lord Opens Up Opportunities to Share the Gospel
One thing that is nice about a large city like Cordoba is that you have great potential to meet new people. There are many times that you will meet someone for the first time and possibly never see them again. It is a great opportunity to share the Gospel. This month had been no exception! From the people that I get to talk to regularly to people that we met that were selling items for Christmas.
One such person was the green haired young man that came to Cordoba to take college classes right before the pandemic hit. While he was not very interested in making Jesus the Lord of his life, he did listen to the gospel and later I shared the link to our podcast. Pray for him.
Or the taxi driver that was sad when we got to our destination because he was enjoying the discussion. Please pray that the Lord gives us wisdom in all our words, actions and decisions!
At the end of the month, our hearts sank with the knowledge that abortion had been legalized here in the country. Earlier in the month we even saw a notice by two women that wanted to become pregnant just to be the first in line to abort their babies. I am having a hard time even writing this paragraph without tears in my eyes over the evil rebellion in the heart of people. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Thoughts from Stacie
Thank You for making our Christmas so Special!
Christmas is usually an unsure time of year and some years are a little tighter than others. Our children are really sweet though and are always excited for Christmas no matter how many gifts are under the tree.
This year because of several generous Christmas offerings we received we were able to get some really special gifts for not only our children here in Argentina but also to send a little something special to our State side children as well.
The five children here were especially excited a couple of days before Christmas when we gave each of them money to go out and buy gifts for me and Scott. I think they might have been more excited for us to open our gifts than they were to open theirs.
Christmas Eve we set out their gifts after they were in bed and Christmas morning they set our gifts around the tree. After our Christmas morning Bible reading where we read about the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke and Matthew, they wanted us to open our gifts from them first.
We have the car but are still waiting on paperwork.
The missionaries that sold us the car were about to go on furlough, so it was in our best interest to pick up the car with or without all of the papers finished. The kids were so excited when we went to pick it up. They have been talking about all of the things that we would be able to do after getting the car. We were at least able to take the kids around the block quickly before parking it. We are renting a parking garage space a couple of blocks from the house as we have no place to park the car at the house. Pray for us that we can get all of the paperwork finished and get our Argentine drivers licenses soon, so we can enjoy the use of the vehicle. We are hoping that we can have some of this finished sometime in December.
At the end of the month of November it made 256 days of continuous quarantine here in Argentina. We are looking forward to possibility of inviting people to our home and having face to face meetings again with people. It is great to be able to share the gospel with people one on one and teach and preach through the podcast, Whatsapp, YouTube and Zoom, but words cannot express how much we as a family have longed for having a good old fashioned come to meeting. I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, because God has truly been good to us.
Sharing the Gospel with people
The Lord is very good at providing opportunities to share His word. Pray for the people that I am able to talk to on a regular basis that the Lord will continue to open the door for conversations about Him. To give an example, one day this month I had about two or three errands that I needed to take care of. Each place that I went that day, I spent between 15 minutes to a half hour visiting and the Lord opened the opportunity that day to share the Gospel message. Please pray as we continue to share and sow seeds.
Rebuilding the podcast after being sick
At the end of the month of October my wife and I had both been sick for about two weeks. The podcast suffered from missing a week. The first week of sickness I kept the normal full schedule. During the second week of the podcast I had to stop the pace that I had set. We had gone in one week from averaging 200 listens per week to about 25 per week. After staying at a reduced number for the month of November we started picking up more listeners by the end of the month. It is very nice being able to refer new people that I meet to the podcast.
After being sick, we reviewed and revised the podcast schedule to be a little more sane and maintainable. Between the podcast, WhatsApp, YouTube and Zoom, I was preparing and teaching 10 messages per week and realized that I had to slow down. We have gone from having a message daily on the podcast to a message on Sunday and Wednesday. On YouTube we went from a message on Monday and Friday to one message per week on Monday. I am still teaching a Greek class on Thursdays with the seminary in Columbia. The lightening of the load has helped in a great way to do everything better.
Invited to preach by Zoom to the group in Carlos Pellegrini, Santa Fe
We were thankful for the invitation by brother Oscar to preach to their group in the province of Santa Fe by zoom. Over the last 8 months of quarantine they have had a very active group on Whatsapp and have been growing in their walk with the Lord. Continue to pray for the ones in the group that are still in need of Salvation.
A Few Words from Stacie
Thanksgiving came and we had a great time fixing each child’s favorite dish for our Thanksgiving dinner. Scott is an amazing cook and managed to make us an amazing pumpkin pie from scratch without even using a recipe.
Face Masks I know there is a big debate over the use of face masks. Summer has arrived here in Argentina and face masks are mandatory except for little children. No one really questions this law some may find loop holes around it but basically everyone wears a face mask no questions asked. One of the days this month I was walking after doing a little Christmas shopping with one of the kids when we passed a swarm of flying gnats. I realized a blessing we can be thankful for with face masks. Not a single gnat has flown into my mouth nor nose since I’ve been wearing a face mask. The lesson… there is something to be thankful for in every trial.