“Thou are not far from the kingdom of God”
This is the verse that I was thinking about while talking to the electrician as he was working on our building. He was raised and baptized Roman Catholic but did not identify as a religious person or a follower of God. As we had a great conversation, I could tell that he had a very good work ethic. He did not believe in the priests and that a person needed to go through a Catholic priest to get to God (Directly opposed to standard Catholic teaching). I shared what Jesus did for us on the cross to open up that reality that all mankind could come to God through His sacrifice! It is a hard thing for a person like him to connect the dots and see his great need of a savior. Many people are close to understanding the process of salvation but oh, so far away at the same time!
“Your son gave me a tract!”
We had a couple that recently moved to Argentina from Ecuador that has visited now for a couple of weeks. They are both doctors and are planning of establishing practices here in Cordoba. A couple of weeks ago my son, Jonathan, had passed them a tract in the plaza in front of the building and based on that contact, they have come. Please pray for them as we continue to minister to them.
The word of reconciliation
During this month there were two very interesting events that took place. One was being invited to the baptism of the woman that gave us so much grief almost a year ago! We are thankful that she is trying to go forward in following the Lord and wish the best for her. The church that baptized her is an independent Baptist work on the other side of town. The missionary and his wife are a very good family from Mexico serving here in Argentina. It was a strange flood of emotions being there that morning as we not only saw her but also the child and her mother that used to come each week to our meetings there in Malvinas.
In truth, nothing was ever resolved as we were never allowed the opportunity to have face to face discussion over the problems we had there. We were glad to be able to see them and have at least some closure on our part. We were finally able to say goodbye to Samuel who barely remembers us.
The second event was a visit from the family that we once helped with a home Bible study during our first term here. We had dedicated many hours with them and the people of their neighborhood. They wanted us to know how badly they felt for how things turned out because of their decisions back in 2021. Pray for them as they sort several things out and how they seek God’s wisdom in how to proceed from here.
We were so happy to this young boy at church. He is one that we were ministering to in Malvinas. We had lost a lot of sleep over the last year thinking about him without having a scriptural church in his neighborhood. It did this preacher’s heart good to find him unexpectedly in a church!
“I have always wanted to see a tornado!”
This was from a conversation that my wife had with a pet store worker as she was buying food for our cat! When people hear that we came from Texas, they have very strange ideas of what people or life is like as their perception is based on TV and movies. She decided not to shatter the young guys dreams of one day witnessing a real Texas tornado.
~Thoughts from Stacie~
Towards the beginning of November Hannah and I went to a yearly women’s retreat that is held with several Baptist churches and missions within the Cordoba province. We’ve attended this retreat twice before and this was our first year to not have anyone to bring with us. Some of the ladies at the retreat were friends that we hadn’t seen since the previous retreat a year ago.
I knew it would be hard to explain why we no longer are meeting in Malvinas. To add to the awkwardness one of the ladies from Malvinas that we brought with us last year actually attended the retreat this year but with a different group. Thankfully I was able to give the simple answer that the doors closed for us out there and turned the subject toward our new work and new location.
Visitation on Jonathan’s Birthday
Hannah and I left the retreat early as we had the youth group from Templo Bautista come help us pass out flyers and tracts inviting people to join our Bible Study on Sunday evenings. We have truly been blessed by their encouragement. After canvasing the neighborhood we celebrated Jonathan’s Birthday by sharing cake with all those who came.
Our First Four Services
We had a really good attendance the first service in our new location. Everything went extremely well. We knew we would have a huge attendance that first Sunday as several members of Templo Bautista including their pastor came to help and encourage us. We were really glad to have the 5 visitors from the neighborhood. The second Bible Study we had 2 repeat visitors and 2 new visitors from the neighborhood. Then the 3rd Sunday of November just our family was there but we held service just like we had a full crowd. We did have a woman come in to ask for money from our kids. She didn’t want to stay for the message though.
However we were happy to see our 2 regular visitors come and 2 new visitors the last Sunday of November. The Lord is our greatest encourager. And as of the writing of this report we have had another family visit our services. You will hear more about them in our next report.
Surprise Invitation to a Baptismal Service
Scott mentioned the Baptism already but I thought I would add that it was the lady Hannah and I saw at the retreat that reached out to me after 9 months of silence to invite us to her Baptism. The missionary pastor of that church actually called Scott when she started visiting their services so they were very considerate of our part out there. While going to the baptism didn’t really solve any of the problems in Malvinas it was good to get to see some of those we hadn’t had the chance to say goodbye to before.
I just want to share a little about one of the couples that has been coming each week to our Bible Study. The wife is a friend of mine who used to hostess a ladies’ Bible Study in her home 5 years ago when we first moved to Argentina. I knew she lived close to where we are meeting but never thought she would visit us this often. I was so happy when she and her husband came in for our first meeting. She was a real encouragement to me during those early days of learning the language and culture here in Argentina. I hope we are able to be a blessing to her and her husband as well.
27th Wedding Anniversary
Scott and I were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, 1996. We have learned a lot during these past 27 years. We were both just a couple of young starry eyed kids when we first married. This year I reserved us a hotel in a town about a 30 minute drive from where we live. This is the first year that all our children have been old enough for us to leave them alone for a couple of nights. We enjoyed some quiet time away from all the distractions of kids and life. It was a good time of rest, relaxation, and reminiscing over the years we’ve been together. The kids did a good job taking care of each other while we were gone and even surprised us with a clean house when we got back.
End of Year Concerts
At the end of November we had a few recitals and concerts to mark the closing of the academic year here in Argentina. We have only one more recital and concert to go in December but the majority of the classes have ended now. The children have really grown so much this year not only physically but academically as well. We are looking forward to seeing how the Lord uses our children’s musical talents now and in the future.