Sunday, April 4th, we visited Nevill’s Chapel Baptist Church for our first deputation appointment after Scott resigned his pastorate at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Our appointments at this point have been to primarily see if someone would consider being our sending church.
That Saturday evening we pulled our travel trailer to their trailer hook-up spot and took the kids to Sunday School. Everyone was so nice to our family and we enjoyed the services.
That morning we were blessed to witness the baptism of Bro. Griffith’s grandson and to hear Bro. Griffith preach.
That afternoon we had dinner with Bro. Findley and were able to hear how God has been working in Nevill’s Chapel. We were also able to share what God has been doing in our lives and our plans are on the field.
We went back to Nevill’s Chapel for their evening services and Scott presented our burden to go to Argentina to start new churches throughout the country. Currently we have no churches or mission works from the American Baptist Association in Argentina.
Last Sunday night, April 11, as we were driving to the World Mission Seminar, we received a call from the pastor announcing that the church voted that night to be our sending church.
We now have a sending church! We are so blessed to have a church with such a heart for missions to come along side us and send us to Argentina. What great news to be able to share with our friends at the World Mission Seminar. We are now at a new level of preparing to go.
We are starting an email list for our monthly newsletter that we will be preparing to send out May 1st. We would love for you to sign up to follow us on our journey.
During business meeting, February 14, 2016, Scott gave New Hope Missionary Baptist Church his notice of resignation as pastor.
After much prayer and discussion we decided it was time to step out in faith and free up our Sundays to be available to speak at potential sending churches.
Our last Sunday was March 27, Easter Sunday.
We chose Easter in order to take one last picture of our youth standing in front of the church. Every year for the past eight years we have taken pictures and seen how much the children grow in each one.
To the outside world uprooting our family and moving into a travel trailer to pursue God’s calling for us to go to Argentina seems crazy. However we know what God is calling us to do and all we want is to follow His leading and step through the doors He opens before us.
We enjoyed a time of food and fellowship with our friends and church members.
After the fellowship we sat in the church building with our children playing instruments and singing together.
The hardest part of all this transition is saying good-bye to friends we have come to love over these past eight years. It’s very hard to see tears filling in their eyes knowing things won’t be the same for us nor for them.
Despite the pain of saying good-bye we are still excited to see what the Lord will do in this next phase of our life.
We have an awesome God and we look forward to going through the next doors He opens for us.
Here is a video of me preaching in Pilar, Argentina on September 21, 2014. It was a great service that day. The Sunday school had divided into the men and the women. I enjoyed meeting some brethren from Peru and from Paraguay that were there at there church.
There was a older couple that was visiting for the first time at the church. After the preaching that morning, a woman prayed to receive Christ.
Later that day we went to the park to pass out tracks and talk to people about the Lord. The people that we talked to were very receptive. I spoke with a man who had a speech impediment from his past injuries in a bad motorcycle accident. I spoke to him about Jesus and invited him to the church that I had preached at that morning. He was deeply touched that someone would invite him to come. That day was the only opportunity that I had to talk with him. I wonder what had become of him. Maybe one day I will see him again in this life and even better if I see him in heaven. There are millions just like him that are waiting for someone to reach out to them and care.
In my last post about our 3rd Week in Argentina I told about our time in Buenos Aires, Pilar, and Posadas. God really blessed us during the week that we spent in those cities.
One thing I forgot to mention in our 3rd week post was the Quinceñera. There was a preacher’s daughter that was having a 15th Birthday party and the Greenwoods’ daughter was invited to the party. Scott had the opportunity to talk with a lot of preachers we would not have had time to meet if it hadn’t been for that party. After the party when we all went to pick up their daughter we talked with several preachers from different parts of the country that we had talked about wanting to visit.
God worked in so many ways like that on this trip. It is like He is holding open the doors for us saying, “Yes, go this way. You’re headed in the right direction.”
Thursday, September 25: Scott and I went to the station and caught the bus back to Córdoba, Argentina.
While on the bus we met three college students from the United States. Any time you here the words, “Cool!” and “Like” in the same sentence you can pretty much tell where they are from. 🙂
We really had a lot of opportunities to talk about God on this trip. Every time someone asked us why we were there, we were able to share the burden God has laid on our hearts.
After explaining the purpose of our trip to the college students behind us, Scott struck up a conversation with the man in the seat in front of us. The man was raised a Jehovah Witness and Scott was able to talk with him for at least an hour or two about Jesus and the Bible.
Friday, September 26: We spent a very cold night on the bus and were happy that we had a room reserved for the rest of our week.
We went to a restaurant for a late breakfast. I learned that a submarino is not a submarine sandwich. I also learned that I like submarinos which are a hot chocolate milk. After breakfast we walked to a section of the city we hadn’t visited yet.
We walked around a park and visited the Museum of Natural Science. Walking around the museum reading all the signs in Spanish was very good for our vocabulary. We learned some new words.
Saturday, September 27, 2014:
We caught up on some writing and then that evening we went to an improvisational show one of our first friends in Argentina was performing. The two actors were acting out the life of a teenage girl that they picked from the audience. I didn’t understand all of it but I understood some and Scott explained the rest to me on our walk back to our hostel. They were funny and we had fun. Several of the friends we met during our first day in the country were there. We enjoyed the show and the company of our friends.
Sunday, September 28, 2014:
The last of our trip we had two churches left to visit that we had not been to before on our trip but they were recommend to us at different times on our trip.
We visited the morning service of a Non-Denominational Church during their morning service. Again I didn’t understand much but afterward Scott told me it wasn’t bad. There was quite a crowd there and they had a nice building. We visited with a lady before the services. After services were over we pretty much disappeared into the crowd and headed out to get a bite to eat and then back to our hostel.
Sunday evening we got on a bus and went to Iglesia Bautista Vida Abundante (Abundant Life Baptist Church) on the south side of Córdoba. We walked a short way from the bus stop to the church.
We made it to the front gate of the church early. We didn’t have to wait long until a cute little blonde headed girl about Elijah’s age came outside and talked with us in Spanish through the fence. She said that the pastor was not there but her father was inside. At that moment her father came out and greeted us in Spanish as well.
We went inside and met the man’s wife who asked us in Spanish, “Where are you from?”
Scott replied, “Estados Unidos en el estado de Texas.”
She replied, “Cool!” and English immediately commenced.
The two families we first met there were both Missionaries. They had only been there a few months and were very happy to share with us their experiences in getting their residence papers and moving onto the field. You can read more about them at the The Averys Online.
We then met the pastor and enjoyed their services. We were really impressed by the Bible drill they had at the beginning of their evening service. They had everyone hold their Bibles up. One person called out the text to look up and whoever found the passage first stood up and read it. Scott and I both liked how that taught the members to learn their Bibles and how to find things themselves.
That night Scott and I followed both families to one of their homes to visit and fellowship. We learned a lot about what all it took to bring their families over. We also learned what we need to do to prepare ahead of time. Then everyone shared stories of language learning mistakes which had us all laughing.
We had such a good time that it grew late before we knew it and we called for a remise (a type of taxi) to take us back to our hostel. A funny story during our taxi ride home the meter in the taxi was broken and we thought the price was going up fast with every block. Finally Scott asked our driver about the price and he laughed and explained the meter was broken and the decimal point was in the wrong spot. So when we saw the price climbing past to 200 pesos it was actually only passing 20. Decimal points may be a small mark but they make a big difference.
Monday, September 29: We were finally winding down our trip and only made a few more plans to finish up our trip. We wanted to buy a few gifts for our children and I had a list of a few items I wanted to see if they had at their Walmart and I wanted to look at Carrefour another store similar to Walmart. So around lunch time we ate a bite and went down to the bus stop to catch the bus headed toward both stores.
We didn’t want to miss our stop so we got off a little early and walked to the Carrefour. A young man that got off at the same stop we did thought we were lost. He warned us not to go the direction he and a group of students that got off at the same stop were going because that was a bad neighborhood. We thanked him for the warning and explained we were actually headed the opposite direction and pointed toward the store.
We walked to the Carrefour gates and realized there were no cars in the parking lot. It was around 2 in the afternoon. We had assumed they would be open all day.
Walmart was only a mile or two away so we decided to walk there. While we were walking, I told Scott I wanted to buy a hat first thing. As we crossed the road toward the gates, Scott started laughing. I looked up and “Oh no!” They were closed too. Obviously we didn’t get the memo that it was a holiday and the bigger businesses were closed.
That evening we found this protest forming on a normally busy street. A large crowd of women and men were blocking the road banging on pots and pans. Scott took this picture of the protestors as we crossed the road. Scott asked one of the shop owners what the protest was about. She just said that someone had died 2 weeks ago.
Later we found out from one of our friends that a woman and her baby were killed by her ex-husband. The people were protesting wanting justice for the woman and her baby. You can read the story in Spanish at La Mañana de Córdoba.
Tuesday, September 30:
We went by the bank to exchange our pesos back into dollars before our flight the next morning. However the bank was closed. I guess the holiday lasted more than just one day. So instead of exchanging the money we decided to have lunch.
Later that afternoon we had coffee and submarinos (hot chocolate milk) with the Missionary, Bro. Masters, that we visited earlier in the month and his wife.
Then our last dinner in Argentina we enjoyed with the Jacksons. They had us at their home earlier in the month and they wanted to take us out to eat before we left.
Wednesday, October 1:
We called a taxi very early our last morning. The driver made very good time to the airport. Scott is pretty sure our driver would win at Nascar.
We caught our flights back home where our children were eagerly waiting with lots of hugs and pictures for us.
And this ends my summary of our trip. I am also in the middle of creating a short slideshow about our trip that I will share as a video or slideshow on here soon. I will probably have a few more stories from our trip pop up from time to time as well.
Thanks for following along! And as always if you have any questions for us feel free to ask them in the comments or by email.
I’ve been talking so much about my husband and myself. My next post I will share some of what the kids were up to while we were gone.
So if you’ve been missing pictures of the kids stayed tuned. I’ll be talking about them in my next post.
~♥~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~
We have just finished our third week of our time here in Argentina. We have only one more week to go before we fly back home to our family in the United States. The time has been going by so fast. We have been staying very busy and meeting so many people during this trip that it is hard to get it all into these blog posts.
Let me just say that these posts are more of a summary of our trip. We have learned so much more from this trip that these posts would be very long if I wrote it all. So for now I will stick with the summary and later fill in some details when I have more time.
Wednesday, September 17: We packed our bags, got some empañadas, and took our luggage to the nearby train station. Scott had already reserved a room on the sleeping car for us to stay in during our overnight trip to Buenos Aires. It may have been quicker to take a bus but the train would be more comfortable and it was the same price as one night in a hostel. Scott had never ridden on a real passenger train before. I only riding a small one for a field trip in school. A train ride in a real sleeping car was a fun new experience for us.
I could write a whole blog post just about the train ride but this is suppose to be a quick summary of the whole week! So I will just say for now that we really enjoyed the train ride and took a lot of pictures. Maybe I can share some of those in a later post.
Thursday, September 18: The train dropped us off at the station in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Scott and I found a hotel. We then ventured out to explore a little of the city.
We had our picture taken beside a giant over 200 year old rubber tree. We walked through the Recoleta Cemetery. Recoleta is a very old and very famous cemetery in Argentina.
After touring the cemetery, we toured the museum inside the church next door. The church has a very interesting history. The monks that once lived there had a 12 acre orchard and vegetable garden where the cemetery now stands. I have a lot of deep thoughts in places like this.
My husband and I looked out a window over the orchard where Recoleta Cemetery now stands. What would the Monks that gave up everything to live a life of poverty say about their beautiful orchard turning into a cemetery that boasts the city’s most valuable real estate?
Those windows are the same windows where monks would kneel looking out over their garden and pray. They vowed a vow of strict poverty. They denied themselves earthly pleasures. I wonder if that orchard and garden was the one thing they were allowed to enjoy.
Now it is a place for people to tour and for those who can afford to pay to be buried in the most coveted resting place in Argentina.
Friday, September 19: We took another train to a neighboring town of Pilar. While there we met a wonderful Missionary family, the Greenwoods. We learned a lot from them. The Greenwoods have been Missionaries in Argentina for 9 years. They answered many of our questions and shown us many things about life in Argentina.
Saturday, September 20: We attended the Greenwoods’ Mission for their Evangelism Ministry. We passed out tracts in the city’s plaza area where many people were enjoying the weather. We were impressed by how open people were to receiving the tracts the group passed out. Sunday, September 21: Scott accepted Bro. Greenwood’s invitation to preach that morning and gave a message from Acts 16 about following God’s call through closed and open doors.
Monday, September 22: They took us to an all you can eat buffet called “Sigue La Vaca” translation “Follow the Cow”. The food was really good!
After the meal we walked around a shopping center. Then back at the Greenwoods’ home we packed our bags and got ready to catch the bus to Posadas.
Tuesday, September 23: We arrived in Posadas took a taxi to the hotel. I got a little bit of a sunburn. Okay, for me it was a lot of a sunburn but that’s just how it is with sensitive skin and Rosacea. I don’t have to be in the sun long before my face is as red as a beet.
Argentina is in the southern hemisphere below the equator. That makes their seasons opposite of ours in the United States. Right now it is Spring here in Argentina and the north is hotter than the south.
Wednesday, September 24: We take a walk around Posadas. We escaped from the heat during the siesta hours and then went back out to walk along the river. From the sidewalk we could look out across the river to Encarnación, Paraguay.
Thursday, September 25: Scott and I checked out of our hotel and had breakfast in their lobby. Our bus was scheduled to leave that afternoon so I stayed at the hotel with our bags while Scott went to talk with someone at a church a few blocks away. The man he talked to explained some of the beliefs of their association of churches. Not all Churches that call themselves Baptists believe the same things. After Scott got back we both sat down to get everything written that we’ve been learning. After we worked on our computers for a while, we called a taxi and went to the bus station heading back to Córdoba.
Scott and I are in the middle of week 4 of our journey. It’s been a full month. After this week’s post I will share several posts taking a little deeper look at what we have seen and learned during our time here in Argentina.
Thanks for following along with us. As always if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or by email. Stayed tuned for week 4 which I will post towards the end of this week.
~♥~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~
We are still in Argentina and although my husband and I are actually in our 3rd week here I want to pick up where I left off and share our second week with you.
The family we stayed with were wonderful and for the sake of their privacy I won’t give their names. If anyone reading this wants more details about any of my posts, email me. My husband suggested for privacy’s sake that I not give every detail. I am willing to share more with anyone that has specific questions that I might not have answered in my posts.
Okay back to our trip. When we arrived we visited with our hosts, unloaded our luggage into their guest house, and settled in for the evening.
It is interesting how we met this family. I was looking up homeschoolers in Argentina. There are some but not a lot. I found an email address for a homeschool group listed online. I emailed the contact person listed and she told me about her friends near Córdoba that also homeschooled. However the email address she gave me didn’t work.
I changed directions and emailed a Missionary family in Buenos Aires. I told them our plans to fly into Córdoba. They told us about two families near where we would be that were praying for someone to come to their area. They also homeschooled. She gave me their email address and it was the same family that the other person had given me. This time I had the correct email address.
Their town is Villa General Belgrano in Córdoba province. They and their neighbors have been having Bible Studies in their homes. There are two main churches in town and neither of them are very deep in the Word of God. One of the churches doesn’t even have a Pastor to lead them.
Friday, September 12: We made a short visit to La Cumbracita. It is a town that is now mostly pedestrian. I think it used to be completely pedestrian but there were quite a few cars on the roads that day. There weren’t as many as you would see in most towns.
We climbed up to a very small waterfall and visited with several Argentines who were there on vacation. They were very friendly and helpful. They took our picture in front of the waterfall. We rode the bus back to Villa General Belgrano and walked to the home where we were staying.
That evening we visited their home Bible study. They had a good attendance of about 20 people in their livingroom. Scott had asked them to go ahead and have their services the way they normally would and he would speak at the end.
Three of the children played violins during the song service and Scott played a guitar. We sang a few songs, had the Bible Study, Scott spoke, and then we had a fellowship meal.
We really enjoyed visiting with all the members of their Bible Study.
Saturday, September 13: We enjoyed the most amazing Asado at lunch. Asado is what we North Americans would call a Bar-b-que. Our hosts invited their neighbors to join us and cooked an amazing meal.
After lunch we went with the neighbors to the local grocery store. We found peanut butter. There was only one kind of peanut butter there but they do have it. They also have hot dogs.
Sunday, September 14: We visited a church in the morning that did not have a pastor. They followed mostly liturgy and the lady that led the service read the sermon that was sent to them. I thought she was just reading a story but Scott told me that was the sermon. It was a very short service.
We walked back to our hosts’ house and ate lunch. We then went for a drive to another nearby village. There are a lot of people in that area and we could see a lot of potential for starting several churches there. We enjoyed cake and maté by the river.
That evening we attended services at another church. The people were very friendly and welcoming. They had us come forward to introduce ourselves before the sermon. They asked Scott to say a few words and he read a Bible verse and could have gotten into a sermon but instead he held himself back to a brief devotion about God.
The sermon that followed I could not understand at all. I understand some Spanish but there are times that my mind just zones out and I don’t understand a word anyone is saying anymore. My husband later told me what the preacher’s sermon was on.
After the service was over we walked to the corner and our host picked us up. The evening service was so long that we got back to their house very late. They had supper on a tray for us and we were able to go back to our room and talk about the day.
Monday, September 15: We had our bags packed ready to go. Our original plan was to head back to Córdoba city sometime during that day. When we came in for breakfast they told us that their neighbor was planning to go to Córdoba on Tuesday and offered to take us if we would like. We had a return ticket but we decided that would be great to visit with him the whole ride back rather than just looking out a bus window.
We were glad that they could use our return tickets. All they will have to do is change the name on it. His mother goes to Córdoba by bus sometimes and could use our tickets.
We were really glad about that and enjoyed one more day in Villa General Belgrano. During the day time while the mother was teaching her children we visited a “mountain”. Technically it was a very very big hill but to us Texans that was a mountain. It was a long hard climb up. We went up it before most people were around. It seemed like a quiet place but by the time we got to the top people were starting to come out to climb it for exercise. We started down this hill and were being passed twice by people running up and right back down.
I took a video going down the mountain. I’m going to try to get that put together and share that with you at some point. That video may not get done until we get back. I had fun with it though. We walked back and enjoyed tea time with the neighbors.
That night we had a very good visit with our neighbors talking about the future and then enjoying hearing stories about their families. We had a lot of fun hearing some of the cultural differences in how they each were raised right there in Argentina.
They would really like to see a church started in their town. Scott and I both see great potential there but it would be a few years of preparation before we could actually start something there.
It’s hard when you see a need but can’t immediately fill it. We encouraged them that they really were doing a good job. We will be keeping in touch.
Tuesday, September 16: We rode back to Córdoba with the neighbor and enjoyed a very good visit with him. I practiced a line in Spanish in my head and when he dropped us off at our hotel I said, “Tu carro es más mejor que el autobus.” He smiled and told me very good and that he was glad I liked his car better than the bus. 🙂
That evening we went to the English Ministry with the friends that we met the first night we arrived. They meet every Tuesday and we were able to talk with them again and met some new people. When we went out to eat after our trip I sat by a lady that eats a raw vegan lifestyle. My husband and I were eating about a 70% raw diet this past summer. We’re not vegan but we had quite a bit in common that we were able to talk with her about. She even shared with me where we can get vegetables at a really good price in Córdoba. She also told me about a church her family attends. We plan to visit there our last Sunday in Córdoba.
What are our plans? Right now we still feel this is where God wants us to go. Scott told me that this trip has been different from all the Mission trips we have taken before. I agree.
We came here not knowing anyone in person. Only a couple of contacts by email was all we had. God has opened doors for us from the day we got here and those doors just feel like they are opening wider the longer our visit has been.
Now what I have shared here has only been two weeks. I have another week of activities to share and another week ahead of us.
Pray for my parents and our children that are staying with them. They all went through a sick spell and now our 4 year old may have Mumps. It’s hard being here away from our family when I know they need us there.
Thank you all for praying for us and following along with us. As always feel free to email or ask questions in the comments. My next post will be about our time traveling to and visit in Buenos Aires.
~♥~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~
We have been so busy and I haven’t had a lot of time to post. I’ve been writing everything down in my journal and will try to give you a quick overview of what we have been doing since my last post.
Sunday, September 7, we visited a non-denominational church that morning and a Baptist Church in the evening. We arranged to have dinner with a Missionary’s family on Monday and lunch with the Pastor of the Baptist Church on Wednesday.
After services Sunday night we were a little nervous about walking back to our hostel across town in the dark. Sometimes when we are a little afraid God provides some comfort to show us we are not alone. In this case God sent us a very friendly dog that I affectionately named “Angel”.
Angel is a smart dog. She knew to only cross roads with people. If people were waiting at a stop she waited. She walked with us the whole way back to our hostel. Scott and I dubbed her our guard dog and were glad she paused to let us take a few pictures of her before we parted ways. If we lived here we probably would have kept Angel as a pet.
Monday, September 8, we visited with the missionary family we met at the Baptist Church. That is another interesting meeting. The man we met at the church Scott had actually met on Facebook first. The group that we met when we first arrived in Argentina had told him about us. He sent my husband a message saying he would like to meet us for coffee or dinner sometime. We didn’t know that his family actually goes to the church we visited that night.
He and his wife helped us with a lot of information we needed. We now know how to catch the right city bus to our desired destinations and where a Wal-mart is in Córdoba.
Tuesday, September 9, Scott and I took a city bus to the Wal-mart on the edge of town. We compared prices of some of the things we would have back home. The prices are higher on many things and there are cultural differences. We were glad to see that there is at least a store we are familiar with despite some of the cultural differences in the items they carry.
Oh and they do have McDonald’s here.
Wednesday, September 10, we met the Baptist Pastor for lunch. We had a very good long discussions about Churches here in Argentina. He was able to tell us the cultural differences between the customs many Churches have in Argentina compared with the United States. He was also able to tell us some of the differences between some of the different Churches in Argentina. There are some Churches in Argentina but not very many.
After our visit we walked back to our hostel. There was a large Catholic Church we looked at. It was a beautiful building! I had some very deep thoughts while standing there looking around at the beautiful artistry in the room. I will need to share more about my thoughts and some more pictures in a later post.
Thursday, September 11, we checked out of our Hostel and carried our luggage to the bus station. Okay, I did say we carried our luggage but according to this picture you might find it hard to believe there was much “we” involved in the process.
My sweet husband saw that I was worn out about half way to the bus station and took my burden along with his own. So I guess I should say Scott carried our luggage while I took pictures of him. 😉
At the station we caught a bus to Villa General Belgrano where we had an amazing time with a homeschooling family and their neighbors who also homeschool. There are a lot of challenges homeschoolers in Argentina face.
In order to keep this post from being too lengthy, I will share more about our stay in Villa General Belgrano in another post.
So much has been happening. I have been writing a lot in my journal every opportunity I have. My blog posts are actually written in my journal before I type them into a blog post and add pictures. I find it easier to write pretty much anywhere that way. I may have to write about my writing on the go as well.
Thank you for following along with me. I’ve already committed myself to two almost 3 posts now, one about my deep thoughts in a beautiful building, another about our stay in Villa General Belgrano, and another about my writing while traveling.
I know I am skimming over rather quickly our trip but if you have any thoughts or questions come to your mind please feel free to share them with me in the comments. I will try to answer them as soon as I can. If there is a question that I see frequently I will answer it in a blog post as well.
We will probably not have internet tonight as we will be taking a train to Buenos Aires. I am going to try to get my next post up as soon as I am able.
Dios te bendiga! God bless you!
~♥~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~
My husband and I are in Argentina right now. We arrived Thursday, September 4 around 4 p.m. Argentine time.
Our flight was supposed to land around 5:30 a.m. in Córdoba, Argentina. However there was a big storm and our flight was diverted to Mendoza. We waited about two hours on the plane for the storm to lift in Córdoba. Then they let everyone off the plane. We were rescheduled to fly out that afternoon.
We found out when we arrived at the airport in Mendoza that we left our checked luggage at the airport in Miami, Florida. I now have a new appreciation for packing carry on luggage well.
We finally arrived in Córdoba and got ourselves a city bus card. We decided to try out one of the hostels. It was a little cheaper than a hotel and they usually have private rooms available.
I really think the Lord had us arrive at the particular hostel we finally chose at the time we did on purpose. You will see what I mean here in a little bit.
We arrived at the hostel and it was pretty clean. They had a room that wasn’t a private room but no one else was in it. They said we could have that room to ourselves for two nights but it would be booked over the weekend.
We went ahead and took the room. There was a double bed in the room and 3 sets of bunk beds as well. I told Scott that there was a bed for each of the kids in there.
That evening Scott struck up a conversation with the clerk at the front desk. The clerk had asked what Scott did and why we were visiting Argentina. Scott told him that he was a pastor of a church in Texas and that we were here to talk to as many people as we could and get all the information we need to possibly move our family here.
The clerk was very friendly and said that he knew a guy that led a group that practiced English. He said that they often talk about Spiritual things during their practice sessions.
We put our things away and were about to head out for the evening to find food when the clerk showed us on his computer where the group met. He said that they were having a session that very evening at 7:30.
We went out, stopped by a store for a couple of items we needed and then headed to that meeting.
Sometimes I’m a pretty nervous person… Okay, I’m often a nervous person when it comes to doing something different that might be embarrassing. In those situations I often have to give myself a pep talk that it will be okay.
So there I was knowing we were about to walk into a room of complete strangers and crash their meeting. Sure the clerk said it was okay for us to just show up but what if he’s wrong.
We arrived at the address the clerk gave us. We were a half hour late. I took a deep breath told Scott I was nervous but I knew this is what we are supposed to do.
We walked into the café and saw a lot of older people playing scrabble. Then in a back room we saw another group sitting around a table visiting. I waited a second while Scott asked them if they were the group we were told about. They were totally blown away with how we found them. They told us later that they had been praying for more Missionaries to come to Argentina.
We also found out that the hotel clerk was a friend of the session leader’s ex-girlfriend. It had been several years since they had last met. He was so surprised when we told him who it was that recommended them.
The group discussion was about God. Before we got there they had each drawn a picture that gave their thoughts about what they imagine God is like. Then they went through and discussed what they drew and what they thought of when they drew the picture. It was a very good and open discussion.
Scott was even able to share his thoughts about who God is and confirm the truths that were spoken by some of the others. During the class there were a couple of guys that believed in God but were not sure who He is.
The story came up about blind Bartemaeus and how Jesus asked him what he wanted. It seemed like it should be obvious what it was that Bartimaeus wanted but Jesus asked him anyway. Bartemaeus asked to receive his sight and Jesus healed him. He didn’t force Bartimaeus to be healed. He gave him the choice of whether he wanted that change to happen in his life or not. The question was then bounced around the room. If Jesus were to ask you what it was you wanted, what would you ask for? That my friend is a very good question.
After that meeting we went out to eat with our new friends. Most of them were actually involved in a Christian Ministry in the city and that English practice time was one of the many ministries they have to connect with people.
After we ate with them they asked if we had any plans for Friday. We told them that we did not and they asked if we would like to come to their mission team’s Bible study and meeting.
We did go to their meeting that next day and met their missionary and learned so much. They fed us afterwards and I practiced speaking Spanish with the ladies as we prepared the meal. Yo corté el pan. (Bonus points for translating that sentence in the comments.) 🙂
Our lost luggage was delivered Saturday night. I was so glad because that gave us clean clothes for services.
Sunday we visited two churches. The first I think was a Community Church that was recommended to us by our new friends. Then Sunday night we visited a Baptist Church in town. We really enjoyed the services there.
We also met another Missionary at the Baptist Church. Scott also met him through FB messenger. One of the friends we made Thursday had told him about us. He and his wife invited us to eat at their home Monday evening. So much to write about and not enough space to share it all here. I’ll write more about Monday on another post soon.
I must share one last little thing. Scott was telling another man in the hostel about what God has been doing for us and could tell that every time he mentioned God the man chuckled. It’s hard to say if he thought Scott was just talking foolishness or if he was just laughing out of nervousness of the subject being brought up.
Another man Scott talked with Sunday night told him that he believed the world didn’t need missionaries. According to that man missionaries take away people’s free choice. They oppress people. Scott told him that it was actually the opposite.
Missionaries come to spread the good news that can free people from their bondage. A missionary isn’t to force his beliefs on people. He presents the truth to them in love and gives them the option to accept God’s message or not. It’s really education and opening people’s minds. What’s oppressive about that?
Here is the real problem. Those who have experienced God understand who He is. Those who have never had that experience simply can’t understand until they have that moment that they finally trust Jesus and turn to Him for salvation.
If you don’t believe what I am saying was brought about by God who sees, hears, and knows exactly who I am and what I need. Then you have never had that experience with God. You need to talk with God right now and ask him to help you understand. Ask him to let you experience Him.
You know God did that for blind Baritmaeus. He asked Jesus to return his sight. God answered and his life was changed completely.
Have you experienced Jesus? If Jesus were to come to you tonight and ask you what you want, what would you ask for? Let us know in the comments.
“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, [thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” – Mark 10:46-52 KJV
The Lord is amazing! Really truly amazing.
Have you ever doubted God’s will for your life? You may wonder if you are doing the right thing and then have everything fall right into place.
I don’t believe that is just coincidence or happenstance. I truly believe God is showing us what it is we are suppose to be doing. He is opening the doors all around us and we finally let go and step through in Faith.
I mentioned in my previous post our plans to go on a survey trip to Argentina to see what doors God may open there.
One thing I chose not to talk about was money. How were we going to afford this trip? It would be an adventure indeed if we were going with very little money. Here is a list of 10 things God blessed us with this past month.
1. Scott told me that he had prayed about our finances and asked God to provide for our trip. After that prayer he went by the bank to deposit his normal check from our church and realized he had never cashed the check from the week before.
Even though that was a small thing to some people to my husband it was a little whisper from God that everything would be okay.
After that we discussed some other ideas of raising some money. I thought about having a yard sale. We had some successful yard sales in the past. We also thought about other things around our house we could sell.
2. I really felt like I needed to explain to our karate instructor why we hadn’t been in class for a while. It takes a lot of humility to admit you can’t afford to do something. We have been trying to save money by not going places we would normally want to go. So that included our karate class. I mentioned that we were discussing the possibility of having a yard sale. Our instructor was very understanding and told us that she would pray for us.
That was on a Thursday that I talked with her. That Friday my husband and I were discussing the possibility of a yard sale and what we actually had to sell. Most of our items were small items and not something that would draw people to come.
Just as I was giving up the whole idea I received a phone call from a mother whose son is in our karate class. She said that she was moving and that she heard we were having a garage sale and that if we could pick it up she had some things that we could have.
After I hung up from that conversation I looked up at my husband and said, “I guess we’re having a yard sale!”
We needed to have our yard sale the very next weekend. I looked at the classified ads of one of our local newspapers. It said that Ads must be turned in by noon on Friday to be in Tuesdays paper. It was 10 AM Friday morning when I got the call.
Now tell me that just happened!
I wrote out an advertisement and went to the newspaper office with plenty of time.
3. That Saturday we scurried to get ready for karate class. My husband left early in the truck with Hannah. The rest of us came later in our Suburban. After class was over Scott told me about the envelope and offering that was given to us by our karate family. I missed that exchange or I probably would have cried.
The money they gave us was more than enough to pay both our reciprocity fees and some of our hotel expenses.
4. We let friends at our church know that we were having a yard sale the following week. There were more items donated for our sale. We collected those items during the week and had a very successful sale and met a lot of people.
5. The following Sunday morning we had a couple visit our church that my husband was able to witness to. We also met another couple at Wal-mart that afternoon who wanted to buy one of our items that didn’t sell in our yard sale. They lived further away and so we met them part way.
6. Sunday night we had a lady stop by and give us a box of food and toiletries that she felt the Lord wanted her to give to us. She had met us at our yard sale and couldn’t get us off her mind. She felt she had to come back and bring us something.
It had to be hard for her to come to us like that not knowing what our reaction would be. Would we be offended? Not at all. God has provided our needs so many times during the years and we have learned that God’s provision doesn’t just fall from the sky. He usually provides through the love and generosity of friends.
7. Scott had one last Friday off from work and we were able get a final visit with my brother and his family before they head back to France. We had a fun time and were able to visit my sister’s family as well and get some good siblings and cousins pictures taken. It was good to get to see them and I was glad my husband had that one last weekend off. We also found out that my sister is expecting her third child.
8. We received a check in the mail for another donation from another friend wanting to help us with our upcoming trip.
9. My husband received an email this past week. We have another offering coming in the mail. We do not know who sent it nor how much it is. We do know that our God is good and He knows what we need to make this trip successful.
Where we go and how many cities we see will be up to how much God provides for. So far we have our first week planned.
10. And the biggest blessing that I am excited to share with you all is our son, Jonathan (6) accepted Christ as his Savior Wednesday night after our Bible Study.
He had been wanting to be saved for a long time. I will need to write another blog post about the struggle he had and the moment he finally understood. I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face. 🙂
I could write a whole lot more about God’s provision and blessings. It’s hard to keep these posts short. In my next post I will give more details about how Jonathan finally found Jesus and a really cute story of his witnessing to Elijah.
Only 10 days left!!! I am going to do my best to keep you all up to date on where we are and how God provides for us each step of the way. Be watching for updates and more pictures!
Thank you for following along with us. Having you for a friend is a blessing too!
~♥~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~
“‘Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'” Malachi 3:10
Why are we going to Argentina?
Scott has had Argentina on his mind and heart since 2009. At work he overheard a documentary. He came home and started looking up more information about this country in South America. We found a Missionary we knew in Paraguay and Scott was able to visit there and cross over to Argentina during Christmas break. I was in my third trimester with our 5th child and couldn’t go.
A lot has happened over the past six years.
- In March 2008 Scott accepted the call to pastor New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in South East Texas. We moved here that September.
- December 2009 Scott visited Paraguay where Bro. Ted Barker and his family currently serve as Missionaries. Bro. Barker also took him across the border to visit Argentina. You can read “Scott’s in Paraguay” to learn more about that.
- July 2010, Scott answered a call for help by our friends, Missionaries to South East Asia Rusty and Susan Teer. You can read more about Scott’s trip to Thailand and my trip to Michigan alone with the kids.
- June and July 2011 Scott took me to Thailand.
Before we married Scott made sure that I would follow him wherever the Lord wanted us to go. I knew even then that God may call us to leave our comfort zones. I am willing. What more does God need but for us to be willing?
What will we be doing this September in Argentina?
We are going on a survey trip to see what it will take to live there.
Our goals for this trip are to:
- look at the different language schools in Córdoba.
- find and visit area churches to see what worship services are like there.
- visit other cities in the surrounding area.
- check out the stores and markets to get an idea what our cost of living will be.
- gain contacts we can learn from and who can help us in our move onto the field.
Are we taking the kids?
No. We’re not doing this to get away from our kids. We enjoy taking our kids places. When we finally do move onto the field we will be bringing most of our children with us. However for this trip it was not practical financially and time wise for them to come. My parents have graciously offered to keep them while we are gone. They will be in good hands.
What can you do to help?
Please pray for us.
We have been doing a lot of reading and research on living in Argentina but the more we learn the more we realize we don’t know.
It’s a little scary actually taking this trip not knowing what God has in store for us next. It’s a big step of faith to leave our comfort zones behind and prepare to move to a different culture. We want to make this trip as productive as possible.
We also need your prayers that God opens the doors for a sponsoring/sending church to come along side us in this endeavor. Somewhere there is a church seeking who the Lord will have them send. It’s just a matter of God’s timing but we need prayer as we wait.
Have any questions for us? Do you know anyone in Argentina? Please share with us in the comments.
I will be sharing more about our plans in future posts. You will probably be hearing some from my husband as well. Now that we have our tickets we can bring you along with us on the adventure.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15 KJV)