Monday, July 1, 2019

FALL, 2019 - Patagonian Bible Institute

Another Great Term

These are the new students we came to know this term of classes.  Yes, working at any educational institution means every year there are many goodbyes.  There are the goodbyes between semesters and there are the goodbyes that are more final at the graduations.   However, these places of learning are also awesome because there are a lot of hellos!  We are privileged to be able to meet and to have a small part in so many lives.  We thank God for this privilege and for each one of these children of God, our brothers and sisters in the faith who will go out and impact the world for Christ.


On Easter morning, we all gathered around a bonfire for a special Easter devotional.  As you can tell by the picture, it was cooooold!  Your spring is our fall.



We welcomed IBP's newly elected school board to our home after introducing them all to our student body.


Our Spiritual Emphasis speakers, Javier and Rosa Arribas, pastors serving in Buenos Aires, not only ministered to our students but also involved them in ministry through drama.


Javier is the author of his autobiography, Atrapado (Trapped), which tells how God brought him out of a life of drug addiction to a place of telling others about the hope they can find in Jesus!

And all too soon it was time for goodbyes.  Here in Argentina, May is the end of the first semester and the beginning of winter break.  It was a great term of classes for which we are thankful!    
  







Wednesday, December 5, 2018

FROM OUR FAMILY - MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Emmanuel - God with us!

A Special Visit

We were honored to have the visit of our special friends, Ralph and Janie Hiatt a few weeks ago. 



Ralph spoke in one our chapel services at IBP and, of course, preached in surrounding churches all over the place.  We were so glad that he could squeeze us in to his busy schedule.  Janie got to visit the Patagonia for the first time.  While we were busy most of the time working in Gaiman, they enjoyed our home in Puerto Madryn and a few days of R & R.


End of Year Activities

During the second bimester, it aways seems that there is so much more going on.  Perhaps it's because of the three extra main events that take a good deal of planning and preparation, which requires a great deal of time and effort.

*  There is the annual IBP Youth Day (IBP Joven) that we highlighted in our last post.


Our Chaplains, fellow missionaries,
Ben & Belu Grams, Toby & Zeke


*  There is the 3rd Year Party which is the party that the second year students put on for the graduating 3rd year students.  This is always such a fun time of celebration. 

This years theme was celebrating the decades... the 50's, 60's, 70's, and the staff was assigned medieval times.  

Are you kidding me?  Just what were they trying to say with that?  Are we that far removed in ages?  :-)






*  Then, the grand ending to the schoolyear is graduation.  What a special time of celebrating our 20 graduates.


Such a lovely group of young people.  We will miss them!


Family

In Texas this year, our own Felicia, is also graduating!  We are so proud of her.  She is thrilled to have completed her studies in Communications from SAGU, Southwestern Assemblies of God University, in Texas.




Jeremy with Grandparents

Felicia had company over Thanksgiving this year as Jeremy travelled to Texas to be with her, and Eddie's parents and brother.  He lives up north where he is finding out what a real white Christmas season is like as he studies Studio Music Production at NCU, Northcentral University in Minnesota.



From our Home to Yours
Merry Christmas!!!

Punch - A huge hit at IBP!
We cannot let this opportunity pass to say thank you to all of our followers and supporters. You hold a special place in our hearts and we wish you the warmest of Christmas' and a very blessed New Year. 



Monday, December 3, 2018

IT'S OFFICIAL!!!

New Directors at the Patagonian Bible Institute (PBI)



A Term of Transition



If there is one thing that we have heard throughout this school term at PBI*, it is that this transition of directors has been smooth and healthy.  As the outgoing directors, Martin and Charlotte Jacobson have been very busy with all the details of their move back to the states, they have placed more and more responsibility into our hands.  
*(interchangeable with IBP - Instituto Bíblico Patagónico)


We have so appreciated all of their hard work in making IBP what it is today and for their presence during this time... staying with us being supportive and encouraging and helpful to the very end of their time here.


Eddie and I are learning all we can from them before they leave.  I have learned so much from Charlotte about how to run the library and just how much work is involved in being a librarian.  



Eddie has gradually taken the wheel of the directorship.  
He has actually served as interim director on three other year long occasions while the Jacobson's were itinerating.  He will do well, although the responsibility will be great.


Ministry Trips


This bimester I was able to travel with Eddie on one of IBP's ministry trips.  It is always great to see the students getting their feet wet in the communities and churches we visit. 





Mate:  A tea-like drink shared with friends.

Drinking"mate" is always a part of these trips.  As we share mate we share friendship.








Spiritual Emphasis 

Passing the Torch


Our bi-annual Spiritual Emphasis week was very unique this year.  It was basically three special days with special classes for the students in the mornings and special services in the evenings.  The first evening was a very special "passing the torch" (or mantle) service where the leadership of IBP was officially transferred to Eddie and I.  It was a humbling and emotion-filled evening for all who were there.

The second evening was focused on this special place that God has raised up.  Following the service was a special time of prayer by this cornerstone pictured below, where we dedicated IBP to the Lord of the harvest for his purpose and plans.


Psalms 118:23

The third evening was dedicated to honoring and celebrating our new Director Emeritus, Martin and Charlotte.




IBP JOVEN


                                                                 This bimester's IBP Youth Day was another great success.  It was a combined effort with our national church youth leaders.  










Arrival and registration

Nearly 300 young people and youth leaders, including our 
students, came together . . .  


Opening the event - "Shine with Your Light!"









. . . representing 20 different churches from several denominations and cities . . . 





One of several workshops that the youth attended.
This particular session addressed Gender Ideology.

. . . to learn, to grow, 
to serve . . .

(Workshops included not only Youth leadership, but also, the Christian's Response to the Gender Ideology Movement, creative evangelism, multimedia, etc.) 




Our students leading worship.

. . . to worship our God.   




We thank God that IBP can be such a blessing for events like this.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Latest Update from Patagonia

Both Learning and Teaching

In August both of us attended the biennial South American Educator's Summit which was held this year in Cordoba, Argentina.  Each time it is hosted in a different country in South America. The Summit is a week long event which includes workshops, training, and special sessions with invited speakers.  Eddie was among the workshop teachers this year.  He did a great job explaining the cognitive learning process and dealing with deficit learning in the classroom.

REX IBP


The highlight of the month of August was our first Alumni Retreat for IBP graduates - the REX which stands for Retiro de EX Alumnos.  Of course there was a lot of preparation leading up to this event which included getting the campus ready, but more on that later.

IBP Alumni Worship Band
Because all of the alumni who returned to IBP for the REX studied under the leadership of Martin and Charlotte Jacobson, we felt it was an appropriate time to give them the opportunity to honor their soon to be retiring directors.  The retreat was a two day event with the second day being devoted to honoring the Jacobsons.  



Both Martin and Charlotte shared from their hearts during the morning devotional. Then, there were special words, hugs and a gift presented during the surprise dinner which included a beautiful cake & desserts.  We can't believe our friends are leaving us.  How we will miss them!

Friday, August 10, 2018

We are Listening . . . and Learning

As I read the scriptures the other day, I paused at a verse in which Jesus was encouraging learning.  At least that is how it spoke to my heart.  In Luke 8:18 Jesus said to his followers, "So pay attention to how you hear.  To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given.  But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken from them."


Listen to HIM! 


In the very next chapter, with Peter, James and John looking on, Jesus was transfigured. . .  He was transformed for a few moments displaying his magnificence and splendor... His Glory!  And then, after he had that brief and devine conversation with Moses and Elijah, the Father's voice declared, "This is my Son, My Chosen One, Listen to Him."



This passage led me to contemplate just how blessed some of us are who have opportunities for learning available to us or even offered to us at every turn, while some believers in distant lands would be thrilled if they could only obtain a copy of the Bible.  How grateful we should be.  Many of us have several Bibles in our homes AND the opportunity and the resources at our fingertips for going deeper.    




Growth, Encouragement and Fellowship


During the past few months we had several opportunities, not only for learning, but for encouragement and fellowship.  

*   Eddie and Esteban Gatica, an IBP graduate who is now a pastor and presbyter, attended the UAD (A/G) National Leader's Retreat where both international and national leaders taught from their particular areas of expertise.  The highlighted speaker for this event was Sixto Porras from Costa Rica who serves as the Latin American Regional Director of Focus on the Family.


IBP Alumni Pastors

*   In June, Eddie and two staff members/IBP grads, Fabian Moreyra and Jonathan Sepúlveda, attended a "Se Libre" (Be Free) Conference hosted by prominent author and speaker Josh McDowell.  This conference addressed the huge and growing international problem of pornography.  It is so sad to see that this addiction is ruining lives and families.
Thankfully, in recent years concerned leaders have been examining this problem in depth and formulating strategies for defeating this addiction and restoring men to freedom and wholeness.

"The Conquer Series" (by Ted Roberts), five videos which explain in detail the problem and offer a solution, will be shown at our Bible School so those going into ministry will have some education to help themselves and those seeking to be free! 
*   Mentoring - Part of our ministry in recent years has been that of one on one mentoring.  Or two by two if we both are meeting with a married couple.  Pray for God to give us wisdom as we come along side younger ministers and allow God to use us to encourage and inspire these precious servants.

*   July offered opportunities for fellowship and also challenges.   It started off with a sectional pastors retreat.  These are whole day events where we gather for food and fellowship at one of the area churches which serves as host for the day.  One minister among us comes prepared to share a devotional from God's word. 

*   Also in July, there was a special called pastors meeting held to talk about a law that was soon to be voted on in Argentina that would legalize abortion if passed.  Eddie was there to witness pastors of all denominations attend this meeting in support of Life!  Later in the month, SI A LA VIDA Marches (Yes to Life) and other Pro Life gatherings took place all over Argentina where Christians came out in droves to stand and fight for life.  For now we are glad to report that the law to legalize abortion DID NOT pass.
A common theme that was used throughout Argentina was "Salvemos Las 2 Vidas" or Let's Save Both Lives" in response to the opposition which argues that abortion saves the mother's life. 
  

Of course, this is only the beginning of something that is sure to surface again in the next go around. 

   

Monday, June 25, 2018

Patagonia News - Continued

Learning


It's precious to see our students hungry for learning.  It's even more precious to see some of our students returning to IBP to teach and to share from their real life experiences in ministry, whether it be on the mission field or behind the pulpit.

Spiritual Emphasis
A very special time of learning and unity takes place during our Spiritual Emphasis week. We have workshops during the daytime and special speakers for evening services.  This bimester we welcomed Ruth Sánchez, a young woman from Colombia, trained in social psychology and dealing with violence in the family.  She has been traveling for the past few years throughout Argentina with a national Christian ministry called, Women for the Nation.  She conducts training sessions in abuse prevention and counseling using a biblically-based approach.  The class she taught our students was part one in a two-part series which she will return to continue in our next bimester.  

Our invited guest for the evening services was the national YWAM (Youth With a Mission) director, Alejandro Rodriguez.  Here in Argentina the organization is called JUCUM (Juvnentud Con Una Misión).  His message centered on the theme of trusting God and living a generous life.  Students, faculty and staff were powerfully challenged through the messages preached by this anointed minister.

Church Planting
A special training on church planting was also offered during the bimester by a veteran missionary friend, Rocco DiTrolio. He has planted many churches throughout Argentina during his 30 years of service here.   With several of our students planning to serve, pastor, or plant new churches after finishing their studies here at IBP, this training is very helpful in that it provides much needed and practical information.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Patagonia News - IBP and More

Update on Mom


It was difficult to say goodbye again to my mom but at least I was saying goodbye and I love you and hearing her say those words to me as well.  It was an honor to, along with my sister, tend to my mom by preparing meals, giving her her meds and taking her to her doctor appointments and such.

It was a balancing act for the doctors to get her meds just right...and they seemed to have done a good job as Mom is holding her own, albeit at a much slower pace than she was used to.  She turned 90 on July 27th and was well enough to celebrate with family and Mariachis on that special day.

Because our daughter, Felicia, is graduating soon and thanks to frequent flier miles, we have another trip home planned in the coming months.  We look forward (all of us this time) to seeing Mom and giving her a big hug.  Even Jeremy plans to return to California from Minnesota, where he is studying, for a brief break; so it will be a nice family reunion.

IBP - A Busy and Blessed Bimester 


IBP's bimester was filled with ministry, learning, and spiritual growth. Students were fed from God's word in their classes and during pre-scheduled workshops and meetings with carefully selected guest speakers.  It is always the most special sight to see students press in and draw closer to God in intimacy and love for him.  Today's blog highlights the student ministry trips.   

Ministry

Students at IBP set out on four ministry trips this bimester in an effort to put into practice the skills for which they are studying at IBP.  This not only helps the students, but is a huge encouragement to the pastors and churches at which they minister, helping in whatever area the pastor needs.

The first trip was to Playa Union.  This young church plant was started by it's pastors, Jonhy and Rocio Sepulveda in 2015.  These two are precious servants of God who have a call and a passion for this small coastal community.  We know Jonhy and Rocio well as they are both IBP grads and current employees.  Pray for Jonhy and Rocio to be able to obtain a larger facility as they are growing and are desperately in need of more space.


The second ministry trip was to the city of Choele Choel.  This church is also being pastored by former IBP students, Mariano and Lucy Canosa.  After renting and moving around to different places in the city, they were able to purchase a property in 2015. Since then they have been very actively involved in building their own church facility.  Almost a year ago they began having services in their new sanctuary which had walls at that time but no roof.  Since April of this year, they've been able to have services under their new roof.


The third ministry trip of the bimester was to the city of General Acha, pastored by Mauro and Paula Nahuelquir.  This is the newest church plant by IBP grads. 


The last ministry trip was to our own nearby city of Trelew.  Although this church is not pastored by IBP grads, it is the church of a current student and our IBP bookkeeper, Jessica Maldonado, whom we are very thankful for.  Our students gave their best in ministry to the children of "Rios de Vida" church.