Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year End

Goodbye Graduates!

Eddie with Grads at local tea house garden
It's amazing how time flies.  2013 was awesome and ended with yet another bittersweet graduation.  This time it was a group of 16  graduates.  It's sad to say goodbye but we know this is also a time when God is guiding each one as they yield to his leading. 

We also said good-bye to our supervisors and good friends, Damian and Emilce Saraño.  As they go forward in ministry to take on a pastorate at a small church further south (about 9 hours) in the Patagonia, a small coastal town named Puerto San Julian,  we know our God goes with them.  And, although we are glad they are moving on in obedience to God's call, we will miss them!  They were a great blessing to IBP.

On a personal note, we've enjoyed these last few months with Felicia.  She has been able to travel some here in Argentina for fun, visiting friends, and also to minister at a few churches.  It was nice that she was here to help interpret for the STL team when they visited.  Recently, our home church threw her a very nice surprise birthday party.  So she knows she is loved and her presence here will be missed.

*  *  *  *

We trust you had a Blessed Christmas!  Our Christmas Eve was spent with special friends, and at midnight, the young people all went out to watch the fireworks.

We leave you with the following wish for a Wonderful New Year!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Visitors and Students (October/November)

STL Team

They came!  The Speed-The-Light team from California was here in the Patagonia for a very special time of ministry and edification!  The team consisted of Steve Edwards, founder of Global Passion Ministries, the Student Ministry Directors from N. and S. California districts, Eddie De La Rosa and Tom Hammel, and four other youth pastors that they brought along.

On behalf of N.CA/NV district, Eddie De La Rosa presented us with the funds for a new STL vehicle.  We are so thankful to have had the honor and privilege of not only hosting and getting to know this tremendous group, but also of working alongside and sharing our ministry with them.  Both Eddie and Felicia had fun interpreting for each team member as they shared with local youth leaders and our students.

Because of their timely visit, the 2nd term at IBP started with a Bang!  The students were blessed to sit under their teaching those first few days of classes.  Thank you for coming Steve, Eddie, Tom, Jessica Cebrowski, Pat McConville, Daniel Martinez, and Jerad Macauley.  The semester took off after that first week with the students ready to dive in and learn from those the Lord prepared in advance to teach this semester.

VEN Church Planting Seminar
In late October we held our regular School of Formation for Pioneer Church Planters - a church planters seminar on our campus.  It was presented by our national church planting department (VEN), and one of the two presenters was one of our alumni, pastor Daniel (& Analia) Ayelef, who was also recently selected to be the national treasurer of VEN.   It was great to see how well Daniel and Analia (center in pic on right) are doing, and how they have been faithful for these many years since they graduated.  In the 15 years since he graduated (1998), Daniel has planted a thriving church and sent 7 students (see pic) to IBP; two of them graduated this year.                                                                    


Our Spiritual Emphasis week, during the first week of November, featured pastors Ruben Daconte (our speaker) and Sergio Bonacina (our teacher), both from thriving ministries in Buenos Aires.  They challenged our students to believe God for His help that is available to them every day.  Both pastors focused on evangelism, drawing from their lives rich in experience in that area.  At left is a picture of our students along with both pastors.


One of the highlights of every school year is our annual IBP Joven (youth) event.

Pastor Sergio Bonacina was previously invited to stick around after spiritual emphasis for this weekend of ministry.

That Saturday,
approximately 200 youth from nearby cities came through our gates for an all day event filled with evangelism training, music, and fellowship, followed by an
inspiring message by our awesome invited speaker.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Springtime in the South - September

Although it's still brisk, we can tell that Spring is trying to put an end to the cold.  We've seen blossoms on trees and the calendar assures us that it will be warm before long.  It does take longer here because we're so far south.  

Gaiman Flourishes

Speaking of Spring, our local church here in Gaiman, just had a Spring outreach with the theme, Gaiman flourishes, where the good news of Jesus was preached on the streets!  The ladies of the church made close to 700 flowers to give out at the event as a tool to approach the people.  Felicia and Jeremy joined the youth and King's Castle kids in doing street evangelism using choreography and skits.  We also united with the local police department to paint the kid's playground which was long in need of paint.

Couples’ Retreat

The couple's retreat that we were invited to speak at in August was a very special time.  We shared on the intimacy that comes naturally in relationships when there is openness honesty and forgiveness.  Thanks for praying.  There hasn't been a whole lot for married couples down here, so we are glad to share on the subject when the opportunity arises.  Just in case you are wondering, Diana and Eddie shared during the afternoon teaching session and Eddie is shown here preaching during the evening service.  Diana is the one behind the camera.

Trenque Lauquen (try saying that 5 times in a row real fast)

Eddie came back from the one-week-long IBP ministry trip, very pleased and grateful for the Lord's guidance and anointing in every detail of the outreach.  Apart from leading a team of IBP grads from 2012 to minister in several churches during the last week in August, he also organized and led the main event of this trip.  On Saturday, August 31st, in the heart of Argentina, in a dairy city called Trenque Lauquen (pronounced, “train-kay, lau-ken”), his team organized and conducted a day of training in creative evangelism for the youth of the area, which concluded with a tremendous service where many young people filled the altars to seek God with greater passion to fulfill the great commission.


Sometimes changes put a smile on our face and then there are changes which are hard to receive.  One of those is that our administrative secretary, Carina, has resigned.  She is also the pastor's wife of our local church here in Gaiman and senses God calling her to dedicate more time to her church and family.  She is a wonderfully creative and efficient woman and we will miss her at IBP.    
Also, at the end of this year, we will be saying goodbye to our current student supervisors at IBP, Damian and Emilce and their 2 children (and a 3rd who will be arriving any day now).  They have accepted God’s call to pastor a hurting church about 9 hours south of us in a small coastal town known as Puerto San Julian.  In the mean time, Damian is making several weekend trips to the church in preparation for their move.  
Eddie and building contractor, Daniel Garrido, were able to travel with Damian to Puerto San Julian last week to help him build the little 2-room house (future Sunday School classrooms) on the church property where it will become the temporary parsonage.  During this trip Eddie preached 3 times in 4 days at two different churches.  We're thankful for Damian and Emilce's service here at IBP and even more for their friendship. Their presence and spiritual influence on campus will be greatly missed.

STL Team Coming!

Next week we will be privileged to host a STL (Speed the Light) Excursion team.  Speed the Light is the department of the Assemblies of God dedicated to the raising of funds primarily for missionary vehicles but also for audio visual and media.  The awesome thing about Speed the Light is that it is taken care of by the youth of the churches of the Assemblies of God.  In other words, the young people, along with their leaders, are responsible for raising all of the funds for these needs.  This group of seven youth pastors and District Youth Directors will be sharing in local churches and at our Bible Institute chapel services, during the beginning of our new term.

We thank God for each one of you that is able to help us financially and prayerfully.
Pray for us so that we can continue to wisely invest in preparing those workers that God has raised up in the Patagonia to preach the Good News througout the world!

So all can hear,

Eddie, Diana, Felicia, and Jeremy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Winter Break

August 2013

Although you may be tired of hot weather by now, we could sure use some down here.  It's winter and we've had some pretty cold - below freezing - days this year.  Today we looked out the window and saw snow flurries coming down.

Our fall term ended well and the students are gone to their homes for winter break. Most are busy in their churches and working to earn funds for their next term.  At IBP it has been a time of preparing both the buildings and the details for the coming term.

Our campus is a very unique place in the Patagonia.  Spacious and tranquil, in a setting of nature and open skies, it has become more and more a favorite site for church activities and in the past few years it has become better equipped to handle a variety of groups.  During the winter and summer breaks, the campus is open to be rented by churches who ask us to host various camps and retreats.  From youth and children's camps to men's, women's, and even couples' retreats.

Speaking of couples retreats, we have been invited to share at one this weekend.  If The Lord brings us to your mind, please say a prayer that we would minister according to his will.  

This past week we attended our District Council (Convención Regional) which was held in the nearby city of Puerto Madryn.  On Wednesday we held our annual IBP Tea where students, alumni, professors, and staff all come together for a time of reunion and fellowship.  

It was so awesome to see so many of our former students who have been out in the harvest field either planting churches or pastoring somewhere in Argentina.  

One young woman, who is one of our IBP grads, Lilibeth Valdivia, is currently raising support to return to Spain as a missionary in 2014.  She will be pastoring a church she helped to begin when she was there on a one year trip in 2012.  Another goal she has is to begin a Bible School there, as there is much need for trained workers and pastors.

God is so good and we continue to see his hand at work throughout the Patagonia region.  Out there in the provinces where he is working through individuals and churches, and also here at IBP where each month he provides for the ongoing needs of the school.  Each school term he continues to send us students, some young and some older, who sense his call and step up to the plate in obedience to prepare themselves to go out into the harvest field.

Thanks be to God for his love, mercy, and compassion which reaches to the farthest corners of the earth to whoever will receive him.

At the end of this month, IBP will be hosting it's annual "IBP Joven" or IBP Youth!   It is an all day event usually held in November here on our campus where young people from all over the Patagonia gather together for a time of fellowship, inspiration, and instruction to do creative evangelism.
IBP's own students host a variety of workshops such as ministry through music, ministry to children, King's Castle, etc.  There is also an outdoor concert late in the afternoon followed by a encouraging message provided by an invited speaker.

Due to the success of our event on campus and in order to reach out to more students, this year (Sat., 8/31/13) we are taking the event on the road and calling it IBP Joven Móvil (Mobile).  Students and alumni will be coming together and meeting at a city called Trenque Lauquen (12 hour drive north of us)  and putting on the event there.  Please pray for a safe trip and an awesome time of ministry and that all would go smoothly even now as preparations for the workshops and the rest of the event are being made.

God bless you and thanks for praying for us!

Gladly serving,

Eddie, Diana, Felicia and Jeremy 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

About Family, Friends, & IBP

Ellis' (left) & Nicholsons (right)
After our Spiritual Emphasis week at IBP we attended our biannual missionary fellowship meeting.  This was a special and unique meeting as it was our last with our Regional Directors, Dick and Cynthia Nicholson, who are retiring.  It was also our last with Dave and Carol Ellis as our Area Directors, as they have been elected to be the new Regional Directors for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

It was also our last fellowship with Felicia as she will be moving on and leaving the nest. Her plan is to enjoy some time here in Argentina without having to think about studying, and then go to the states in January to begin college.   Pray for her and for this transition time in her life, and for us too, as we will miss her terribly.

The recent term at IBP ended smoothly and with so many challenges and much to think about in planning for the next term.

We are so thankful for what the Lord is doing in the lives of our students and graduates.  Currently we have 47 alumni who are serving either as pastors, pastor's wives, or missionaries in Argentina, Spain, Brazil, and Africa (Chad). They are the good fruit for which we praise God!

This past weekend, we travelled 3 hours south to the little coastal town of Camarones (shrimp) where  we visited a young family who have been serving as pastors for the past 3 years.  Their congregation grew from about 15 to 80 during that time.  It was great to be able to see their work firsthand and to encourage them to press on and to persevere.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Drawing closer! (from May 2013)

29 1st year students
We are half-way through another term here at IBP.  It has been a blessing to teach the Christian Family class to the twenty-nine students in first year.  They are a special group indeed.  

During the first week of May we were honored to have as our guest speaker for spiritual emphasis, veteran, semi-retired missionary, Ralph Hiatt. Our students were challenged and encouraged to learn the voice of their Shepherd, Jesus, to die to self, and to live according to His will.  What an anointed time we all experienced being taught by this humble man of God and then being led to the feet of Jesus.  Thank you, Ralph, for coming and sharing at IBP!  And thank you, Jesus, for meeting us here and speaking to us.

Some of the wonderful people whom God has put together to help us run the Patagonian Bible Institute are pictured here. It has been a pleasure leading them as Interim Directors for this past year while the Jacobsons have been on stateside assignment.


Martin & Charlotte Jacobson -     Directors (AG Missionaries from KY)    

Sandra Rea y Paez - Academic Secretary

Marcelo Martinez - Assistant to the Director
Carina Martinez - Administrative Secretary
(Pastors of our Gaiman church)

Adriana Griffiths - Accounting
Emilce Montes - Cook
(recent IBP grads)

Damian & Emilce Sarano - Supervision
(Future pastors further south)

These are the faithful ones who are here during the busiest times of the year, helping to see that everyone is being taken care of and that all is running smoothly.  We thank God for always being faithful in bringing to IBP the helping hands needed at just the right times. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Back to School! . . .

It is April 11 and classes are underway here at the Patagonian Bible Institute.
The Lord blessed us with an abundance of new students (29 in 1st year) for which we are praising the Lord! Our total student population is 61 this term. This may not sound like a whole lot to you but to us, it is a record number and the school is buzzing with life!

Our student dorm building which we began using a few years ago has a capacity for 96 people comfortably, and reaching that number now appears to be possible in the not too distant future. 
We would, however, like to complete it, before beginning another dorm building.  Wow, maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves, but with God continuing to call His own to labor in the harvest, we must look ahead and be prepared.

Here is an update as to what is lacking in order to complete the dorm building: the 2 bedroom Resident Director's (Supervisor's) apartment next to the student lounge sits waiting to be finished (plumbing, electrical, heating, and flooring), and the outside of the building also is still lacking it's final brick work.  We thank The Lord that there is no debt owing on the entire construction project.  Rather, it continues to be built on a cash basis as funds are available. 

The other building which has been started is the new library.  As the student population has grown, so has our need for a bigger library - a place where students can study, do research, read, and get connected to the Internet.  We are thankful for all of the help we've received getting these projects to where they are today.

At this point I must interject the importance and the significant impact that teams have had on our Bible School.  If it were not for teams, this center for preparing Christian leaders would not be what it is today.  When we arrived, there were fifteen students living in a little farm house and using makeshift classrooms with no heating.  In the house's small kitchen, a wood burning stove was used to prepare the meals.  Now, 16 years and 50 teams later, the Bible School has an Academic Center which includes classrooms, offices, and a small library, a new Dining Room and Kitchen, a Water Tower, and the Dorm Building.  In the back of the property, old rooms were converted to married students and professor housing.    Thank you teams for responding to the the Master's call!

Yes, there still remains much to be done.  But one thing we have learned, is that we are not in this alone.  He has brought workers and givers together in a united spirit and mind.  Together we reach the lost, together we build His kingdom and together we train up laborers for the harvest.  If you have an inkling that God might be calling you, stop and listen.  He might be bringing you on the next team to the Patagonia! If you have been a part in the past, thank you, and we would welcome you back if The Lord so leads.

Until next time, blessings upon you and yours!

Eddie, Diana, Felicia, and Jeremy

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ministry & Family . . . coming and going

We trust you have had a wonderful start to a great year ahead!
First of all, Diana and I want to say thank you to those of you who have been faithfully supporting us in your prayers and also financially.  You have  invested in us as we have invested in the lives of many young (and sometimes older) men and women that have come through the gates of our Patagonian Bible Institute (aka, IBP) to prepare themselves to better serve the Lord and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.  To this date, 27 graduates and spouses are pastoring churches in at least 6 different provinces, and others are serving as missionaries on this continent, Europe, and Africa.
In December we said goodbye to another group of nearly 50 students who are in the middle of (or graduated from) our 3-year Bible and theology training program.  After classes ended, I (Eddie) was able to lead most of the 15 recent graduates on an IBP promo and ministry tour to a province at the foot of the majestic Andes mountain range, about a two day trip north of us.
We were able to minister 15 times in 11 days, in new and in established churches.  We came alongside these churches to do children's evangelistic outreaches, and to minister to and train youth and adults in a variety of services and unique settings.
Each of our graduates had the opportunity to preach and be involved in a variety of ministry opportunities. Even our 63 year-old graduate, Maria Ester, who has a missionary call was able to keep up with the rest of the younger group in the non-stop pace we kept.  Although it was very tiring for everyone, we praise the Lord for a productive, blessed, and safe trip.

During the holidays, our family was blessed to receive a visit from Chris and Rebecca (Martinez) Sanford and children.  It was great to have our family (Diana's sister) here.  We had an unforgettable and wonderful time showing them around Buenos Aires and our home town, Gaiman, in the south.  From an unexpected (due to a cancelled flight because of volcanic ash in the south) hot and humid Christmas in Buenos Aires to a cold "summer" rainy New Year's Eve by the south coast in the Patagonia.
Now we are well into preparing for the next term of classes that begins at the end of March.  We thank the Lord for a solid new crop of students that are contacting us desiring to begin their studies and deepen their ministry preparation.
Pray for the Lord to send us a group of "capable" (2 Tim. 2:2) men and women who will allow the Lord of the Harvest to mold and prepare them for the ministry he has called them into, and that we will  be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to speak into their lives at the right time in the right way.

Pray for wisdom for our family during this time of transition and decision making.  Last December, our daughter Felicia reached her 18th birthday.  She senses a call to ministry and is praying about college.  She is planning to leave in August or January to begin either a church internship program there in Rocklin, or attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas.

Again, thanks for doing your part at home, in praying and giving, so we can continue to fulfill the call of God on our lives, for now here in Argentina.
God bless you,
Eddie, Diana, Felicia, and Jeremy