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