Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So Much to be Thankful For

Thank You!

This month gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect upon all we have to be thankful for and to express our gratefulness to the Lord and to those who have touched our lives in so any ways.  

Thank you!  And a special thank you to all of our prayer partners and sponsors.  We know God answers prayer as we have experienced his answers time and again.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  We sure do appreciate them!

It's been said by so many and it is true that words cannot adequately express the thankfulness that we feel in our hearts.  God has been so good to us.  When we stop to count our blessings, they are indeed many.  We leave you with this blessing from the Old Testament.

"The Lord Bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."  (Nu. 6:25)


Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Whirlwind of Activity

IBP - Instituto Bíblico Patagónico

The few short weeks of our intensive terms pass by so quickly that we hardly realize there's been so much that has taken place. . .  so much learning, so much seeking, and so much ministry among other things.  No wonder that by the time the term ends, everyone is exhausted.

Spiritual Emphasis Week

Apart from a week set aside for special evening services where the students filled the altars hungry for God, there was also time set for learning and studying.  We had an interesting and eye opening ministry team visit us for our spiritual emphasis week this term.  It was a deaf ministry called MiSordos (My Deaf Ones).  We weren't sure how the students would receive this type of a spiritual emphasis week workshop, but it was heart warming to see the openness and eagerness with which the students embraced the ministry.  
Students were very engaged in all of the teaching and activities.  During this 4-day deaf ministry workshop, not only was the ministry and the need presented, but the team also taught beginning classes in sign language.  Many students picked it up quickly and some even felt called to be trained for ministry to the deaf.

The MiSordos team made all of us aware of this very large people group in Argentina (approximately 2 million) that is virtually unreached for Christ.  Not only is there a need to reach out to this group with the gospel, but there also exists a huge need for people who can help out in a practical way.  Such as teaching signing to the many deaf, who are ignored and left to live as second class citizens, and to their families.  

IBP Joven  (IBP Youth)

At the end of our Spiritual Emphasis week each year, we host our IBP Joven event, which is our annual IBP Open House evangelism inspirational training event, offered to the youth of the surrounding area.  This year there were over 233 registered guests who got to choose from several workshops that were offered primarily by the students of IBP. 

Later, there was an open air gathering where the young people were ministered to by an invited guest speaker, former IBP student, Esteban Gatica.  The evening closed with a talent show in which all of the guests were 

invited to participate.  It was a day of friendships and blessing and the Lord
blessed us with beautiful weather for the event.  The students worked so very hard both in the preparation for the event and during the event itself.  By the end of the evening, they were wiped out.  But I believe they were happy!


Students have been involved in ministry trips throughout the semester.  Last weekend, Eddie took a group of 19 students 7 hours west in our minibus to the Andean foothill city of Esquel where they held a children’s outreach for a new church plant led by Pastor Carlos Pozas, an ’06 IBP graduate.  

They cut off one street in their neighborhood and rented a bounce house for the children.  Our students also ministered and preached in the evening service.  It was a tiring but fruitful 35-hour ministry trip.

Intimacy with God

2nd Year Students
One of the practices that has been instituted at IBP is to take one chapel time each week (Wednesdays) and to focus on a particular study that deals with an aspect of intimacy with God.  Our school is a 3-year school, so each class is doing a different study.  To make these sessions more intimate, the guys and girls are divided so there is more of a small group feel.

This term Eddie is with the 2nd year guys and I am with the 2nd year girls.  These are the same students we had in our Christian Home and Family class.  They are a great group of kids!

Latest Library Progress

Both, the floors and the drop ceiling of the new library are now done.  Even though the project isn't completely finished yet, it will be able to be used for our commencement ceremony on Friday evening, December 5th.  Just outside and in between the library and the academic center, a brick patio has been laid.  This will make graduation night a bit less stressful.  

In the past, our dining room has doubled as the auditorium for the graduation ceremony and then we have had to clear it out to set up for the reception which followed.  One less thing to prepare!  : )

Saturday, October 11, 2014

. . . They're Here!

IBP - Spring Term has Begun!

This past weekend, our students began arriving and classes began on Monday.  It's great to have them back again.  

The Bible school comes to life when their presence, along with professors and staff fill the campus.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Primavera Argentina!


Club Castillo (Castle Ministry for the little kids) comes to Patagonia!!!

Although this aspect of Castle ministry is not exactly new, it is just beginning in Argentina.  Missionary Michelle Wellborn with her two lovely daughters, Lexi and Bella, and two Castle workers, Luca and Carolina, came down here and trained a group of leaders to begin Club Castillo in their churches.  

Six churches were represented from four different cities and God did a work in this group of 30 who made themselves available to be prepared for greater things!  The motto of King's Castle is, "Preparing Adolescents for Greater Things".  Club Castillo reflects the truth of Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

It's an awesome blessing when we get to see how God is using our fellow missionaries in their unique areas.  Jeremy was one of the 18 from the Gaiman church to be trained for Club Castillo.


Eddie was able to put together a small team to return to the city of Lago Puelo a couple of weekends ago and help out at a special event sponsored by the Lago Puelo church.  All three of his recruits were previous IBP grads who love Jesus and are more than willing to serve and to be used by God for his Kingdom.  The event was a costume party for the young people of Lago Puelo to welcome the beginning of Spring and at the same time to share the love of Jesus.

Ariel shared from God's word and Jorge, shared his gifting as a talented guitarist.  Eddie was drafted as one of the judges for deciding the best costume!  The next day, he and Jorge met with the pastor of the nearby town of El Bolson to plan another evangelistic outreach for December.


Last weekend we celebrated the beginning of Spring with our church at it's second annual "Gaiman Florece (Blooms)"  outreach event. 

Leading up to the event, the members of the church pooled their collective talents and made a nice collection of flowers to hand out to the people.   

Once again, the King's Castle kids presented the message of Jesus through various creative means.  

Jeremy also played the guitar in 3 different bands and ran the sound.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cold But With the Hope of Spring

Ministry trip to the Andes

We had a great trip to the foothills visiting the two church plants in the cities of Lago Puelo and El Bolson.  

We thought there would be lots of snow at that elevation but the streets and  countryside showed no promise.  We spent the night in the city of Esquel and the next morning  Eddie and Jeremy did find some snow by making the drive up to La Hoya, a ski resort on the outskirts of Esquel on the way to our destination.

Jeremy had been given a snow board a few years back and he was finally able to try his snow legs after not having had the opportunity to attempt any snow sports for about 3 years or so.

But dad and son had a much needed bonding time as they played in the snow they were blessed to find.  We do know that spring is in the air.  So that was probably all the snow we will be seeing this year.  We did not have an unusually cold winter like last year.  No snow fell in Gaiman, but we are fine with that.  (At least I am fine with that ; )  I prefer summer.  Maybe because it is much shorter!

Our first ministry goal was to spend some time with the Reyes family - Fernando, Pamela and their three sweet children.  Their young church plant in El Bolson, a small beautiful mountain town once a hippie mecca in Argentina that still attracts a large variety of spiritual beliefs, has experienced several struggles, especially in finding a building for their meetings.  They are thankful to the Lord for their current location in the central part of the city.  We were blessed as we sat with them, listened to their stories, and prayed with them for their endeavors and challenges.  Praise the Lord they just recently received a connection to  natural gas in their humble home.  Eddie preached in the Sunday evening service with just a few people in attendance.  Pray for wisdom, strategies for evangelism, and fruit that remains. 

They also showed us around some of the breath-taking scenery and touristic sites of El Bolson.  Our hope is to go back to El Bolson with a ministry team to further encourage and help them in a tangible way. 

Next stop was to visit the Curunao family.  Unfortunately, Pastor Gustavo was away at a conference.  However, we were able to spend a nice afternoon with his wife Ana and her children.  Once again it was so special to hear of their adventures of starting a church in the small picturesque lake town of Lago Puelo.  As she told us of the spiritual warfare they've been up against in this same area of obtaining property for their church, we felt as though we were hearing scenes out of a Christian novel like, “This Present Darkness”, by Frank Peretti.  Please pray for the donated property to the church, that has been unjustly taken by an influential woman in town leadership, to be returned.

There is definitely a darkness and an unseen enemy who does not want to see a light-house for Jesus in these parts.  But greater is He who is in His children than he who is in the world.  Pray for these two families as they bring the light of Jesus to their cities.  


Praise The Lord, the floors of the new library are almost done.  It won't be long before we make the move and begin using this new building.  There is a little ways to go yet so it won't be this semester.  The projected date of completion and dedication is March 2015, just in time for IBP’s 25 anniversary!

Sharpening our Skills

This past week, Eddie 
helped lead a group of 14 staff and faculty from IBP on a trip to the A/G South American Educator's Summit held in Uruguay.  They travelled in the Bible School Speed-the-Light Sprinter minibus 26 hours straight through to Montevideo, Uruguay.  Eddie and Pastor Marcelo took turns driving so that it was not a huge drain on either of them.  The Summit consisted of three days of workshops and inspiring messages which were a huge encouragement to our teachers and staff.  We are thankful for the missionaries who organized the event and for the invited guests who shared their wisdom and encouragement from the Word.
Speaking of IBP, we cannot believe that the next term is just about upon us.  Classes begin in three weeks from today.  So much to do in preparation.

This coming weekend Eddie will be taking a few of our alumni back up to Lago Puelo to help them with an evangelistic event they are planning.  Pray that they have safe travels to and from Lago Puelo and that God uses them in a great way as they reach out to help this fairly new church.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Temperatures have really dropped but of course we are a month into winter.  One of the differences between North America and South America that we've talked about in the past is the strangeness of having Christmas in the heat of summer.  Also, Thanksgiving is not a holiday here so we need to be intentional and "make it happen."  

Yes, one of the things I've always appreciated about our winters back home in the states is that at least there was Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to.  In the Patagonia, we have long winters with no Christmas . . . hmmm, maybe Aslan will come and warm things up a bit. :-)

Argentina World Cup Key Players - Lavezzi, Messi, DiMaria
By the way, did you notice who was playing in the World Cup?  That's right, we were there.  Semi-finalists!  Yep, we're proud of our boys. Most towns in Argentina become ghost towns during the games as people gather in front of their TVs to cheer for their team.  Soccer (or futbol as it's called here) is huge in Argentina, as you could tell if you watched them play at the World Cup.  The national pride kicks in and emotions run high.  It's contagious!  We were in front of our TV screen as well.  Well,  enough about that.


Although is been cold and a lot more quiet since classes ended last month, the activity in the area of construction continues going forward.  The inside of the library is coming along nicely and it won't be long before we have a new 
user friendly and modern library.  
Currently, the inner walls are being finished with the fine plaster coating known as "revoque" in Spanish.  After the revoque, the next step will be to do the flooring.  The heating system needs to be installed and there is also a small bathroom in the library office that will complete the bulk of the work.  Lighter work will be the painting of the walls and the drop ceiling; jobs that teams have helped us with in the past.  Would you or a team from your church be interested in coming to help us with that in February or March 2015?

Of course, the outside walls will need to be finished with brick, but that will not impede the use of the library once the inside is completed.  Which brings to mind the dorm building which still lacks it's outer brick finish.  Here's what the library will look like when finished.  This is getting exciting as we are starting to see that the end is in sight.  This library has been a long time coming and is so needed, especially with the higher student enrollment we are seeing.


In the days immediately following classes we were privileged to host five leaders of the national King's Castle Ministry from Buenos Aires.  They were here to train up a new crop of young people for King's Castle and to support and encourage the older "veteran" Castle kids, of which Jeremy is now a part.  

It's a joy to see him involved in this evangelistic and discipleship ministry in addition to his involvement with the worship team at church.  We are enjoying him as much as we can because we know it won't be long before he flies the coop just as his sister did earlier this year.

Speaking of his sister, Felicia is adjusting quite well to her new life in California. She is well into her internship at our home church in Rocklin, and as part of her work there, she will be helping lead a team of youth on a mission trip to Honduras later this month.  She loves what she's doing and is very excited.

Also, in an unexpected turn of events, it turns out Felicia will be attending William Jessup University in August.  It is a Christian liberal arts college very close to where she is living in Rocklin, CA.  This was such a pleasant surprise but we can definitely say it was a God thing as doors in one direction were almost slamming shut and the door to Jessup was opening wide.


During these "in between" months, we've also been able to focus on and be involved in our home church.  During class sessions, IBP becomes, not only our place of work, but also our church.  Because of our isolated location in Patagonia, we have our own church services on Sunday evenings for the student body.

So it has been good to return to Sunday services at our local church here in Gaiman.  It also has been good to partake in the life and activities of the church.  Eddie has already preached on one Sunday evening and also at a Saturday evening youth service.  

This weekend we will be taking a handful of young people to youth camp in a town three hours south from where we live.  We are so thankful for our Speed-The-Light (STL) car that allows us to serve in ways like this. Plans are also underway to travel South and West to visit our alumni who are pastoring churches in the cities of Lago Puelo and El Bolson.  They are indeed brave souls who venture to the coldest parts of our world to be a light in the darkness.  We praise God for our students who graduate and then follow God's leading to the uttermost parts of the world.

The theme of our Bible School, by the way, is "From the Uttermost to the ends of the earth."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It Was Here, But It's Gone

Like another sunset, this semester has already come to a close.  Seriously, they seem to go by faster each time. Yesterday and today we said goodbye to most of the student body.   It seems the students just arrived, and they are already on their way to their different cities.  Such is the way time transpires here at IBP.  Short and Sweet!  Intense in the academic area, but filled with special friendships, new challenges and spiritual highlights.  

Our greatest desire is that their time here has fueled their hunger for more of Jesus and that they have drawn closer to Him as a result of having come.
There have been some awesome chapel times and some great Sunday night services.  We've been blessed with messages from our professors, staff and third year students.  

It's been precious to see the openness in the students as they responded time and again at the altars.

These last two weeks Eddie and I taught our usual Marriage and Family class to our large first year group.  Such a privilege to pass on to them what we have learned from our past experiences.  It was encouraging to hear them participate in the class discussions.  The students also enjoyed hearing from each other's experiences, as we have singles, marrieds, marrieds with children, and even some widows.  God is calling all who will say

 "yes, here am I, Lord."

Now that IBP Directors, Martin and Charlotte Jacobson, have returned from their time of itineration in the states, the construction of the new IBP library has resumed.  Pepe, our main man on the job, has returned to IBP to help with this project.  He is a very skilled and capable "albañil".  His specialty

is in brickwork, which is basically, the primary mode of construction in Argentina.

Eddie's leg is just about back to 100% normal.  He does not wish this cellulitis on anybody.  It was painful, uncomfortable, and bothersome for way too long.  Thank you for praying!