At IBP our semesters are intensive and short as opposed to the traditional 9 month school year. In fact it's almost opposite! This system has worked well for us because it allows the students to work for several months to earn the funds they need to pay for their next term and also for their travel, as distances are great for the majority of our students. Here in Argentina there are no "school loans" or other "financial aid" that students can apply for, although some students receive assistance from their home churches.
So we have already reached the halfway point which is marked by our Spiritual Emphasis week. This semester we were priviledged to have Kentucky Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Joe Girdler, bring a team of pastors (including former KY A/G Superintendent, Pastor Jim Biram) and pastor's wives to minister to our students for this special week.
|L-R: Chuck & Kathy Tidd, Joe Girdler, Betty & Paul Brannan, Joann & Jim Biram, Nita Jones|
Pastor Joe Girdler and Pastor Paul Brannan did an awesome job sharing in the daily chapel times and the nightly services. Pastor Chuck Tidd (in picture at right) taught a creative workshop on ministry to children and Paul Brannan taught a workshop on missions. It was a great week and, as usual, Eddie did the interpreting for all who did not speak Spanish. Pastor Paul and Betty Brannan (below left) didn't need an interpreter as they were former missionaries here in Argentina. Below to the right is Eddie interpreting for Pastor Joe Girdler.
The week ended with a day of rest for both students and pastors at the nearby coastal city of Puerto Madryn. The following day, Eddie and Martin Jacobson (IBP director) led the team on a ministry tour through the Patagonia where they preached and ministered in churches which were planted by our IBP alumni. Wow! It's difficult to put into words the feelings of thankfulness and joy for what God is doing through these precious lives devoted to Him!
To the left is Pastor Daniel Ayelef of Villa Regina. Below in center is Pastor Fernando Reyes of El Bolson, both from cities in the province of Rio Negro.
This has been a busy time for us at IBP as you can imagine. As a result of the long days and the very long drive throughout the Patagonia, Eddie came home from the trip feverish and in pain. That very night we made a trip to Urgent Care where his high fever was treated. The next day results from lab work and another doctor visit, revealed he had contracted cellulitis. Doctor's orders are complete rest and antibiotics. This has been difficult for Eddie, as the semester is in full swing and there is so much to do. Our prayer request is for quick healing from this illness.
As Eddie prayed this morning, we were reminded that God is in control and that "all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose." Although Eddie cannot be "up and around", he has been able to focus on some work (seated and with leg elevated) such as emails and phone calls - work that he had not been able to get to in recent days due to all of the busyness. So, some good has come of this situation we initially thought of as a total bummer.
If you are going through something problematic or disappointing, perhaps Eddie's current difficulty can be an encouragement and blessing to you as you remember that God is in control and He never lets go. As the song by Matt Redman says, "through the calm and through the storm; Oh no, He never lets go, in every high and every low, He never lets go of you!"
We appreciate your prayers!