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.