What’s New in BA?

 


Biblical Marriage Workshop in La Boca

Last month a team of four came from Northland Baptist Church to serve in the neighborhood of La Boca. They worked with Pablo & Carmen who are sent out by their local church for the purpose of starting a church in this area of the city. La Boca is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. It is known for its tourism, tango, and futbol (soccer). As one of the more poorer areas of the city it is faced with many challenges such as drugs, crime, and sexual promiscuity. It is not uncommon to find single parent homes nor is it uncommon for couples to live together without being married. For this reason, Pablo believes it is extremely important for those who attend their weekly Bible studies to known God’s plan & purpose for marriage & relationships. There are currently 3 small groups that gather during the week for Bible study. Pablo would ultimately like to see these 3 groups join together to form a church; however, because of crime & a lack of trust among people in general, there will have to be a lot of relationship building before that can happen.

Randy from Northland spent time walking through God’s foundation for biblical marriage and how a man & a woman complement one another to fulfill that purpose. Emiliano, who is a member of Pablo & Carmen’s church also served by interpreting for the team.

Pray that this group would desire to obey God & would see how committing to one another in marriage glorifies Him.

 

 

 

 


 

The Saturday small group had a very special time of continuing
to look at relationships from a biblical worldview and worshipping together. Many were challenged by God’s call to love sacrificially, to forgive unconditionally, and to serve joyfully.

Pray that this older couple would be open to having more people in their home and that they would grow in Christ.

 

 


 

God is amazing! He often glorifies Himself through the feeble and most hard hearted of men. Saturday night Pablo took the team to visit Carlos. Carlos is disabled and spends most of his time in a wheelchair as well as with a paintbrush in his mouth. Many of his paintings depict the beauty that exists in places where it’s difficult to see. You can also find symbols of hope with references to Scripture. But Carlos wasn’t always a God fearing man.

He shared his testimony of how he was an alcoholic living on the streets, who in spite of his size & disability was always eager to get in fights, especially with preachers. In spite of being raised in a Christian home, this didn’t deter Carlos from bringing shame upon his Christian parents, whom he said never ceased to pray for his salvation. God saved Carlos through a street preacher who challenged his lifestyle with Scripture, gave him a job, and held him accountable. Carlos said that his conversion & commitment to God was a sudden transformation. He immediately stopped drinking licor & desired to serve the Lord. Subsequently God began to use Carlos through painting, a gift that he never possessed until God saved him.

Carlos encouraged us beyond description and as we said goodbye, he took off down the street at 9pm in his electric wheelchair to attend church. His life is a testimony of God’s power and His mercy.

 

Worship Conference

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

1 Peter 4:10

The need for healthy New Testament churches is necessary throughout the world. Thanks to God, the book of Acts provides us with many positive examples and characteristics of healthy churches. There are many examples of missionaries discipling individuals and churches in understanding how to properly respond to God and His precepts.

Worship is one characteristic that we find in churches that tends to be influenced by our culture. In some instances the focus shifts from worshipping God to providing entertainment. This is a form of idolatry because it is self seeking. Worship is designed to be given to God; therefore, He should be the focus. When we plan worship around our own preferences that are rooted in style and feeling we quickly find ourselves on the throne receiving what is only intended for God.

It was a blessing to have the Glade Church partner with Rey de Paz (King of Peace) Baptist Church. Their knowledge about worship was beneficial in strengthening Rey de Paz in growing as a healthy church. They proved themselves to be good stewards as they shared their gifts in teaching their Argentine brothers and sisters biblical truths about God and how He desires to be worshipped.

May we all contemplate how we approach the throne of grace and repent when we construct idols of style, preference, and entertainment that not only cause division within our churches, but between our hearts and heaven.

They Came to Encourage

What does the community look like where you live? Is there plenty of green space for kids to play and people to take strolls without encountering stained sidewalks and buildings overcome with graffiti? Does it take 50 minutes to travel 6 miles by car? Perhaps you take the bus or the subway where you live and know the experience of being crammed together with people you don’t know for an hour at a time. Where do you go to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle? How do you maintain a positive, upbeat, and hopeful spirit? These are but a few challenges for those who live in the Capitol of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires is a city rich in history and a current day global pathway to many parts of the world. At the same time, as a believer living among a population that is 95% unbelieving can become wearisome, especially when there is little to no response to the Gospel. With time being a high commodity, many sacrifices need to be made. At the end of the day, there just isn’t a whole lot of extra time to share with others, especially with people you don’t know. This is a real dilemma for believers living in the city. Sacrifices have to be made if the light of the Gospel is going to penetrate the darkness of the city that envelopes its citizens. Many times, believers have to be reminded of this spiritual truth to abstain from becoming complacent or even indifferent to the spiritual realities that they are a part of daily.

Thanks to God for fellow believers who come along side of us to remind us of these truths and encourage us along the way. This is exactly what a recent team of three people from the suburbs of Nashville,TN did. Their testimonies, I believe helped to rekindle the passion of sharing the Gospel for some while at the same time reminding them that God is mighty to save and that no one is “too lost” for God’s grace to radically transform their lives. Time was given to encourage men, women, and children to seek the Lord and be obedient to His calling. We pray that the the members of the local church will not be overtaken by complacency, but instead will be intentional in sharing their faith, praying for their lost friends and family members, and opening their homes for Bible studies.

Wherever you live and whatever your situation, would you take the time to prayer for the believer’s at Caballito Baptist Church to persevere in the midst of an energy draining city and to make the necessary sacrifices that will allow them to give their time to eternal things? At the same time, give thanks for churches like Lookout Valley that came and didn’t see people converted, but came to encourage others to persevere in their faith.

Saturday with Chacarita

The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. - Mark 13:10

This past Saturday, three of us from the Mission Buenos Aires Team spent the day with a small group of believers from the neighborhood of Chacarita. They are a group of young people, eager to learn more about the Gospel & Discipleship. We spent tim4cb016f17e20cb580ab638c61602d308e defining "What is the Gospel" from the Apostle Peter's example in Acts 2. His example presents us with 5 key elements that all of us as Christians must know and be able to explain as we share the Gospel with others and as the Church considers individuals as members of local churches. Apart from understanding who God is, the consequences of sin, the need for a Savior (Jesus Christ), faith in Christ, and repentance from sin, there is no true understanding or belief that the Apostle John says is required to be called a child of God.

They also learned and practiced how to share their testimony while at the same time identifying that the individual testimony of a believer is not the Gospel, but rather a bridge to sharing the Gospel. Bridges are necessary at times in order to guide a person from their world-view to a saving belief in Christ alone. To whom might we be called to share the Gospel? Consider the people that God has put in your path that you know well or come into contact with on a regular basis like family members, co-workers, friends, and even grocery store clerks and gas station attendants. They all need to hear the Gospel.

Emphasis was given to intentionally praying for God to work in the hearts of non-believers to prepare them to receive the "good seed" of the Gospel and to seek opportunities to gather together in small groups. These small groups can meet in homes, offices, or some neutral place like a coffee shop or park to gather together and study the Bible. Although Chacarita doesn't have a church building they have not forsaken their gathering together on a weekly basis at a local McDonalds. Their desire of gathering together weekly and to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures is a reminder that the Christian's love for Christ is expressed through obedience to His commandments (John 14:21).

This Sunday Morning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. Matthew 25:23

Today was like any other Sunday at Villa del Parque Baptist Church...or so we thought. My wife and I along with our four children have been regular attendees at the church for over half a year now. That may not seem unusual, but when you consider that we make up more than half the congregation you now realize just how small the church is. Not because it lacks space. There is more than enough space to have at least sixty members. Nevertheless, we've been attending VDP because that's where God has put us, and we enjoy it. God has called us to serve there and encourage Pastor Roberto and his wife Ester by serving alongside them. Our son helps lead the worship by playing guitar with another member while our oldest daughter has recently accompanied them by playing the keyboard. Oh and me? I preach once a month, well actually now twice a month.

I'm responsible to preach every third Sunday of the month to help carry the load with Roberto. He's over seventy and has diabetes and it's not easy for him to stand for long periods of time. A youth pastor from another church had been helping by preaching once a month, but recently told Roberto that he wasn't going to be able to help for the next two months. That's where the "twice a month" comes in. Roberto asked me last week if I would be able to preach twice a month, and I said "yes", but I never expected what we encountered this morning...at least for a little while.

After we arrived at the church and began setting up, Ester showed up and informed us that Roberto wouldn't be able to come because of pain in his legs and so she was going to stay home and care for him. Our church attendance just shrunk by 20%. What do you do when it's only your family of six and two other people? You worship God, you pray, you preach, you take the offering, and you hang around a fellowship, so that's what we did. After singing our first song and ready to move into the second, Roberto and Ester showed up. Not in a car, because they don't have one. They walked the half block distance from their house to the church. Roberto refused to stay home and not be with us. He is an incredible man of faith.

Regardless of how your church plant may be going or how low your attendance may be, remember that we show up on Sundays to hear God speak through the preacher and we worship Him in song, and we carry one another's burdens, and we unite in fellowship and prayer, and we do it all with hearts that overflow with joy.