“Complicated” may be the most often used word in the Argentine language! It is the basis of every excuse – we heard, “it’s complicated” as often as any other phrase this week. Sometimes, when we went to an appointment, we heard people use the excuse, I can’t meet right now and it’s complicated why I can’t.
However, God’s grace is greater than complications. On just our second mission trip to Buenos Aires, we saw several more people accept Christ as their savior. We meet several authentic followers of Christ who desire a place to congregate in the barrio in which they live. One gentleman, Javier, who has seminary training, poured out his heart on how the church he last served at hurt him, turning him away from Christ. However, he is ready, after several years away from the church, to start the healing process. If his heart completely returns to Christ, we may have a seminary trained leader for a house church.
In the morning on Sunday we prayerwalked Villa Ortuzar, exposing the team to the people of our barrio. In the afternoon and evening we had games for kids, adults and a bible raffle. The purpose of the raffle was to get names, addresses, and phone numbers of people interested in the scripture. Monday through Thursday we followed up with those on the list to bring them a consolation prize of a New Testament, and to engage in a spiritual conversation.
The balloon animals were a big hit, as crowds of children crowded around to get their own. Charlie, Janet, Cortney and Mark made about 300 balloon animals for about 3 straight hours.
2 dozen families entered into the raffle. Mark’s team visited the family who won the Bible on Monday. This family lived in abject poverty, squatting between two nice homes. The encouraging thing about it was that this Bible would be the family’s nicest and most prized possession.
On Sunday night, the translators called and set appointments for the week, and we had 6 appointments on Monday. Charlie and Lydia had one in the morning, Veronica Soraine, who prayed to receive Christ. Mark, Janet and Cortney met with two families who both want to learn more about the Bible. Lastly, Ronnie and Debbie’s best appointment was with Diego and Veronica who are both seemingly close to a relationship with Christ.
On Wednesday night, a group of 7 Argentines, 4 IMB missionaries, and 3 from our team met in a house in Villa Ortuzar and had the first service of a potential new house church! They plan to meet again next week.
These are incredible acts of God that we are merely the obedient vessels used to share his love. Pray that this is the start of a new church in Villa Ortuzar and that many will continue to attend. Praise God that he can overcome complications and busy schedules to see people come to know him in a deep and rich relationship.