What is “Hope for Buenos Aires?”

Hope for Buenos Aires is a partnership between North Richland Hills Baptist Church (NRHBC) and the International Mission Board.

Through this partnership, NRHBC has the primary responsibility for reaching the barrios of Villa Ortuzar and Chacarita— strategizing, guiding the work, and mobilizing people to get involved.  Villa Ortuzar and Chacarita are unreached barrios – there is little or no evangelical witness in these two neighborhoods.

The partnership was forged three years ago, after a vision trip in May of 2007.  NRHBC sent our first mission team in November of the same year.  Every year since, NRHBC has sent between 5 and 6 mission teams.  At the end of 2010, we will have sent 19 teams to Buenos Aires.

Our biggest success story is in Villa Ortuzar.  One of the Argentines, JL, who we met on our first mission trip has befriended a local missionary, Jason Frealy, and has participated in a Bible study since the fall of 2008.  This past spring, JL took significant steps in his faith and in leading a Bible study.  He even baptized two new Argentine believers. Pray for JL to continue to grow in his faith and for the Bible study that he hosts to continue to develop as our first house church in Villa Ortuzar.

Recently, even more exciting opportunities have emerged in our partnership.  A local Baptist church in Buenos Aires,  Iglesia Bautista Barrio Norte, (Barrio Norte Church) reached out to NRHBC to develop a partnership.  Barrio Norte Church is 30 years old and in her 30 years has never done any intentional missions or evangelism.  Approaching NRHBC in March through a local missionary couple, Manuel and Berta Sosa, Barrio Norte Church has access to an empty church building on the outskirts of one of our barrios – Chacarita.

Barrio Norte and NRHBC are partnering together to use the empty church building, dubbed the Villa Crespo Outreach Center, to spread the gospel and disciple the people of Chacarita.  NRHBC sent a team in July 2010 to work with Barrio Norte church to remodel the building and sent a student team in the same month to hold a VBS out of the building.  Barrio Norte will begin holding Bible studies and outreach events in September 2010.  Subsequent teams from NRHBC will continue to partner with Barrio Norte church to reach out to the community.

More important that What is “Hope for Buenos Aires” is WHO – who is the hope for Buenos Aires?

In a word, Jesus.  Jesus Christ is the hope for Buenos Aires.  In John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one will come to the Father except through me.”  Reconciliation to God is only possible through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Reconciling the people of Buenos Aires to God is only possible through Jesus Christ.

Thankfully, we have two promises that we can cling to:

According to John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, God loves Argentina so much that in spite of sin, he sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross on their behalf.  Jesus Christ is the hope for Buenos Aires because Jesus assumed the wrath of God – the penalty of sin – on the cross.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus promised to grow his church.  Jesus loves the people of Buenos Aires and has a passionate desire to see them come into a relationship with him.  Even when our mission teams are not in Buenos Aires, God is at work.  His Holy Spirit moves in the hearts and minds to encourage the people of BA towards reconciliation with the one who loves them more than any other.

If you want to join the One who is the Hope for Buenos Aires on mission, contact Mark Spence at mark@nrhbc.org.

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