A little over 5 years ago, I led a team from NRHBC on a vision trip to consider working in Buenos Aires with missionaries from the International Mission Board (IMB). Randy Whittall, the head of the IMB team in Buenos Aires, encouraged our church to adopt barrio(s) in Buenos Aires and focus our work in these neighborhoods. We accepted the challenge and began to work in two barrios – Villa Ortuzar and Chacarita.
Since May of 2007, NRHBC sent 25 teams to Buenos Aires. This July marked our penultimate trip with one more planned in November of this year. The end of this year will conclude our partnership in Buenos Aires and thankfully this trip, perhaps more than any other, demonstrated that encouraging progress is occurring.
At the beginning of the partnership, my goal was to follow a strategy in which NRHBC works herself out of a job and it is looking more and more like this strategy is succeeding due to the work of Iglesia Bautista Villa Crespo (Villa Crespo Baptist Church) and her pastor, Guillermo Otero, who is pictured above holding the plates of cookies.
On previous trips we showed movies with mediocre success with probably, at most, 20 people attending. This trip we had 60+ on two nights, 50+ one night and 40+ as our “low” attendance night. At the end of each movie, two members of our team shared their faith story. Thankfully, Keelan and Aidan Lindsey who are 13 and 11 respectively, were on the trip as the kids at the movies were most attentive while the Lindsey boys shared their faith stories.
Monday through Thursday our teams followed up with new and previous contacts. Progress was made in the fact that Villa Crespo has reach a point in which they could send out members to go with us as we made our visits. At least one member went with our team a day – another point of progress as NRHBC hands off “our barrios” to the Villa Crespo church.
The NRHBC team did great – Jake Kuylen, Trent Voyles, Kevin, Sabrina, Keelan and Aidan Lindsey, and Ashlie Duncan went about their tasks with vigor and were faithful in sharing the gospel.
I look forward to going to Buenos Aires for the last time, at least for the time being, and seeing further evidence of God at work through the Villa Crespo church.