April 2022

‘Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.’
    Psalm 62:8

In such troubling times, there’s comfort in the Psalms, singing about God’s sovereign hand over every world leader, every world event and every person from every nation. This Easter we have been praying on for Ukraine, Russia and all the people affected by the war, including a Crosslinks family in Moldova and St. Ebbe’s mission partners in Kyiv – that their refuge would be in this great God. 

Summer summary
The summer in Mendoza is hot. Schools usually shut from December to March and everything slows down. Our summer plans were slightly derailed by finally succumbing to Covid, along with others from church and most of Mendoza. Covid itself wasn’t too bad, but it zapped Andrew of all his energy for a few weeks afterwards. 
Despite that, we managed to go on a week’s holiday to San Rafael, and enjoy the delights of a working farm, rafting, a tree top rope course, olive oil tasting and a labyrinth. We had a lot of fun, even though Andrew wasn’t feeling great for most of it. The scenery was beautiful and being away from home was a lovely break.
After two years of quite sketchy local schooling, we tried to keep a rhythm of writing and reading during the summer for the children. The three older kids also took part in a ‘colonia’ (a summer sports club) each morning for three weeks. This was mostly for my own sanity, but their swimming was definitely much better at the end of it! The summer ended quite suddenly when the government decided to cut the holidays short to make up for lost pandemic schooling!

Church chatter
Despite low numbers over the summer, we’ve seen a couple more people in church in recent weeks, and some really encouraging signs. I helped lead a couple of sessions on children’s ministry, so now we have four people slightly more prepared to lead the Sunday School,  newly named ‘Las Uvitas’ the Little Grapes. (Our Church is called the Lord of the Vine… see what we did there?)

Las Uvitas

With all my gaudy free time, I’ve been madly practising to play the keyboard at church because we have no musicians (since Jacquie and Kidum left). It is a sign of how desperate we are. Saying that, Maia has really stepped up to help with singing, and the Lord has blessed her with a beautiful voice which everyone appreciates, so we’re thankful for her willingness to serve our church family.

Our apprentice, Gaston (nicknamed Toré), is such a blessing. His preaching is really improving and he’s been incredibly faithful in his one-to-ones. We can see the fruit in the lives of the guys he’s invested in, and if we weren’t already convinced by the importance of discipleship, we would be now! We’ve been meeting with Toré and his fiancée, Emilia, for a marriage prep course. They plan to marry in May (with Noah as the ring bearer!) and start at CEP (the bible college in Chile) early next year.

Working with our small church is continuing to stretch and challenge us, but we are praying and working towards growing maturity in the current members and looking at what it really means to be church family. 

This is a really important time in Argentina. So we made Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday invitation services, encouraging everyone to invite at least one person who wouldn’t normally go to church. We also did things a bit differently by linking up with another small church for some of our Easter services.

What next?
Many Christians think about long-term mission in a different country, but few actually end up there. So short-term mission trips can be really useful to get a feel for what life might be like for mission partners. We are happy to receive just such a couple, Jacob and Bethany Lees, who will be joining us for six weeks from July. We look forward to sharing more about them in the next prayer letter!

Prayer and Praise

  • Praise God with us for some really lovely family times during the summer and the beautiful country we live in.
  • Please give thanks for all the invitations that went out for our Easter services. Give thanks for all who came and pray that they would continue to reflect on the gospel message they heard.
  • Jony and Jenny Bertín arrived safely in Chile in January, to teach Greek and New Testament at CEP. They are loving their time there so far, and Felipe is enjoying his new school. Please pray for their complicated visa situation due to a sudden change in the Chilean rules.
  • Please pray as we rethink the children’s schooling. Now on our third academic year in the state system, we feel that this may not be the best place for them. Please pray for wisdom as we look at other options.
  • We’re happy to announce that we’re ‘tíos’ again! Little William was born to Andrew’s sister, Alice, last month.
  • Finally, if the Lord wills, we hope to make a trip back in early December for a few weeks. It will be 4 years since our last trip back so we’re looking forward to seeing you and eating Cadbury’s again. It’s been too long. (I’ll leave you to guess whether I’m talking about you or the chocolate!)

We hope you have had a lovely Easter,

Andrew, Bethanie, Maia, Emilio, Lucy and Noah

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