It’s been a strange couple of months in Argentina. We’ve had two general strikes (where EVERYTHING ground to a standstill due to increasing anger at the government). The inflation peaked at 55.8% and costs for schools, health care, gas, electricity etc. have been increasing even more rapidly than normal. Everyone is feeling the squeeze and businesses have been struggling to keep afloat. We also had a nationwide power cut!
In church life, we’ve been weeping with five church families coming to terms with the deaths of loved ones. This month has reminded us more than ever of the fragility of life. We are not in control, much as we would like to think so.
In family life, we have something much happier to share. In November, we will be welcoming a new baby Walker into the family! We’re very grateful to the Lord for this new blessing, but are aware that we’ll be moving 18 hours across the country to a new city and church in January 2020, so we’re depending on your prayers for all the madness! Name suggestions are always welcome, so let us know your inspired thoughts!
[An overseer] must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:8-9
It’s vitally important to invest in young leaders who will grow in maturity and teach and equip others to know and tell the gospel.
To this end, Andrew and fellow pastors Jony and Hernán, have been working hard over the last few years to run training days for youth leaders from all over Buenos Aires. This one (of three) was an in depth look at what God requires in a church leader - especially relevant as we’re in the process of electing a new bishop. We saw that character and sound doctrine are more important than leadership ability, though competency is important!
Jony led some great sessions unpacking Titus 1, 1 Timothy 3 and Ephesians 4 (see picture at top of page), while Andrew looked at application and the cultivation of godly character in our daily living - true for all Christians but especially for any who aspire to oversee a church.
Jenny (Jony’s wife) and I ran a session on identity for the girls. It’s our first ‘girls’ track’ and we’re hoping we can follow it up before too long, with further possibilities on the youth camp in February.
In April, Andrew went to Mendoza with Hernán, who has been overseeing the church there (from Buenos Aires!) for the last few years, to get the lowdown on life and ministry. A couple of weeks later we went as a whole family, to look at schools and houses, with help from church family. We love Mendoza and we’ve been praying for the church since we heard about it 10 years ago. It’s such a joy to know we are going to serve there. It won’t be an easy transition. Buenos Aires and Mendoza are very different culturally and there will be many adjustments and challenges, not least with Andrew taking on the leadership of a church which will have had no on-site pastor for 13 years. It is incredible to see how God has sustained the small community through some really tough times and we feel really privileged to be going to serve alongside them.
Practically, we were able to look at schools and a possible house. We found a state school near the church, met the Head and looked around. It’s difficult to know what’s best for the children, especially when there are so many options with different visions, academic standards, social demographics and price tags. We value the possibilities in a school near church, where the majority of families live in the area, especially for outreach and church family events. But we will probably need to complement this option with some home-schooling, which will fall mainly on me. Slightly daunting to say the least. Please continue to pray as we consider the different options. The house we saw was wonderful, but we have no idea how likely it really is. Pray that we would trust in God’s timing and provision.
Thank you so much for praying!
Much love in Christ,
Andrew, Bethanie, Maia, Emilio, Lucy and bump xxxxxx
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