January/February 2016 Argentina Missionary Update
The following is a ministry update from Pastor Matias Buldain, an SGBC supported missionary in Argentina:
"Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law" Deuteronomy 31:12
This was the verse that we used as our theme verse for our Family Camp last weekend. The title of the camp was "Together before the Lord as a Family". Since we started the church, I have had a burden to help the families grow in Christ together. We live in a time where the enemy has gained much ground in the home, and usually when a couple comes to know the Lord they come with so much pain, so many wounds, and so much to "undo and redo".
One of the ways in which we help them grow in this area is through this camp. Every year, at the beginning of February, we go out as a church to a retreat area where we spend time learning through general sessions, workshops, family devotions, counseling, guided evaluations and practical activities. This year we had a pastor teaching us that traveled from Tucuman (a state in Argentina 900 miles north of San Justo). He was very practical and our church could relate very well to what he said.
I also had the opportunity to teach a few seminars on topics that I had been observing for some time and thought there was a need on. I spoke on a) the biblical mandate of caring for our parents in need (based on 1 Timothy 5), b) companionship in marriage (fighting against superficial relationships and building the kind of relationship that will aim for what is eternal based on 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1) and c) the biblical model for pursuing marriage (I confronted the false and dangerous model of our time and I explained the unchanging principles of God based on Genesis 24).
As I prepared for the teaching, God used it to help me grow in my understanding of these issues and I know these will be very important topics in my pastoral ministry this year. We had 57 people attending the camp and it was a great time of encouragement and challenge for all of us in our family life.
A couple of weeks ago we had our first missionary trip with our youth group this year. We took them to one of the neighborhoods where we have a small group meeting to preach the gospel for an entire day. It was wonderful to see them sharing with kids and adults the good news of salvation. We are so thankful to the Lord that this year He has made some of them grow so much. It is wonderful to hear them share about their walk with the Lord and see them boldly sharing Christ. We are still praying for some of them that still live in a very shallow and superficial spirituality, and some that are struggling with sin in several areas of their lives, but we are thankful for those in whom we do see fruit.
After we arrived in Merlo, we spent some time explaining to them how a church grows out of a person that comes to know the Lord in a neighborhood. They where able to hear Daniel and Eli (a family from this area that is now at the Pastoral Training Center), Samuel and Chayo (a couple from Peru that is preparing to serve in their country as church planters) and Percy and Evony (a couple that came from Peru to be trained at the Pastoral Training Center). After that meeting we went to a nearby park, we invited kids from the area and our youth presented a small play and sang a few songs for them.
After that, we shared the gospel individually with them and with the adults that were with them in the park. Several of them made professions of faith and many heard. After that, we went back to the house for refreshments and fellowship.
Later that afternoon we had a small group meeting at the house of Daniel with some adults from the neighborhood where we played together, we sang and I preached from Revelation 14. What a wonderful day! Lord willing, we will go out with the youth group once a month so we can eventually visit all the neighborhoods that we ask God to raise churches in.
Please help us pray for our youth group. We are enjoying so much our times with Christopher, Sole and Basti. This is a family that we visit every week with Neri. I have visited Christopher and Sole since they came to the Lord 4 years ago. They are growing so much and we enjoy to see their tender hearts to the Word of God. Lord willing, next month Christopher will teach for the first time at out Sunday School for three months. He is a good Bible student and I am sure he will be a good Bible preacher one day.
A coupe of weeks ago we took them to a nearby park where we fished, walked and enjoyed fellowship together. At the end of January God allowed us to take trip with Nerina to visit our family in Bolivia. We planned the trip so we could help at the time our niece would be born, and it was great to spend those days with them and help in any way we could. I preached for Marcelo (my wife´s brother-in-law who is a pastor there) a couple of times, and another church in the area that heard that I was there and invited me to preach there the last Sunday I was in Bolivia.I enjoye d everything those two weeks.
In order to make our trip less expensive, we drove there (over 2000 miles), which was my first experience driving that far. We had a great time on the road as well, and God protected us so that nothing happened to us. The only inconvenience we had was that we had to delay our return back home for a few days for a national protest that blocked all roads for over a week. This made us wait 5 extra days before we could come back, but it allowed me to study at the church's office in Bolivia and to share more with our family there.
For the next couple of weeks we will be working to prepare for the beginning of classes at the Pastoral Training Center next April. Please pray that God will bring those that He wants us to minister to this year and that we will be ready to do it in a way that will honor Him and bring much fruit in the future for His glory. Besides interviewing the candidates, recruiting new professors and preparing for the classes I teach, we also need to fix, clean, and paint the office building and finish building the classroom areas. This is a big challenge for which we need God's grace providing the resources and the workers to do it.
Next month is also our mission focus month at our church, so please pray that God will guide us to where He wants us to go and that the church will respond with passionate obedience to His call. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It s a joy and an honor to have you as a ministry partner and friend. God bless you!
"To the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:6
Matias and Nerina Buldain