Ice road preaching
We are at the airport waiting to board our first flight back to the US. It has been a privilege to be in this conference in Arctic Canada! We miss our babies but we have had a great time of fellowship, preaching, singing, and eating. We ate caribou, musk ox, moose, and dried fish.
We hope we have been a blessing to the other missionaries and the church people. The faith promise offering increased to an unbelievable amount. They have definitely blessed us. We have a new supporting church and memories that will last a lifetime.
We've traveled an ice road, experienced ice fog, and learned that the easiest way to tell if it's below zero is if your nose hairs freeze!
The Lord's work is not boring or dreadful, but exciting and adventurous! There's nothing we give up for his sake that he doesn't more than compensate for with his blessings.
"And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold..." --Matthew 19:29
Whew! Another Sunday has come and gone and we are exhausted. This week we've been in OH, PA, and WV. Sometimes we wake up and we have to take a few moments to get our bearings straight to know what state or continent we're on.
We've been in a great mix of supporting and new churches. The Lord has been blessing greatly. We've been saving love offerings for plane tickets and are really close to the total we need for purchasing them. On two recent occasions, I was given cash and checks by so many people that I literally had money falling out of my pockets! Once I had thought I counted all the money only to find there was more hidden in another pocket. God is so generous to us. It brought to mind the verse in Luke 6:38
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Besides financial blessings, God gave us a good blessing to have a scenic drive in between meetings along a peninsula in Erie PA. Joel and Amelia enjoyed the scenery and the wild life while Logan enjoyed a good nap.
Jennifer and I fly out Tuesday for a conference in Canada. Please continue to pray for the kids and Jennifer to handle the temporary separation well. We have a lot of packing and organizing to do so we will write more later.
Designing a Church logo
I have been dabbling a bit in designing a church logo for our church plant in southern Buenos Aires. The specific city within Buenos Aires that we have researched is called Florencio Varela. Our sending church is called Faith Baptist Church. So, unless the Lord leads us to a neighboring city of a different name (Buenos Aires is a city of cities with 13 million people, southern Buenos Aires alone has 5 million people), we would like to call our first church plant, "Iglesia Bautista Fe Florencio Varela" (Faith Baptist Church Florencio Varela.)
Here are some variations of design that would be used for different mediums, such as the church sign, website, tracts, t-shirts, fliers, letters, etc. A logo may be a small thing, but is really the first building block of design projects for a church. Once we have the logo, it will be easier to design the tracts, church sign, website, and fliers.
Click through the thumbnails to see the different variations of the church logo. And if you like it, tell us what you think!
The more design work I complete while in the States, the more time I will have to devote to the more essential tasks at the beginning stages of the church plant, like evangelism and discipleship. And if it actually looks good, we've saved upwards of $150 that we would have spent on a professional!
We had a great time of fellowship with a supporting church in northern Pennsylvania tonight! We're tired, but it's a good kind of tired. We have a couple days to prepare for meetings in West Virginia, then on Tuesday, we will fly up to Canada for a missions conference there.
I like to snap a couple pictures when I present / report to a church like this one today. I know when we are in Argentina again it will be encouraging to look through these photos and know that folks back home love and pray for us. I haven't taken a picture every time, but I try to.
We had a great time this morning and I'm looking forward to preaching in the evening service tonight.
Stats on the Prayer Letter
How often do you check your mail?
I recently [finally] started to use a bulk email service. Many use MailChimp, but I went with Direct Mail for Mac since it seemed a bit more user friendly and I'm a Mac guy. It allows me to give a more personal touch to our email newsletters and it allows me to track results.
Tracking results is both uplifting and discouraging at the same time. You would like to think that everyone that ever signed up for your prayer letter is waiting by their computer, tablet, or smartphone ready to soak up every word you write the instant you press send. You would also like a million dollars. :) The reality that not everyone is actually reading your emails can be a bit shocking at first, but it helps to keep a better list and write better emails.
Here's a look at my first results after a week and a day passed since my letter sent.
We had a loooong drive yesterday, but we're glad we made it. I had a great time at a Men's Prayer Breakfast here in OH. It was a privilege to give a word of challenge and encouragement regarding the Soul Winning program.
I'm looking forward to a full day of preaching tomorrow. My prayer is to obey the Lord and be a blessing.
A first for us... We are staying in a hotel that is attached to a mall. My wife thinks it is a great idea. I think my wallet is getting lighter. :)
I just got an updated picture of the Evangelism Map of Iglesia Bautista El Faro in La Plata, Argentina. In a little over a year they have covered 10,336 houses! Still so much work to do, but praise God they have passed their goal already.
New Supporter in IL
Great be added to the missions family of a new church! Especially amazing considering that 2 days ago, we were not even scheduled to be here tonight. The Lord has a way of working things out better than we plan them!
We scrambled around to replace our Sunday evening meeting and ended up scheduling with a little country church that literally does not have an adress. There's not a traffic light in the county nor in 2 other surrounding counties, but there is a group of people who love the Lord and love missionaries. We were a blessing to them and they were a blessing to us. That's the way it ought to be.
You have to love a prophet's chamber that has a kitchen and a gymnasium connected to it. Especially if it has one of these inside!
It's nice to have a place for the kids to burn some energy before bed after being couped up in the car. It's also nice to drive in Illinois when there aren't 12 inches of snow on the road.
We're looking forward to meetings tomorrow. We hope to be a blessing, see some old friends, and make some new ones.
I'm trying to get back in that old blogging habit now that the website is running a little better.
Prayer Letter March 2014
Joshua and Jennifer Smith are in Buenos Aires, Argentina to plant churches, train national leaders, continue teaching in the Bible College and expand the Radio Ministry.