We had asked you to pray about medical evaluations. We have received the results: Logan has been diagnosed with autism, like his brother Joel.
At the advice of doctors in Argentina and in the U.S., our Pastor, and our Mission Director, we will be traveling to the U.S. at the end of this year for a temporary medical furlough so that Joel and Logan can get the autism therapy that they need at this time. Our return date will hinge on how well they respond to therapy and how well Jennifer can be equipped to care for their special needs on the field.
We are researching the right city for us to get the best autism services so that we can enroll the boys in school and therapy starting in January 2017. Jennifer will stay with the children to manage their school and therapy.
Though we will not be living on the field for this temporary medical furlough, the ministry of training national leaders will go on. I will be in constant contact with the leaders of the Bible College and will make trips to Argentina throughout the year. After getting the family settled and returning from my trip to Argentina, I will be available for meetings beginning in March. If you would like to have me come and report on the wonderful things God has allowed us to be involved in this term and the great opportunities for the future please email or call me (270.776.9111).
We are no strangers to difficult situations. Though these are not the events that we had planned, we are confident that God has a plan and will use all of this for his glory. We choose to look at the bright side. Following and serving Christ is the most exciting and fulfilling life one could ever ask for!
Thank you for your prayers and support. God is blessing the ministry here and we are seeing his hand at work.
We had a special graduation ceremony for these students that finished their four year studies. Please join me in praying for God to use Mireyna, Jairo, David, Vicente, and Carlos in a mighty way as they continue to serve him. Pray that they will be a strong help to the four different churches that they represent and that they will be instrumental in starting new churches that Argentina so desperately needs.
It is a joy and privilege to have a part in training these and others to reach their country for Christ. What a blessing to think of how much fruit will abound to your account for helping us in this ministry! We are winding down the first semester and planning for the next in these cold, winter months in the Southern Hemisphere. Please keep praying for God to work in the lives of the current students so that they can finish strong and graduate like this group.
With the 5th highest inflation rate in the world, we ask you to pray for the country, and for us specifically. At the end of August, our rent looks to jump up by 40%. We need wisdom and God’s hand to deal with the rising costs.
Time flies by. Jennifer and I celebrated 12 years of marriage at the end of May. I am so thankful for my wife. I admire her for her great attitude and commitment to go forward despite the many hardships she faces. Today, we celebrate Joel’s 8th birthday! I can’t express to you how special that is to us, knowing that he was diagnosed with cancer at 18 months. Amelia will turn 6 at the end of this month and Logan will turn 5 next month. Pray for Logan as he is going through some tests and evaluations in the coming weeks.
Thank you for praying for the summer youth camp. Several young people were saved and many made decisions to serve the Lord.
Many young people made the decision to enter the Bible College! I am happy to report that we have our biggest number of students enrolled ever, with 44! The fact that 22 are first year students indicates that there is excitement about preparing to serve the Lord. I am so thankful for the opportunities God has given us to help influence and train a generation of workers. We have students of Argentine, Paraguayan, Peruvian, and Bolivian nationalities that we are praying will go beyond this massive city and country with the gospel. Pray that those that have started will continue and be used mightily. Pray that they see the importance of planting new churches in La Plata, in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and in other countries too.
We thank the Lord for sending a new church planter from the U.S. our way. In a few days, Patrick Henry will arrive with his family to complete their language studies here in La Plata before planting churches. After the first six months of our first term, we have been the lone Independent Baptist Missionaries on the southern end of Buenos Aires (population 6 million.) The need can be overwhelming at times. It is very encouraging that God is sending more laborers close by.
One thing that hasn't been very encouraging recently is our car situation. With various mechanical issues and a motorcyclist slamming in to Jennifer, in the last few months we have spent weeks with the car in the shop and around $2000 in repairs. We were saving up money to either buy a second vehicle or upgrade our current car, but now we have to replenish emergency funds. Pray that God would bless and give us wisdom about our car situation. We know that we serve an all powerful, all knowing, all loving God.
April 11-18 I will be attending a conference on Church Multiplication in Chile. Thank you for your prayers and support.
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.