The Regions Beyond
One of our ministry goals and dreams has been that preachers that we help train would be used to preach the gospel in other countries.
We are seeing that dream come true! Pastor Esteban and several members of the church he started in a neighboring city are originally from Paraguay. Naturally, they have a burden for their people that speak an indigenous language called Guaraní in addition to Spanish. Pastor Esteban is in Paraguay until the end of the year preaching the Gospel and helping a group of believers. His son, Javier, also a recent graduate of the Bible College, is filling in for him during his extended mission trip. Please pray for Pastor Esteban, the work in Paraguay, Javier, and Light Baptist Church.
Javier is now in a position of service in the ministry but he started in the Youth Group of Lighthouse Baptist Church. The church will be hosting a youth conference this month. The focus will be on purity. Argentina needs young people who are set apart for the Lord's service. Please pray especially for the youth and this special event this month.
After much research and prayer, we believe that the city of Columbus, OH will be the best location for our temporary Medical Furlough. The abundance of autism specialized schooling and therapy available there would give us the best opportunity to see rapid improvement in Joel's and Logan's development.
We have purchased our tickets for December 16th. The sooner we get a house to rent, the sooner we can enroll the boys in the right school and therapy services. Please pray that we can find very affordable housing in Columbus before we leave Argentina.
If you would like me to come to your church and report on the ministry in 2017, please contact me via email or phone (smiths2argentina at gmail.com or two seven zero -776-9111).
P.S. Amelia had a seizure and has had some tests done to be sure that it is not a larger problem. Also, our car is not working again. We intend to fix it up and sell it before leaving for the US then buy a different one after our furlough. Thank you for your prayers!
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.
Summer Youth Camp in January
On Tuesday (Jan 26) we expect to have more than 60 young people from five churches for a four day youth camp.
The theme is "Continue" based on 2 Timothy 3.14. I have the privilege of preparing the lesson material based out of 2 Timothy. Pastor Hugo Martinez is the special preacher. Please pray for him as he preaches Tuesday through Friday night.
Camp means a lot to us. I met my wife at camp. I answered the call to be a preacher and missionary at camp. I even got married at camp! These young people have the opportunity to rid themselves of distractions for a few days while being saturated with the preaching, teaching, and singing of the word of God. The decisions made this week can determine the fate of not only individual young people, but of entire families, churches, towns, cities and even countries!
Pray that God will raise up from this group pastors, missionaries, and solid church members that will support the great commission of our Savior! Pray that many will commit to entering the Bible College this semester to be trained for the ministry. Argentina needs hundreds of churches to be reached with the Gospel!
Thank you for praying for my eye to heal of the corneal ulcer that I suffered at the paw of my dog, Rex-- I am no longer a cyclops. :)
Thank you for your prayers.
Endless Spinach and Corneal Ulcer
Joel has been having some issues sleeping alone for some time now. With all the major transitions he has had in his 7 years of life, it is completely understandable that he has reverted back to wanting to sleep with Mama and Daddy every night. He does well with travel and other 'changes' that many medical professionals have told us that autistic children have a very hard time with, but he can not sleep well without a parent in the bed with him. We researched what might help him with the transition to sleeping solo and came to the conclusion that an indoor hammock might be perfect for him. So we have purchased a frame and hammock, put a lot of sweat and maybe a few tears into fitting it into the kid's room, and are doing our best to transition him *back* into his own bed. Please pray with us that he will feel secure and sleep comfortably in his new bed.
Joel is Five Years Cancer Free
Jennifer and I have been married for 11 years, Joel turned 7, Amelia 5, and Logan 4! Where has the time gone? I thank God for a wife that helps care for me and the ministry despite so many hardships through the years. Praise God that this month marks 5 years of Joel being cancer free!
We are looking forward to Spring as you look forward to Summer. We have started the second semester at the Bible College. Some have dropped out but most have remained faithful. Up to this point, we have an average attendance of 27 students of Argentine, Peruvian, and Paraguayan nationalities. Please continue to pray for us, the other teachers, and the students as we train leaders to reach this great city and beyond with Gospel.
We have had some issues with receiving mail at our personal P.O. Boxes. The stateside box should be fine now, but the issue with the field address has yet to be resolved. We will let you know when it is ok to send mail to our field address again.
A year after the Lighthouse Baptist Church building (also where Macedonia Baptist Seminary of Argentina meets) burned to the ground, they now have a building with a roof over it! You have a had a part in that. Pastor Jorge has asked me to help them with an evangelistic campaign to reach people and fill the larger building. Please pray as we help to organize the effort that God would do a mighty work.
Please continue to pray for our safety here. Though nothing was taken, our vehicle was broken into while parked at our home.
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.