Greetings from Montevideo! Thank you for your partnership in so many ways. The past three months have been some of the most intense since our arrival in Uruguay. We rely on your prayers. We appreciate you.
Campamento Emanuel and Misión Evangélica del Uruguay (MEU). This year’s camp theme was the Scriptures, taught and applied in different ways to age-oriented camps. During the adolescentes and jóvenes camps, JM taught basic Bible study steps, and we repeated this theme as our family worked again with the children who attended the MEU workers’ conference with their parents. MEU pastors have also been studying principles of interpretation and recently asked JM to teach grammar for Bible study in their twice-per-month meetings. Several students and pastors are showing interest in learning to analyze, phrase by phrase, passages of Scripture through an online program that JM enjoys. We have requested prayer in the past for this kind of commitment. It is appropriate to conclude that God is answering your prayers! Personally, we have also grown more and more excited about tracing the argument of Scripture. Please pray that we would humbly respond to God’s way of thinking.
Facultad de Estudios Bíblicos del Uruguay (FEBU) (College of Biblical Studies of Uruguay). In early March, D finished a six-week course toward the MEd in Teaching & Learning, which is already helping in the developing college program. We both hope to graduate in 2020. FEBU’s first semester classes began March 6, once again with approximately 27 students, 9 of these full-time. D and JM are teaching Research and Argumentation; JM is teaching Church Music and preparing to teach Hermeneutics and Apologetics.
In a recent video call with one of our partner churches someone asked what our weekly schedule looks like. On Sunday we continue to help Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha in Pando. (We’re encouraged, overall, with steps that some of the teens and young adults are taking. Please continue to pray for the growth of this church and for the Lord’s provision in His time of a Uruguayan pastor.) Monday through Friday our mornings tend to be dedicated to study and class preparation, bookended by JM’s taking the kids to school and picking them up. (The schedule this year is much easier now that both E and DJ are in the same school and on the same schedule.) FEBU continues to use the MEU library (downstairs from our living area) for classroom space; both FEBU and the MEU Bible institute have classes two doors down in facilities managed by Iglesia Templo Calvario. This usually means—Monday through Friday—that students begin arriving mid-afternoon to study and socialize before evening classes. Afternoons and evenings are punctuated by details related to classes, students, and teachers. The blessings of these opportunities—unexpected and in some ways unsought—so far have outweighed the inherent challenges of the living situation. Please continue to pray concerning the Lord’s provision of the right facilities for FEBU. More important—especially as FEBU has begun, step by step, to provide dormitory accommodations for students—is the need for personnel prepared to provide the kind of discipleship that we desire to give to our students.
We were recently reminded that “there are two cosmic powers working in creation. The power of God and his plan are now battling against the power of Satan and his legion. These powers are not at all equal; one depends upon the other.” (Oliphint) This battle is always real and often unseen. It centers in the realm of ideas: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 NASB). At times, though, the enemy’s attacks are tangible. Our brothers and sisters—and we—are vulnerable and in need of God’s protection from temptation and from physical harm. Following Jesus is much more than war, but it is never less. We remain confident that God is sovereign over all.