We want to thank you for your part this past year in what God is doing in Uruguay. We don’t know what 2016 will hold, but we do have full confidence that Jesus, the King of the nations, is building His church. In this report, we’ve described several situations that seem to show us a glimpse of some of the specifics of His building work:
Several teens from Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha (IBM) in Pando recently graduated from high school and plan to pursue further schooling in March. The Lord has kept them from much temptation; but please pray that they would persevere and that God would continue to guide and keep them. Some of them have expressed interest in taking classes in FEBU or in EMU’s Bible institute. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s provision of a pastor for IBM.
The Lord has given grace to us and to our children as they have adapted to schooling in Spanish. In December Elizabeth finished fourth grade (her second year of school in Uruguay) and Daniel James finished the required K4.
In October we mentioned the family of A, whose decision to keep her twin babies had led to opportunity for individual Christians to respond to the family’s great physical and spiritual needs. This relationship continues.
At an October pro-life event
This month many children and teens (including several from IBM) attend summer camps. JM will be counseling and helping with music during some of these weeks. Please pray for God to use His Word in the hearts of each.
In March JM will teach Intro to Music and Homiletics I, and Déborah plans to teach Spanish Grammar. Please pray that God would use these classes (especially the last two) to give further ability in, understanding of, and commitment to expository preaching among the churches in Uruguay, beginning with these students of the Bible.
On a daily basis we are in contact with needy people. We walk past them on the sidewalk. We physically brush (read “are shoved and crammed”) against them on the bus. They come to our door asking for help, sometimes leaving with a bottle of water, a blanket, or a tract. We do business with some of them, and some are neighbors. We need wisdom and grace to move from superficial contact to conversation about their need of Jesus to save them from their sins. And we need God’s Spirit to work in the hearts of those who have listened to the good news. Please pray specifically for eighteen individuals with whom we have ongoing opportunities.
The Facultad de Estudios Bíblicos del Uruguay (College of Biblical Studies of Uruguay (FEBU) opened in March 2014 with approximately fifteen students, half of whom took a full load of classes. While totals remained fairly steady for these first four semesters, the number of new students the second year (2015) was much smaller, resulting in scheduling changes. Beginning in March, we plan to offer first and third year classes; but, again, the class schedule assumes a minimum number of students. We believe that FEBU represents a very good opportunity for Christians in this region to be trained in preparation for service in their local churches and beyond. And we believe that FEBU is the best option for some. We want no fewer and no more than those whom God chooses to send. The next couple of months will hold opportunity (especially during the weeks of camp) to encourage potential students to consider training in FEBU or in EMU’s Bible institute. We are in need of prayer that—by God’s grace—we might play whatever role God wants us to in the discipleship of each one, both in and outside the classroom.
Students at the November FEBU pastors’ block class