Three weeks ago our family set foot in beautiful California. After four years in Uruguay, we have just begun our year long home ministry assignment (HMA). Praise God that we made it! We are living with Michele’s parents in Orange County, California for the first few months.
What if the children in Christian families today would grow up to live lives of radical obedience to Christ? How would that change the world in which we live? What would it be like if these children had a passion to share Jesus with their friends at school? When our baby was born with health problems two years ago and I was with him in the hospital, I became reacquainted with the ministry of Moms In Prayer (formerly Moms In Touch). This is a ministry devoted to getting moms together for the purpose of praying for their children and their children’s schools. Many of you may be familiar with the ministry. For those who aren’t, Tim Challies does a great job describing it on his blog, here. For me, I was feeling helpless to fix our baby’s health problems, and helpless with some of the struggles my children who were at home without me were experiencing. It was a time for me to remember that we serve a loving and powerful God who cares more about our children than we do, and who is eager to answer the prayers of His people.
Continue reading Praying for the Children
It was early afternoon and our thirteen year old son and his classmates heard a series of gunshots (turned out to be 18 in all). Right away the administration moved all the students into an upstairs classroom, away from the street. Continue reading Starting High School
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
– 1Th 5:16-18 ESV
We give thanks for what our gracious and sovereign Lord is doing. He has called us to plant churches in Uruguay and we are laboring in our first church plant in the capital of Montevideo. IPEM (Iglesia Presbiteriana Evangélica de Montevideo) has been in existence as a mission church (that is what we Presbyterians call a church which is not yet self governing) for a little over a year now.
Praise the Lord that we are meeting weekly on the Lord’s Day each Sunday evening for our public worship service. I have been preaching through the Gospel of John, which is a great message for our church. At the end of 2016 we started a membership class called “Los fundamentos de la iglesia” each week before service, though we took a few weeks off during the holiday season. There are currently 7 individuals attending the class and we are praying that each one will desire to become a member and join with us in laboring for the glory of God through this church plant.
Please be praying for IPEM and for how God might use this church as a lighthouse, leading travelers through the darkness and fog to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the effective preaching of the Word of God; pray that the Holy Spirit will attend the proclamation of the truth with power.
- Pray for our membership class: that the Lord will grant wisdom to Pastor Mark and me to lead and teach these classes and that the people will learn and grow in the faith.
- Pray that God will use this church and our mission to be a beacon of light; ask that we will have boldness as we ought to have.
- Give thanks to God for His faithfulness, grace, mercy and power.
From the beginning, we have sought to make prayer the foundation of our church plant. We have no illusions that we bring something new, unique or flashy to this very secular nation, something that would allow us to succeed where other missionaries have failed.
We, along with many other missionaries, have a treasure that is contained in jars of clay. The Gospel is living and powerful and capable of changing lives. But it is only through the power of God that eyes will be opened and people will bow before the Savior. For this reason, our church plant has met every Thursday night for prayer.
Sometimes visitors come. Sometimes church members come. Often it is just the two missionary families. But we come together to pray before our King, that He would be merciful on us, and on the people of Uruguay. There is a spiritual battle, and we feel it each Thursday as we prepare to attend.
Please pray that we would be faithful in making prayer the foundation of our ministry AND please pray that the Lord would soften hearts in Uruguay.
One of the hallmarks of missionary life is the inevitability of saying goodbye. Things change fast in the world of missions, and missionaries must be able and willing to move. Indeed our family has moved many times in our 16 years of being in ministry. While we are not moving now, we have been saying goodbye to family–our actual family and our missionary family. Continue reading Goodbyes and Hellos
It is the start of a fresh new year. We have a new baby set to arrive in April. We said goodbye to our oldest who will begin college in the U.S. this month. We also said goodbye to our only teammates, the Richlines, for their year long furlough, and will say hello to a new family that will minister with us for the year. Ray will begin preaching every week in Spanish, as well as taking over many responsibilities of the church plant. Continue reading 2016 – Yielded
On October 17 we celebrated our first complete year in Uruguay. It was also fitting that this very same week was the week we finally received our visas to be Uruguayan residents (we have been on tourists visas until this time). It is no exaggeration to say that we have had dozens of appointments at various government offices, plus a few setbacks, to complete all the necessary paperwork. Continue reading Our First Year in Uruguay
“Uruguay needs what this conference has to offer,” said a missionary to Ray during our Reformation Conference. He was referring to the solid Biblical teaching that was the center of the conference that Montevideo’s two Presbyterian churches put on jointly. Indeed, we have heard exciting news from surrounding countries in South America–Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and others–of a great resurgence of Bible-centered, Reformed theology. Too often false teachings, a focus on great signs and extraordinary experiences, and a lack of Biblical knowledge have been running free through the evangelical world in Latin America. But the Holy Spirit has been at work as well, creating a hunger and thirst for God’s Word. It is to this end that the second annual Reformation Conference has been hosted in Montevideo as a way to provide education on the basic foundation of the Protestant Reformation, calling all Christians back to a faith that is focused on Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. Iglesia Presbiteriana del Uruguay, offered their facilities for the venue and Dr. Charles Telfer, Professor of Biblical Languages at Westminster Seminary in Escondido was our speaker. He lectured about the work of John Calvin, Johannes Cocceius and the little known reformer Campegius Vitringa – highlighting their contributions to our understanding of the Bible and theology as well as their commitment to truth. Continue reading Second Annual Reformation Conference