Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tucuman 2015

We had requested prayer for a visit to Tucuman Argentina. There are many situations and circumstances that we can not get into, but we felt that there was a danger of this congregation slipping from the simplicity of the Pauline doctrine. We learned once again the need to be sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit and to constantly look for the moving of the "cloud." Saturday before our trip I woke early with a heavy heart and the thought that we should not make this trip. This was troubling as I had already called the pastor, Bro. Horacio and had told him that we would be coming. "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood". The Lord confirmed to my heart that we were indeed to make this trip and during the trip He also confirmed his will in several ways. May we never move ahead of or behind the "cloud!"

We left for Tucuman Wednesday at 12:30. Sister Graciela, who is also Loida's aunt and a Bible teacher here in Villarrica went with us. We drove to Resistencia to pick up Sister Elba Romera who is pastoring there. When I called Elba to confirm our trip she asked if we could have a service Wednesday evening. How could I say no? We arrived in Resistencia 19:50, washed up and service started at 20:00. We left for Tucuman the next day at 04:45 with Sister Elba and another sister from the meeting there in Resistencia.

I have to say something about Loida here. If ever there was a virtuous wife, it is Loida. Loida does all the preparation for these trips. Clean, ironed clothes, packed to military specifications. She knows exactly what we will wear each day that we are on these trips; down to what handkerchief I will use. She packs food and drink and ensures that all documents are in order. So, basically she does everything, so that I can spend my time studying. But what brings this up at this point is that she has started to do more driving also. Those of you who have traveled here in Paraguay know that driving in Paraguay is nothing like driving in the USA. It is very stressful, with narrow roads and vehicles without lights, especially motorcycles. I told Loida recently that the way people drive here is actually scriptural; "...everyone does what is right in his own eyes". She was not amused. This last trip Loida drove more than usual and especially at night which is very hard for her. She is so good at dealing with people, visiting and talking to people and ministering where I could never minister. In more ways than I could possibly explain, Loida has her own ministry. I am grateful every day for the wife that the Lord has given me.

We arrived in Tucuman about 14:00 and after settling in we took a nap. We did not have any services that evening. They were still working on the church building, trying to finish the new flooring. There were maybe a dozen people there, all working on something. The people are very poor and the pastor's house and the church building reflect it. They just finished the new church building last year about this time and when I say "finished" I mean it had four walls, a roof, windows and the doors. The roof is made of scrap metal from the roof of an old warehouse. It is a good solid roof but it took a lot of work to get it in shape to be useful (kind of like us).

The sisters in the kitchen worked from dawn to dusk making homemade bread, homemade pasta and other homemade food. Everything was from scratch. A sister across the street from the church has milk cows and she gave a calf for meat, fresh, homemade cheese and fresh milk. They are very poor people, but we ate like kings!

One family moved out of their home to make it available for visitors, which included us and some eight other people. We are so grateful for this kind of hospitality and generosity! We know that their labor in the Lord will not go unrewarded.

We had two messages in the morning and two messages in the afternoon. Along with the singing, it made for about five and a half to six hours of service Friday and Saturday. Sunday we had about three hours of service in the morning and then a barbecue. Apart from the beef, another brother gave a pig and the saints from San Pedro brought a Lamb. We were fed spiritually and we were fed in the natural. I believe both meals were well prepared and abundant; one is just a faint memory, the other, by God's grace, will produce fruit for all eternity!

This was our first time in San Miguel and we felt very much at home. A group from the meeting in San Pedro del Colalao, where Bro. Decima pastored before his home going in December, rented a small bus and about fifteen made the trip to spend the day Saturday in meeting with us. We were grateful to see their familiar faces, but especially grateful for their love for the Word.

Horacio BernalWe left Tucuman about 14:00 after a delicious barbecue and cake. We drove to Resistencia to drop off Sis. Elba and Cristina and then headed on home. We arrived in Resistencia at midnight and decided to keep going. Loida helped me drive and we arrived in Villarrica around 07:00. Loida put some clothes in the washer and then we crashed for the rest of the day. Around noon Loida's aunt Febe brought us lunch (Bori bori). We eat and then crashed again for the rest of the day.

HoracioThere are so many things for which to be grateful! The Lord's continual protection as we travel, the dependable vehicle, the love and generosity of the Saints, the many provisions that the Lord makes for us to be able to make these trips. The abundance of God's word. The anointing of the Holy Spirit. The print shop; as we were able to print and take some tracks with us. The saints here in Villarrica that support us and pray for us. The saints back home that support us and pray for us. The health and strength the Lord gives. The fact that as we travel the Lord goes before us and we are almost never stopped or checked at the many check points along the way, including the border crossing.

Psalms 150:1-2
Praise ye the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

There is a slideshow on the previouse post.

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