Avellaneda (pronounced “Aveshanetha”) is a city (and county) just north of Lanús, where we will be starting Faith Baptist Church. I was talking to a man who has lived in the area for years. His father and grandfather grew up there as well. At one time in the past, all of Lanús and Gerli were just parts of Avellaneda. Avellaneda is a port city just south of Buenos Aires. According to the 2001 census (the latest one I could find), the population is just under 330,000 people.
Avellaneda is the home of two soccer teams, “Racing” and “Independiente”. The stadiums of each team are located very close to one another. Many people think of one of these two teams when they think of Avellaneda. Avellaneda also has two malls. It is also known to be a city of manufacturing. I looked at several different buildings to rent to start Faith Baptist Church. At least one of them (maybe a few more) were in Avellaneda. The realtor I spoke with told me that parts of Avellaneda are more dedicated to manufacturing where as other parts are more residential. When I think of Avellaneda, I really don’t think about Racing, Independiente, the malls, or the manufacturing.
You can see Avellaneda from the highway. I take this highway often. I go from La Plata to Lanús (about an 1 hour 10 minute drive). I pass through Avellaneda every time I go to Lanús. I see the need as I pass through. The truth is, in this part of Argentina, I don’t know if there is a “bad” or “wrong” place to start a church. I don’t know of any church with sound doctrine in Avellaneda, Lanús, Gerli, or Banfield. There may be some, but I don’t know of any and when I ask about it, others tell me there are not any churches that would preach salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. There are many churches and the name of Jesus is known, but the Gospel of Jesus is sadly not proclaimed, at least that we can find.
When I think of Avellaneda, I think of the need. I think of the amount of people there and the lack of Gospel preaching churches. I think of the opportunity to see God work in such a place. I hope to see churches planted in Avellaneda. Maybe one day we will send men God allows us to train to start churches in the area. Until then, Avellaneda will remain in the dark. Will you pray with me for the people of Avellaneda?