I am here in La Plata, Argentina. We have been attending the Lighthouse Baptist Church here in La Plata since we arrived. We were able to be a part of the church’s 12th anniversary on Sunday. There are 5 churches here in La Plata and Quilmes (another city) that were started by the same missionary a decade ago. It was exciting to see the four other churches join in with Lighthouse on Sunday night to celebrate the anniversary. Lighthouse was the “mother” church from which three of the other four churches started. The church building was full for the celebration. There was special music from the other churches, a special testimony from a missionary from the states that is going to Africa, and a Peruvian missionary in Ecuador who has been preaching the mission conference brought the message. After the service we all stayed around to have cake and fellowship. It was a very special night for the members of El Faro.
There are a few things I took away from Sunday night. The singing was some of the best I have heard, the message was stirring, and the cake was really good too! But there is more to be learned…
The missionary who started this church was not here. In fact he has not been here for some time. God is using him greatly in the States. The church celebrated 12 years going strong without the man who started the church. Some may find this sad, but it is actually very beautiful. The missionary worked hard to help this church “stand on it’s own two feet”. The church would have loved to have him here, but they are continuing the work of the Gospel as a church. God is blessing here.
This is my dream! I pray that churches we will one day plant will continue advancing the Gospel long after I have left them to start other churches. This is really the goal of missions, to share the Gospel, plant churches, and train men that the work of God will long outlive the missionary! We will be starting the first church in Argentina very soon. There is much work to be done. I know there will be obstacles, but I also know that God will be glorified in it all.