We have been in La Plata, Argentina for almost two weeks now. This is a beautiful city and unlike any other I have ever seen. For one, it was designed perfectly. Everything is in squares. The very center of the city is a large plaza. Other plazas are laid out perfectly around the city square. It is an amazing design. We have been getting around here in taxis. Everywhere we go (stores, coffee shops, and plazas) people are very kind to us. People love to talk to us. My Spanish is very far from fluent. I struggle to say what I am trying to say and many times I am unable to get across the message I am trying to convey. The people seem to look past that. They talk with me, laugh, and talk more. There are all kinds of different nationalities represented here (I love the diversity of people). In the short time we have been here, we have met Paraguayans, Peruvians, and Uruguayans. The Argentines also have a rich and diverse heritage. All of these people from different backgrounds all have come to this country. This is for different reasons. I was talking to one man who said he came down from Peru because of the healthcare offered here. Another man told me he came from his home country for work. I cannot help but to believe there is another reason. I firmly believe God has brought these people here so that He may manifest Himself to them. This city has one of the stronger networks of Baptist churches in the country. My friend Jeff Bush came here as a missionary 10 years or more ago. He started a church here. Many were saved. Men were trained to advance the Gospel. Today there are 5 churches in La Plata and surrounding areas as a result of God using Jeff Bush in this city. There is also a seminary here now as a result of this man’s labor for Jesus. There are almost 1 million people in this area. The truth is even with this strong network of churches and a seminary training men to advance the Gospel, there is still a very strong need here in La Plata. I was at one of the churches on Sunday. A member of the church was asking me where I would go once I complete language school. I named a few places (that is for another post) that were a good distance away. The man responded, “La Plata is still in great need of Bible preaching churches. Much of the city does not have any church like this one” (speaking of the church’s Bible doctrine). If this can be said of a city with a network of churches like this one, think about the rest of the country! The man didn’t tell me anything that isn’t completely obvious! It does not take long to see the need for Gospel preaching churches in this city! My heart goes out to other cities, towns, and villages where there is no network of Bible preaching churches, where there is no seminary of men being trained to advance the Gospel. So my first impressions of my first days in Argentina is that although this city is beautiful and the people are kind, the country is dark spiritually.
We are loving it here, and there is much work to be done! Pray with us for more laborers.