We recently took a survey trip to Argentina. The trip started out different than we had anticipated. We flew out of Atlanta to Miami (where we had a connecting flight…or so we thought). We arrived in Miami only to wait 10 hours for our connecting flight to Buenos Aires, but it was eventually cancelled. This put our arrival into Buenos Aires in the evening, missing much of the day’s events. We spent our time with former Missionary couple Jeff and Mindy Bush. They served in Argentina in a city called “La Plata” (more on this later).
Interesting facts about Argentina…
- Argentina has a population of over 42 million people.
- Buenos Aires (the capital city) is the 20th largest city in the world!
- There are three other cities with a population over 1 million people.
- Less than 9% of the Argentines are believers (this is a generous estimation).
- There is a specific area of about 5 million people inside Buenos Aires with absolutely no Gospel preaching church that we know about or can find.
These facts are stirring, but the truth is these sorts of facts can be found about almost anywhere in the world. What I found so compelling was the ministry in a city called La Plata. Missionary Jeff Bush has done in La Plata exactly what needs to be done in all the world… evangelize the lost and train men! Brother Jeff Bush has been gone from Argentina for about 2 years now, and the churches that have been left are growing and reproducing! A new church has just been started in an area where there wasn’t one. This is being accomplished without an American missionary. How? Because Brother Jeff trained men that not only continued but are working to train other men to go out and do the same.
The diversity I saw was unlike anything I saw in Peru or Chile (both places of incredible works for Jesus)! There is a great population of Paraguayans, Peruvians, Brazilians, Europeans as well as others that live in Argentina. It has become a sort of “melting pot”. One of the Pastors that Brother Bush trained is a Paraguayan. Another is a Peruvian. These two men have a great burden for Argentina, but also have a great burden for their home countries! This sort of thing opens up unusual opportunities. I saw that when you “touch” Argentina with the Gospel, you are not just touching Argentina, you are touching many other countries as well!