As we approach December, so we approach all the activities related to the closing of another year. A year of work, year of school, year at the seminary, year at the church (Sunday School), etc.
This year we started a little earlier. In November we had two activities anticipated. The first was the special dinner with all the workers and missionaries of the Regional Office, Cono Sur Field Office, and Seminary.
This was a time of fellowship and celebration of what God is doing throughout the Region. We heard that this year we will probably pass the mark of the 200,000 full members. We gave thanks to God for the work and dedication of our pastors and district superintendents in each of the 77 districts of the SAM Region. The dinner was formal, but some were able to get by with the informal dressing anyway. :-)
A week later it was the time for the Cono Sur Nazarene Seminary graduation ceremony, where Fernando is a visiting professor. It was with great joy that we saw friends and previous students complete this stage of their studies. We had 22 graduates divided by three courses (Diploma, Bachelors and Licenciatura). We highlight some of the emotions that we felt in this day: first, it was with great emotion that we saw two sisters who some would probably classify as "too old", complete their diploma of studies and thus prepare themselves to serve in the ministry of their district - God does not put limitations of age to His calling for ministry. He calls people of different ages and backgrounds; second, it was with joy that we saw the son and son-in-law of a family who is very dear and close to us to graduate, the former with the Bachelors, the latter with a Licenciatura - the former already a pastor of a small church that is being planted, and the latter looking for his first pastorate - both are a testimony of God's faithfulness; third, it was a very special moment to see a family that closely touched our hearts due to their African roots and their trajectory to arrive at the seminary here in Argentina from Equatorial Guinea, and are now finishing their bachelors studies together, are returning with two more kids who were born while they were completing their three years of studies, and are anxious to return to Equatorial Guinea and help in the development of the work in this African Country; lastly, but not least, it was with great joy and emotion that we saw one of Fernando's students finish his Licenciatura - a professor is always emotionally moved when he sees the life that he touches come to the end of this stage of studies. The day closed with a christian reggae concert by a band from a local church of the Argentina Central District.
See more pictures of these two events here.
More year closing events coming up soon.....
Friday, November 26
Wednesday, November 17
The theme for our church is "Blessed to be a blessing" based on the promise that God gave to Abraham: "I will bless you (...) And so you shall be a blessing." (Gen. 12:2)
Part of the church's growth strategy includes establishing small groups of evangelism and discipleship spread throughout the partido (similar to County) of Pilar, which is composed of 10 municipalities, not counting the neighborhoods that belong to them.
As you know, it has been now almost a year since the idea of a new ministry in our local church began to take shape as a discipleship project for pre-teens between 10-12 years old, to which we called generation of Samuel.
One of the promises that we made during our winter camp was that we would be starting our CB (Center of Blessing) for the pre-teens. A space for sharing experiences, extremely informal, for learning about God, do some games, and share prayer needs, it is also a space for sharing the gospel, since the kids can bring their friends who don't know Jesus yet as their savior.
The first meeting was on October 16, but it wasn't until the second meeting that I was able to take some pictures to share. These are from our last meeting in the month of October.
In November we already had another CB and the kids are responding well to the initiative and each time we are having new kids coming for the first time in contact with a church activity.
Please pray for this ministry with the pre-teens. There are many needs for support in all the senses.
More pictures here.