Sunday, December 12, 2010

Young Lives Cast at the Feet of Jesus

This is La Boca church located in the heart of the ghetto downtown Buenos Aires. It was the first church that Frances and I planted within the city limits. That was 1973-1974. To date 87 ministers and wives have gone out of this church. Below is a shot of the dedication service where I was privileged to preach just two weeks ago, Tuesday night, November 30th. The young people kneeling here are our potential future ministers and spiritual leaders pouring out their lives in total dedication to Christ’s perfect plan. I saw this picture repeated 21 times during November in as many locations. Who knows what God will accomplish through these young lives?!

Please pray for me as I attempt to follow God’s perfect plan for my immediate future! The Argentina field missionaries have officially invited me to return to the land of my calling. I will not be seeking monthly support as I am retired. I will trust God to provide every need. The opportunities for ministry there are literally limitless! And the fire is red hot in my soul!

Ralph Hiatt

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dedication at Cathedral of Faith, Buenos Aires

A dedication altar call at the Cathedral of Faith in Buenos Aires… on December 2, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This retirement thing is great!

Hey! This retirement thing is super. I don’t have to wait for a weekend to roll around. I get to preach every day of the week to packed churches! It’s great therapy for me after my darling Frances slipped away into the arms of Jesus.

[Photo left: Lake Buenos Aires at Chilean Border]

I’m writing this from deep in the southern part of Patagonia, Argentina. Missionary Eddie Echevarria, who is on furlough has loaned me his car… bless him Jesus! I have been traveling from city to city ministering in each. These towns and cities are similar to Nevada in the sense that they are separated by many miles of endless desert. Yesterday I left the little town of Los Antiguos 250 miles inland from the Atlantic coast, nestled alongside a large beautiful lake with backdrop of the most rugged snow covered mountain peaks you could ever imagine. The beauty of the Andes and the many shades of crystalline blue in the lake left me almost breathless. The new little AG church in that town (photo, left) received me with great joy. It’s the same story over and over. I am ministering every day of the week while traveling during the day. When I let these pastors know a week or so in advance they manage to gather a record setting crowd any day of the week. Some really beautiful people are coming to Jesus. Last night in another city, Pico Truncado, a precious young couple responded. The young father had only been in the church on Mother’s Day previously. This time he opened his heart to Jesus with a sincerity that would bring you tears. They both look like future leadership material with hearts open to being discipled.

Several years ago I had sent a Share Call and purchased the roof for this church. It had sat for over a year with walls but no roof for lack of funds. Today it is a beautiful building, praise God! A few years ago we saw great potential in Ariel, the kid who is now the pastor and paid his way (and his wife) through Bible School. They are both top of the line, intelligent, talented and super dedicated!

This afternoon I will drive only about 100 miles to a seacoast fishing town called Puerto Deseado (Desire Port, left) where we helped a young single pastor start his church in the mid nineties. From the place we camped with our mobile home you can watch the colony of penguins, hundreds of them just across the bay. Pastor Mario Canizares has recently been married. Mario wouldn’t win any “handsome” contest, but has a heart of gold. He’s the kind of a guy that gets better looking the more you know him… ha. I am anxious to meet his wife and see the progress of this work. I hear rumors that it is, like the others, growing into a solid, powerful church.

Sorry to bore you with all this. My problem is that I am having so much fun I can hardly keep it to myself. Nothing thrills me more than to see that my little Felipe gives people an excuse to invite new families to church. Many of these are now serving Jesus in ministry around the country or even overseas. It is truly interesting. Many, maybe most people here come to church the first time with heavy problems, like sicknesses and broken lives. However Felipe seems to attract solid, well educated people with no visible hang-ups. They come to be entertained and behold… God’s Spirit convicts them as they hear the message and some more names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life! Who knows what lies just ahead? Only God!

I plan to be back in the USA just in time for the sectional Christmas banquet in Modesto… arriving Sunday the day before. I have a feeling that I will be back in Argentina again in the not to distant future if God so leads.

If you happen to think about it, please pray for my voice. I have kind of preached it away, but I think it is coming back with the help of the touch of Jesus’ hand.

Love you guys big time!

Ralph Hiatt

Monday, October 11, 2010

Frances With Jesus

Just a week ago my dear Frances was carried into the presence of the Lord. She was 10 days in the hospital then another 9 days in a care facility. She realized that very soon the Lord Jesus would be coming to take her and requested that we take her home. She wanted to leave for heaven from her own home. Her sister, Nancy, came to help me in the home. She was like an angel from heaven for me. I had the wonderful privilege of caring for Frances for one week at home. It was beautiful. When I washed her feet or hands or spooned applesauce into her mouth she always said, "Thank you so much!" I think she told me that she loved me over 100 times. She was fully aware that only a few days or hours were left. She never expressed any fear. We hugged tightly, prayed together and wept together. Sunday afternoon she asked me to sing something to her. I called together all the family that were in the house, her sister, Nancy, our sons Mike and Tim, Tim's wife Cheryl and the grandkids. We all gathered around her bedside and sang all the hymns that came to mind and prayed together. We wept rivers while we sang. God was really close! She had her eyes closed most of the time and could barely speak. Hours later after all had gone she asked me, "Is today the day I am going to go?" I thought she was dreaming about someone coming to take her for a ride. I asked her, "Where are they going to take you?" Without opening her eyes she replied, "To heaven!" The tone of her voice made me believe that she was anxiously awaiting that moment. Monday night she was having difficulty breathing and her attempts to speak could not be understood. After midnight I called for Nancy to join me. She stood beside her bed as I lay beside her holding her hand. We sang a while and prayed. Heaven seemed so close! She was trying to speak again. Nancy and I leaned over her to try to understand. It was a final, "I love you!" Moments later I released her hand for only a brief time and her spirit left her. Someone else had come to take her hand to usher her into the glorious presence of her beloved Jesus!

There will be a viewing at Salas Brothers Funeral Chapel, 419 Scenic Dr., Modesto, Tuesday, October 12 from 4 PM to 8 PM. The funeral service will be at Bethel Church, 2361 Scenic Dr., Modesto, Wednesday October 13 at 10 AM followed by a reception. The burial will be Thursday, October 14, 10 AM at Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi (Harney exit).

Thank you so much for your many expressions of love and care,

Ralph Hiatt