Thursday, March 28, 2013

Las Grutas (The Grottos) Beach

Today I am at a beautiful beach called Las Grutas, meaning “The Grottos.” 

It gets its name from the steep bank that drops to the beach and is filled with little caves carved out by the winter waves of the ocean.  It is a pretty little tourist city.  My view from my hotel balcony (above) is awesome.  

I went down and walked up the beach this morning letting the rising tide splash up to my knees.  The water is much warmer than I would have expected.  Summer is past.  This is fall here, but winter is still several months away. 

At dawn this morning I watched the sunrise just over the right side of this picture.  We westerners are used to the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.  Here the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean and sets over the desert hills of Patagonia.

I ministered last night, Wednesday, in two churches, both in the nearby city of San Antonio Oeste.  First service at 7 PM to children only (I will have their adult service on Friday evening).  

Then I rushed to another AG church for their service at 8:30 PM.  In that service I spoke on the importance of the love union among families and at the close gathered them in family groups and to pray a blessing over them all.  

It is marvelous how the people show such love and appreciation for my visits.  It has been about 2 years since my last ministry visit to these churches.  From here I continue traveling south,  ministering in churches in every little town and city as I go. 

When in beautiful places like this and especially when I looked up last night at the stunningly clear full moon… I really miss my darling, Frances.  Yet I have to thank the Lord and say, “What a privilege to enjoy such a blessed retirement plan surrounded with the Argentine people that we both learned to love so much!” 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Kids Cathedral

It is Monday morning, my day off!  Hallelujah!  I'll have time to share with you, my friends and prayer supporters.  I confess that there is no way I could bring you up-to-date on the many exciting happenings.  I have ministered 9 times in the past 5 days in many different places and situations.  I am overjoyed at these opportunities here in the area of the important seaport city of Bahia Blanca

You would have to see this to believe it!  At 1:30 PM this wonderful "train" that they found in a junkyard and fixed up, clangs its way through the area rounding up the kids.  

A bicycle built for four, found in the same junkyard, finds the strays and loads them on.  They found a white haired kid and loaded him aboard. Wheeee!!

At 2:30 PM every Saturday afternoon the church sanctuary has been marvelously transformed into a children's ministry hall.  In this picture the three squadrons of Royal Rangers have just marched in with their banners.  (Click on pictures to enlarge)

This is a 12 year old church raised up by a dedicated pastor, Santiago Buenanueva, his wife and 7 children... all of them in the work.  The kids service is followed by food and drink for all.

All the kids workers are dressed from foot to hat and painted every color of the rainbow.  The sign above says, "Catedral de NiƱos" (Kids Cathedral).  

The dirt streets of this neighbor-hood turned to mud with Sunday's heavy rainstorm.  But this is Sunday night in the same sanctuary.  I have just finished ministering with Felipe and am preparing the kids for prayer.  

The congre-gation joins me in prayer for their children.  

Powerful service!  Dedicated youth at the altar!  A whole neighbor-hood of people from kids to the aged impacted by the wonderful love of 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Violin Church is in Trouble

It's located within four blocks of the National Congress building in downtown Buenos Aires!  The pastors are Ray and Margie Bradbury from Canada, along with their son, Jeff.  Margie is the granddaughter of highly successful church-planting Missionaries Clements sent here many years ago by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.  They are talented and determined servants of God with great vision.  For several years now they have been struggling to start a church in this high crime and prostitution area.  

Their son, Jeff, on the cello, is teaching the youth and children to play the violin.  He is able to purchase nice violins at a good price and gets one for every student!  And they sound great!

I ministered in their rented hall Tuesday, March 12 to a full house of well behaved children, youth, university students, and adults.  

The atmosphere was charged with the presence of the Holy One doing what only He can do in young lives.

But there is a problem.  They urgently need to purchase their own property for a church.  The man living above the present hall is causing havoc.  He has poured water on them and their people as they enter and leave.  He has called the police many times.  This past week the police came in force with sirens and numerous cars and tried to disrupt the service.  

There is no doubt about two things: 1. The Bradburys are meeting a great spiritual need especially among the youth in the heart of an area dominated by Satan for decades.  2. And Mr. Devil is running scared and wanting to shut them down.

They have already raised around $200,000 dollars in hopes to be able to purchase a larger hall and are still working at it.  But it will take at least $100,000 more to make a cash purchase in this area where the Lord has planted them.

I only ask you to pray with me for some great miracles to happen to encourage them in their endeavor... and that the enemy will not be able to close and seal their doors.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Smiling Princess

After 3 hours at 70 to 80 mph on the road I was driving down the highway only ten minutes away from my destination for ministry, Punta Alta near the Atlantic coast. 

Suddenly I had to stop!  It was impossible to pass up this marvelous piece of art.  It had no sign out front, no indication of life.  It seemed to me that it had to have been the castle of a mighty king.

I parked and stepped out to take a picture.  After my first shot I realized that I had just captured a little girl who happened to step in sight at the click of my camera.  I waved at her and she waved back.  Then she disappeared.  

I shot the building from several angles and with telephoto lens tried to pull up the tiny faded ancient picture on the front.  (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

The main gate was in poor shape like all the rest of this magnificent structure.  

Anybody looking for a "fixer-upper"?

This morning in my hotel I looked at that first picture and enlarged just the part of the little girl and to my pleasant surprise, I see that my "Little Princess" was smiling!


How Far Will You Go to Save a Soul?

The Cathedral of Faith in Buenos Aires has multiple services with around 2,000 attending most services... even on week days.  In practically every service there are at least 20 new people at the altar.  These are taken to a room with counselors who pray with them and note down their addresses for follow up.

One of the address cards was from a young man who lived in the small town of Monte about 70 miles south of Buenos Aires.  One of the brothers, undaunted by the distance, took a bus and traveled to Monte and found the young man to strengthen his faith.  Then he started visiting him weekly and later started a home meeting with this young man's friends and relatives.  This soon developed into one of the hundreds of cell meetings of the central Cathedral of Faith.  

Two years ago they sent them a pastor for their little flock and were able to rent a building and started the "Monte Cathedral of Faith."  The young man in the black suit is the guy who started all this by visiting the central Cathedral of Faith church and leaving his address.  And this is where I preached on Sunday, March 10, my 4th day in Argentina for this trip.  

How much is a hug worth?  I'm not sure, but I know it's more than a million dollars!  And this little blonde sweetie was giving them away freely.  I was literally swamped with love by everybody, especially the kids.

After the service the people were all hugging, Argentinean style and talking... when I suddenly noticed that the little kids had spontan-eously organized a circle up front and were dancing joyfully.  I couldn't resist the temptation to join the circle.  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 3 in Greater Buenos Aires

It was Saturday afternoon, March 9, my third day in Argentina.  The Cathedral of Faith of El Talar (one of many outreach churches of the Central Cathedral of Faith) was doing their regular children's evangelism in the plaza near their church.  The leaders were overjoyed when I volunteered to show up with Felipe for the kids, their parents and bystanders.  

Attention was total, so I took advantage of that fact to present a brief message, an explanation of the Gospel and then prayed with them.  Behind me, just across the street is the Roman Catholic Church.  You may notice that I am soaked to the skin.  Humidity was high and during church later that night a powerful thunder storm broke loose.  

Safely inside the El Talar Cathedral of Faith that Saturday night, March 9, we enjoyed a powerful service.  Nobody seemed to even notice the shattering explosions of thunder and pouring rain outside.  

Again Perfume and Felipe did their thing.  

And like many times the teen-agers and college age youth were the first to run to the front, drop to their knees and give it all to God. 

Truth is I am in the finishing stages of my journey, but these children and youth have a whole life ahead to surrender to Christ.  Who knows what God is up to!  I don't pretend to be a prophet, but if Jesus tarries a few more years I foresee an energetic, dedicated generation, loaded with novel ideas, reaching out to the lost of the world with Christ's message of love and grace. 

Go for the gold, guys!  


Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 2... Gypsy Church

It was my second day in Argentina for this trip.  I have been invited to several of the many young churches that the Catedral de Fe (Cathedral of Faith) is starting.  This one is a Gypsy church.  

I loved it!  They were inaugur-ating their newly rented hall with a communion service.  

Gypsies often attend our regular churches, but usually seem more comfortable among their own culture and language.  These all speak Spanish as well, but I could not understand much of what was sung and said since they mixed both languages.   

They worshiped freely.  All the men sat on one side of the congregation and the women on the other. 

I had handed my camera to someone to take pictures of whatever.  Here is a beautiful young mother with her baby.  If you are offended by bosoms, you'll have to find another church... ha.  

Later at the prayer time around the altar God touched one brother who laid on his face on the floor weeping heavily.  His wife knelt beside him, and finally helped him up.  Dear people!  Highly emotional people!  Very expressive people!

After church they insisted that I drive with them to the pastor's home for a meal.  It was around midnight.  The young pastor, Nelson Pappadolulos with his arm around me is sitting with his pretty blonde wife.
They all showered me with love and appreciation!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Touched Down... Just in Time!

My plane was supposed to arrive in Argentina on Wednesday morning.  I was going to have 24 hours to get my car out of storage at the "Castle," (Headquarters of the King's Castle Youth Program)... exchange some dollars for pesos and move into an apartment above the Martinez church before ministering on Thursday night.  However my flight left San Francisco one hour late and we missed our connection in Houston.  My flight had already left for Buenos Aires!  So I was stranded in Houston for 24 hours!  I took a motel to get a little sleep and made the best I could of it, spending most of those 24 hours in the airport.  I was surprised to meet up with Stan and Julie Wagner and a team of 13 Assemblies of God workers on the same plane going down to work on our Buenos Aires Bible School's new dormitories.  

I confess I was exhausted when I arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday instead of Wednesday.  I cannot sleep on airplanes like others do.   

My taxi, driven by a brother from our Martinez church, was waiting for me at the airport.  He rushed me to the Castle.  It was 1:30 PM when we got there and these wonderful youth at the Castle had washed my car and prepared a feast to receive me!  I wish I had thought to take a picture.  These youth in their late teens are true servants of God, and each one of them powerful in their varying ministries. 

I was on the ground now with my car, however there was a problem:  The Martinez church apartment was occupied, and the two other places that I have stayed previously were also occupied!  So now I had to search for a place to live.  I finally moved into a hotel where I had stayed before.  They had only one room left... an apartment... and that for only 5 nights.  I just barely had time to shower and shave, sleep for exactly 45 minutes and head out for the Cathedral of Faith church.  Pastor Osvaldo Carnival's 92 year old father was in the hospital and he had asked me to take his Thursday night "leadership meeting."  These are leaders of their many cell groups and daughter churches.  Look at them!  They didn't know I was coming, but there had to be at least 1,800 leaders present, maybe 2,000... (the building seats 2,300.)  

They brought the kids in for a few minutes with Felipe.  In this picture I had just asked the audience to give an applause for my "special helper" who was holding the suitcase.  He is Pastor Osvaldo's teenage son, Dan, and the people, who obviously love him...went wild with cheers and applause.  I think I successfully embarrassed him... ha.

When I sat down on the steps of the platform to pray with the kids, the whole gang ran up and smothered me with love.  They were hanging all over me.  I couldn't move.  Some ushers rushed up to save me and pulled them off me so I could pray for them and send them back to their classes.  Obviously these kids weren't into praying at that moment, after being pulled off me... but I blessed them anyway.

At the close of the message I called for those that wanted to pray to come forward.  Many did and stayed for maybe an hour after service.  Several told me that God had used my message to speak to them profoundly.

The ministers in charge of the service invited me out for dinner, but it was about midnight I think and I needed sleep more than food, so I skipped dinner, went back to the hotel and crashed.  

The next day, Friday, I was going to preach at the new Gypsy Cathedral of Faith Church!  They would be inaugurating their recently rented hall that Friday night.  Hopefully you will see their photos in my next blog.

Be blessed!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Let the Angels Rejoice!

Meet my friends Juan and Beatriz and family: Karina 17, Francisco 9 and one year old Santiago.  Juan works at a fast food business near my home and I buy sandwiches there often.  Right from day one I noticed his accent and spoke to him in Spanish.  We became good friends very quickly and we both agreed that God had arranged this friendship.  A few weeks ago when their baby, Santiago, was sick we joined hands and prayed together there where he works and the next day Juan was waiting for me with a huge smile telling me God had touched his baby and that Santiago was totally healed.  Praise God!  

My heart cried out for this whole family to truly know the Lord and become attached to a good church.  But time was running out for me since I leave next Tuesday, March 5 for Argentina again.  So after talking with Juan many times, I decided to invite them to dinner at a restaurant.  But before I could get the words out of my mouth he invited me to meet with his family at a restaurant in Turlock!  I called Pastor Javier Alfaro whose Spanish speaking church is in Delhi near where this family lives and he agreed to come to the restaurant to meet them.  It was an encounter made in heaven.  We discovered that the pastor's son who leads the worship in their church knows Juan's daughter, Karina, from school and had previously invited her to church, but as yet she had not gone.  You have heard me say it before: "God was there and He never makes mistakes."

Rejoice with me!  Tonight at the restaurant table this lovely family opened their hearts to Jesus and prayed with me asking the Lord Jesus to come into their lives!  

Listen!  Can you hear them?  The angels in heaven are celebrating tonight!  There are new names written down in the Book of Life and these my brothers and sisters have begun their journey toward eternity with Jesus.  They will need encouragement and much prayer for their faith to be strengthened.  The enemy of our souls will always try to derail us from the path.  They have not been to church yet, but they have met their new pastor.  Now I will have to step out of the picture and count on Jesus and God's people to "Feed His lambs".  

I have fallen in love with this beautiful family and believe that what God has begun, He will bring to fruition.  To the Philippians the Apostle Paul writes: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:3-6