Last Saturday evening I was invited to minister at a church on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where I have preached many times over the years. They were hosting a Sectional World Missions emphasis with the theme “Concentrating on the Vision of our Mission.”
Samuel Andrade, an Argentine missionary who served for years with his wife and family in Cabo Verde, off the coast of Africa has for seven years now been teaching “Missions” courses at our River Platte Bible Institute (IBRP) while working for our Argentine World Missions Department preparing new potential missionaries for all fields. Missionaries Brad and Rhonda Walz and their team have developed a national World Missions program in Argentina second to none! Every Argentine youth or adult who senses a possible call to world missions and who is recommended by their pastor, can start out very early with serious mentoring in a group called “Potential Missionaries.” Their preparation includes strict requirements, including Bible School. And they are offered a wide variety of ways to fulfill them. Rev. Andrade teaches an annual full course called “School of Missionary Formation” at IBRP. All this and more is offered long before actual missionary appointment which is followed by boot-camp. Last Saturday afternoon Rev. Andrade challenged and encouraged us with a very well prepared workshop from 6 PM to 8 PM. At the close of his presentation everyone knew how to respond positively to our Master’s order to “go”.
Then after a short break and a time of worship I was introduced as the evening speaker. I first called all the little kids up front, as I always do. I let them pet Perfume “one at a time” but they all reached out at once. Aren’t they cute?! Felipe sang about a “missionary” who did not want to be a missionary… namely Mr. Reverend Jonah… and how the Lord God had to persuade him to go, because God loved even those evil people in Nineveh enough to give them a chance to repent and be saved. “The Lord is… longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Even Nineveh!
Then I gathered the little children at my feet and talked to them seriously about surrendering to God’s perfect plan for their lives and we all prayed for them. At the close of the service several of those kids were on their knees along with youth and adults dedicating their lives to the Lord. I was especially impressed with one little boy, maybe 11 years old, (not pictured) who trembled as he knelt, with his face almost touching the floor as he made his dedication and remained long after others had risen.
Somehow that scene reminded me of a
little lad in 1963 in one of our itinerary services in a small town in northern
California. He stayed a long time on his knees up front. Years
later he told me that God called him that night to be a missionary. He
and his wife have now served for many years in three different countries.
I met with them for dinner only two weeks ago. They are now preparing to
learn a new language and will go to a potentially dangerous area of the world
with the Assemblies of God “Live Dead”… dedicated to pay the supreme sacrifice
of their lives if necessary to share the love of Christ with the
And now as I looked at this trembling
boy, I thought, “Who knows what God may do with that child’s life wholly
dedicated to His will?”
Sunday morning I ministered at the central Pentecostal Holiness Church in the heart of Buenos Aires. I have known Pastor David Passuelo for many years, but never preached in his church. He, his wife and both his parents have been effective ministers of the Gospel. David has a long standing radio ministry with an audience of many thousands. He recorded an interview with Frances and me back in the 90s. Last night he reminded me of that interview and said that he has broadcast it over and over during these many years.
David’s wife took charge of Felipe’s suitcase.
I en-couraged everyone to not only hear my voice, but to listen for that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit deep inside. Again He was obviously dealing with grown men and women and youth of all ages as they filled the altars giving their all to Jesus.
I said, “Lord, send me!” And… Oh! He did!