Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you in the love of the Lord, desiring that this report find you growing in the joy of faith in our Lord Jesus. I am excited to write this update, since I want to tell you not only the news about what God has done during the month of December, but also to give you a brief review of the works of the Lord in our midst throughout the year 2015.
It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. “How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation.Daniel 4: 2-3
First, it seems that a few weeks ago the husband of one of the sisters in our church was reached by the sovereign grace of our good God. His wife has been a member of the church for around two years, and she has continued faithful in the Lord in the midst of many trials. He was a professing evangelical for many years (as I understand it, more than 20 years), but when his wife arrived at Family of Grace Church, he showed great rejection for the Gospel and distanced himself from the church. From time to time he would attend a service on a Sunday morning, but he always arrived late and left either before the sermon was over or as soon as it had ended. He was apathetic and it seemed that he only attended every now and then to calm his religious conscience.
But around three weeks ago, this hardened and apathetic man that always refused the Gospel approached me after a sermon confessing his sins amidst tears. He confessed his hatred toward God and his hatred toward the church, and asked what he needed to do to be saved! Glory to God! Currently Victor is being discipled before he is baptized, and as the days pass it seems that what happened that day was a genuine work of the Spirit of God. I hope to be able to tell you more about him when the time comes for him to be baptized.
As briefly as possible, I will list some of the works that the Lord has done among us this year:
- Our God has sustained our prayers for revival. By the grace of the Lord, the prayer meetings have prevailed with good attendance, and the church has persevered in prayer and supplication each week.
- We were able to form a friendship with IBSJ Church in the Dominican Republic, and especially with pastor Sugel Michelen. This has been one of the greatest blessings that we have received in the history of our church, and we are very thankful to the Lord for giving us this friendship.
- This year we end a “cycle” with regard to the preaching series in our church. From the very beginning of our church, around the year 2010, we were carrying out different series of “expository-topical” sermons because our conviction was that we should teach a series of foundational biblical doctrines during the first years. By the grace of the Lord, in these five and a half years we have covered those foundational themes, and beginning with 2016 we will begin preaching expository sermons through different books of the Bible. In the beginning of January I will begin teaching through Ephesians, and in a couple months Nico will begin with the Gospel of John. This transition fills us with joy because it is not merely an administrative change, but it is a testimony of all that we have been able to cover by the grace of the Lord.
- By the mercy of the Lord, this year ten new people have been added to the membership of Family of Grace, and several more will be added soon (in two weeks we will celebrate 4 baptisms!). Blessed be the Lord that allows us to see how His arm is not too short to save!
- Our church has been perfected through suffering in multiple ways this year, and although it has been painful, the fruit has been abundant for the glory of Christ.
- The Lord has granted Nico and me the ability to persevere in the formation of workers. Currently, we count on thirteen brothers and sisters that help with discipleship, meetings with new members, and other ministries. There are currently four others that are being trained for these ministries and will soon assume more responsibility. At the same time, Nico and I are devoted to more intense discipleship of three men each.
- Ariel (who has been carrying out a pastoral internship over the past two years) and his wife Jesica have decided to stay in Rosario to continue serving the Lord among us. Recently, Nico and I have proposed to the church that once Ariel is done with his training he be recognized as a pastor in our church. Thanks be to the Lord, the church gave its approval unanimously!
These are only some of the things that the Almighty has been doing among us, and I am surprised, humbled, and filled with excitement for what He has done and what He will do in Family of Grace for love for His Name. Lord willing, in the next report I will tell you about some of the personal goals and goals for the church that I have for this year.
For now, I say goodbye, thanking you for taking the time to read this report. I ask you not to stop praying for us. Let us continue waiting before the throne of grace, because the kindness of the Lord that I have shared with you so far is only the fringes of the ways of our God, and only a pale glimmer of what He is able to do.
I send you a big hug from your brother and fellow servant in Christ Jesus.