March brought fall weather as usual in the southern hemisphere. It also brought a new school year, with new grades for the kids. We have a last for our daughter Natalie- her senior year of highschool. All these years of grade school are finally coming to an end! We are so very proud of her and the godly young woman she is. Please pray as she makes plans to continue on with the direction God has for her life. We pray she will always follow his leading. The beginning of the school year also always marks a new year of seminary for Ben. He thoroughly enjoys teaching not only lay people from our churches and many in the region, but also men who are training to be in the ministry. It is a great privilege. The seminary is now virtual and in person. Going virtual has expanded the reach of the seminary, something we thank God for. Please pray as the seminary leaders are in the process of joining with Louisiana Baptist University to be able to offer an accredited diploma to the students! This will be a wonderful thing to offer our students who are pursuing full-time ministry.
A wonderful event that we always look forward to each year is the Easter Family Retreat. We have not been able to do it for two years because of the pandemic, so we were thrilled to be able to plan it once again this year. Our church (Redemption Baptist Church, Gonzalez Catan), and our mother church (Calvary Baptist Church, Isidro Casanova), all joined together from Thursday through Saturday of Passion week, with rest, relaxation, fellowship, preaching, and teaching for the children. I always love to teach “Resurrection eggs” which tell the full story of Jesus’ passion week and a wonderful plan of salvation. We thank God for the lives touched that week through the preaching, and for the deeper friendships and bonds built within our own church and between the two churches.
The youth ministry in our church is something we long to build up while reaching the youth in our community. As a result we are having weekly youth meetings and trying to get our youth involved more with each other, with the rest of the body, and in service. Please pray for our youth. It is always hard to help them dig deeper in their relationships with God and with each other. Superficiality is very prevalent in our culture now and we have to constantly combat against it. Pray for our youth. That they will be grounded in the truth, and that they will see their need to be true, genuine, godly friends to each other. This is God’s desire for them and ours also. There will be a couple different youth winter retreats coming up soon to help spur them onto a deeper relationship with the Lord and each other.
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