Calling ALL Students!
March is the beginning of fall here in the southern hemisphere and it brings school with it! We had a wonderful summer filled with Christmas events and camps. Now, back to school schedules for all of us! Rachelle homeschools the children, and this year they are in 6th, 4th, and 2nd grades. We jokingly made Nicolas the school mascot. He obviously had no clue, but the older kids thought it was hilarious (see photo). As we adapt to our school routine, Ben is teaching in the Bible Seminary again and, starting in the middle of May, will also be making a weekly trip to downtown Buenos Aires to teach a preaching class to a group of men in a church there.
New school year, new grades!
Nicolas is the School mascot.
Easter Family Retreat
Most people have the week or weekend before Easter off from school and work for a religious holiday. We headed northeast to Uruguay to participate in a church Easter retreat. Ben was the guest speaker. We enjoyed meeting several people and spending time with good friends and fellow missionaries. It was a wonderful week remembering Christ’s sacrifice for us, His resurrection power and our victorious walk in Him!
Ben preaching at the Easter retreat in Uruguay.
We continue seeking out where God will have us begin a new church. We are prayerfully exploring Gonzalez Catan, which is located half an hour from where we are now. It is one of the most populated areas of Buenos Aires, with very little Gospel witness. There are a couple of families from there who come every week to attend the church here in Isidro Casanova, and we are in the process of planning things with them so they will help us begin the work in their city. It is very exciting! However, we want to move to that area to be in a more central location and we are having a hard time finding a house to rent. Please pray we will find the right place, which God already has waiting for us.
The area in which we are praying to start a church.
Click for a printable prayer letter: Prayer Letter- 2016 Mar Apr
Our second camp season here in Argentina has come and gone. Camp is always such a wonderful way to reach young hearts and turn them towards God. The camp we participate in has three weeks of camp for different age groups, and our church has children/teens in all of them. Ben was a counselor in the older teen camp, and had the opportunity to speak directly into the lives of the young men in his group. They are bombarded on every side with all the pleasures and perils of the sinful world in which we live. We woud ask that you pray specifically for one unsaved young man, Fabricio, who came to camp, recognized his condition before the Lord, but hardened his heart towards the Gospel, all because he did not want to change his life. He continues attending his church, but still needs to turn to Christ. We praise the Lord for several others who made decisions to turn from specific sins in their lives that were ensnaring their Christian walk, and follow the Lord more faithfully. What a blessing to see God work in their hearts! Since then we have also seen follow-up steps several have taken, such as being faithful in church, starting classes in the seminary and talking to their friends about their Savior!
Our team at the 8-11 year-old camp, the blue team!
Investing in Families
We truly believe that in order to have a strong church there must be strong church families, and these begin with strong marriages. One of the ways our church invests in marriages is through couples’ meetings which usually include an evening off without the children, teaching on marriage, fellowship with other couples, and even fun things like a Valentine banquet once a year! It was very fun to organize the banquet this year, and there were eighteen couples present, some of them for the first time at church. Please pray for one of these couples, Pablo and Mariela, who have been attending church for a short while. They are going through counseling because of problems in their marriage, partly due to Pablo being unsaved. Please pray for his salvation and that their marriage will not only be saved, but flourish.
At the Valentine banquet. Pablo and Mariela are on the right.
Click for printable PDF: Prayer Letter January February 2016
Ready to Teach… and Learn
God impressed on Rachelle’s heart to begin a childrens’ class on Wednesday evenings during the prayer meeting. So, in November she started a kids’ class and has had between 8-12 kids coming regularly to hear God’s Word and learn together. Of course it is a learning process for Rachelle also, since we have one year-olds through twelve year-olds all together! But, they are eager to learn! So far we have dealt with topics such as salvation, the Lords’ armor, and soon we will learn about prayer and how we can truly draw closer to God by praying effectively. Pray for us, that during this time these sweet children will draw closer to God.
We regularly have 8-12 kids on Wednesdays.
We have regular women’s meetings, but two of the biggest ones of the year are for Mother’s Day (in October) and Christmas. This year we had many of the women of the church involved in everything for the Christmas event. We also had 5 visitors who heard a clear Gospel message! Once again our landlady came and really enjoyed herself. She had some questions, also, but as of yet does not see her need for a Savior. Please pray that all of those who visited will be saved soon! The Christmas program, which is also a large event, was held on December 20th. Our brother-in-law, Richard wrote the program, and it was a fresh way of presenting the Christmas story. We praise the Lord for the many visitors who heard a clear message of the Gospel!
Christmas family picture.
We had many visitors for the Ladies’ Christmas event.
New Year… New Doors
Thank you so very much for your wonderful support both financially and prayerfully this past year, we cannot do it without you! We’re starting 2016 and excited for the new doors God will open. Up until now we have been blessed to be involved with the ministries of Iglesia Bautista Calvario here in Isidro Casanova, but we know God is leading us to start new churches in other areas. We ask you to pray for us, that we would see God’s guiding hand to the place He has for us. There are overwhelming needs and tremendous possibilities, but God is faithful to lead and strong to help.
The Christmas program’s cast- Ben was the innkeeper.
Click for Print: Prayer Letter- 2015- Nov Dec
The end of September through the beginning of October we traveled for the first time since finishing deputation, but this time with a baby in tow, and in Argentina, which is very different than traveling in the United States. Ben was invited to speak at Iglesia Bautista Biblica’s (Bible Baptist Church) anniversary on the west side of the country, in Bowen, Mendoza. Pastor and Mrs. Norma Cejas welcomed us with open arms. We stayed with them for the weekend. Rachelle spoke at their ladies’ meeting and Ben preached for the Sunday services. The church people were a blessing to us, and we enjoyed getting to know them. Argentines are very hospitable which was one of the reasons we enjoyed our time there immensely.
With Pastor Carlos and Norma Cejas at their church’s anniversary.
We continued on our journey to San Luis, the city in which Ben’s parents had ministered for eleven years. The time there was full of nostalgic moments as Ben introduced the kids to different places from his childhood. This turned to joy when we saw many of the people that had been a part of Ben’s church growing up. Not only was it a blessing to see old friends, but God gave us the time to encourage several of those whose life had taken some difficult turns. We were privileged to participate in the church recently started there by Damian and Natalia Cejas, missionaries sent out of a church in a neighboring province. Please pray for them as they minister to the people in San Luis.
The kids at Lake Potrero in San Luis.
Mother’s Day in October? Why yes, in Argentina it is! And this year’s Mother’s Day dinner was very special because the youth from the church planned it and executed it to perfection! It was wonderful to see so many youth serving the ladies of our church. Over twenty helped with meal preparation, childcare, decor, music, a skit, devotional, and gifts. What a great way for them to serve! We had a few ladies present, including our landlord’s wife, Lorena. Please pray for her and Pablo to come to know the Lord!
Mother’s Day dinner at church. Lorena is on the right in front.
Click for Printable Prayer Letter.
One Year Anniversary
August 26-27 marked one year since we left the United States and arrived in Argentina! So much has happened during this last year. We have adjusted well to the new culture and language. The children continue to learn Spanish. Natalie is close to being fluent, and the other two are still learning. We enjoyed welcoming Nicolas to our family, and continue to enjoy having a family with four children now. In ministry, we have thoroughly enjoyed becoming a part of Iglesia Bautista Calvario. Ben and Rachelle have taught Sunday School, Ben is teaching in the Seminary, and we have personally been able to lead 5 individuals to the Lord, and are discipling 5 teens and adults! It has been a great year!
Saying goodbye to Ben’s family one year ago.
Youth and Children
We asked for prayer for a youth conference in July, and Children’s Day in August. Both were wonderful events. Ben spoke at the youth conference, the theme of which was evangelism. Two girls were saved, and many reported that they now have the boldness and tools to effectively witness to their friends. Praise God! For Children’s Day, our church held an event with games, prizes, and an evangelistic skit and message. We had a huge turnout with almost 200 children present, not counting parents and workers! This was almost double the attendance of the previous year! Now we are helping with follow-up visitation to all the families who came. Please pray as we minister to these families.
Youth Conference “Not Ashamed of the Gospel”
Children’s Day event- The church was packed!
A Huge Thank You
We wanted to take the time to say thank you to all of you who have been praying for us, and giving to our ministry! This past year would have been very difficult with all our transitions here in Argentina without you lifting us up in prayer. Thank you so very much! Also, we want to send a special thank you to our Sent Team from our sending church, Cherry Street Baptist for all you’ve done- especially for the long-distance baby shower when Nicolas was born! And to all those who sent gifts when our good friends Kevin and Stacey came to visit! You truly have blessed us!
Click for printable Prayer Letter- 2015- Jul Aug
Nicolas´s first day, first photos with mommy and daddy, the four Metzger minions.
We received a huge surprise on Tuesday, June 2nd, when Rachelle’s water broke a full month before her dute date! The doctor tried to postpone things for a few days while trying to mature Nicolas’ lungs with steroid shots, but Nicolas was bound and determined to be born, and he made his appearance on Wednesday, June 3rd at 2 P.M.! He was healthy, but only weighed 5.4 pounds and measured 17.6” so the doctors kept him in the NICU to make sure he was ok and to help him gain weight. It was a hard 6 days, seeing our tiny baby hooked up to monitors. We thank so many of you who heard about the situation via Facebook and prayed for him! He came home and immediately began gaining weight and growing. God was so gracious to us and to him, and we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our newest little family member.
Father’s Day was a beautiful day with many fathers in attendance! We are very thankful for the many fathers that are faithful to God, their families, and church! It is hard for men in latino cultures to step up and be godly leaders of the home. Please pray that these men will be faithful in training up their children and grandchildren in their walk with God.
Discipleship happens in many different ways. We have a passion for teaching and showing others how to be true followers- DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ. We are thankful that we can take a part of that in the ministries of Iglesia Bautista Calvario during the time we are here. Rachelle enjoyed teaching the younger childrens’ Sunday School class for a few months before Nicolas‘ birth. She truly enjoyed seeing the children learn about Jesus’ love for them! Both Ben and Rachelle also have been discipling one-on-one with multiple people. Please pray for Mario M., Cesar, Anibal, Edit, and Rosalia. They are all in different levels of discipleship, and are learning and growing in their relationship with Christ. Please pray that they won’t become “weary in well-doing”, but will continue to fight the good fight!