May June 2015

Newest Arrival

Nicolas' first day, first photos with mommy and daddy, the four Metzger minions.

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

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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

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!
Click for printable prayer letter: Prayer Letter- May June 2015

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March April 2015

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January February 2015

False god, False Hope

And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof… and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? Isaiah 44:19

Casilla de virgen

Here in Buenos Aires, in almost every neighborhood, on a corner or in a park, you can find a small house. Inside it, there stands a statue of Mary surrounded by flowers and other religious icons. Outside it, at any given time of the day, there stands an individual gazing at it. This individual will touch it, kiss it and even bend down on their knees to pray to it, all in hopes of receiving a special blessing. Interestingly, at another given time, you would see someone unlocking the padlock on that little house, pulling everything out of it, cleaning it all, taking care of the surrounding grounds, then locking everything up again. The question almost screams at us ¿How can they trust something for blessing and protection that cannot even protect and take care of itself? That is the faith of the typical Argentine, faith placed in a false god that cannot help or even hear them. Please pray for them to receive the message of the only hope that can save them, the One True Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ.

Memory or Ministry?

Flashback— 7:30 AM, I hear the familiar wake up bell and a camp counsellor telling everyone to get up and get ready for the day. Marcos Paz summer youth camp in Argentina is one of the highlights of my life. Soon after, as the morning service was underway, young voices lifted up praise to their Savior in song. Then the main speaker for the week was introduced, but no one stood up right away to head to the pulpit.

Flash back to reality—my brain woke me up to the fact that it was my name they had called. For an instant the memory of past years at this camp had clouded the present reality that I had the privilege to challenge these youth from God’s Word for the week. What an honor to participate alongside other missionaries and pastors in such an essential ministry: one that  helped shape my life when I was a youth. Now it was the next generation’s turn to discover what it meant to be the “Generation of Hope,” which was the camp’s theme this year. We rejoiced in the decisions of four young people to receive Christ as their Savior during that week, and several other decisions to live for the Lord. Two more weeks of camp for the younger ages saw more salvations and many other decisions as well. Praise God for your investment and prayers which enable and empower us to help carry out the Great Commission here in Argentina!

Our group from Iglesia Bautista Calvario

Our group from Iglesia Bautista Calvario

Ben had the privilege to speak at camp for the week.

Ben had the privilege to speak at camp for the week.

Click to print: Prayer Letter- Jan Feb 2015

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November December 2014

November News

Many times God throws new things into our lives to change things up. We had one of these blessings made known to us in November, when we found out we will be welcoming a new baby to our family around July 2nd, 2015! We were pleasantly surprised, and thus began the search for a good doctor and hospital to have the baby in. It is something we take for granted in the United States, but the process here is much harder. So, we believe we found the correct clinic to go to and are now under the care of an Argentine Obstetrition here. Please pray that the pregnancy will progress well, and that baby Metzger will arrive safe and healthy.
Our first ultrasound at 12 weeks. Baby is growing well.

Our first ultrasound at 12 weeks. Baby is growing well.

Christmas Wonder

Both Ben and Rachelle were happy to participate in the Christmas program that was written by Rachelle’s brother-in-law, Richard. It was called, “A Date with History”, and we practiced since the end of September, making sure it was well polished. The program also included musical numbers, so we enjoyed singing with a group from the church, and participating in the choir. Even Natalie sang in the choir in Spanish! The group from our church that performed in it were privileged to not only perform it at our church, but also at two other churches. We were so blessed to be a part of this Christmas program that had the impact it did! 5 women were saved on December 21st after seeing the program! Rachelle was overjoyed to lead one of them, Solange, to a saving knowledge of Jesus! What a wonderful privilege!
Ben and Rachelle taking part in a Christmas play.

Ben and Rachelle taking part in a Christmas play.

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Participating in special Christmas music.

Participating in special Christmas music.

Happy New Year

January is here, and so we ask that you pray for things that will be happening this month and the next. We have the privilege of personally discipling a couple of individuals, and hopefully more, as there have been many new salvations in the last few months. Pray these new Christians continue strong in their love for God and their walk with him.
Also, please pray for the youth camps that will take place during the whole month of January. Ben is the key speaker at the first camp of young adults, so our whole family will hopefully be attending. Camp is always an important week for young people, where many decisions are made. Pray that hearts will be tender to the Lord’s leading, and for safety for al those involved. Happy New Year, and thank you for praying for us. We truly appreciate them.

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September October 2014

Something Old, Something New

These last two months have been a blur. We have experienced old familiar things, like seeing faces we remember, going to places we’ve been to, and eating some great Argentine foods our taste buds missed. We’ve also been reintroduced to several aspects of the culture, like the crazy traffic, shopping at a different store for each different food group, and remembering which appliances need voltage converters. Of course, the brand new things abound. We’ve had the privilege of seeing new faces and making new friends, learning the basic geography of our city and neighboring towns, and going through “real missionary” experiences like waiting in line for everything, getting a shipping container through customs, and having to get those appliances fixed that needed an appropriate voltage converter. All in all, God is good, all the time. Rachelle’s parents, Barry and Diane Courts, have been extremely helpful in helping us get settled in and adjusted. The church family here at Iglesia Bautista Calvario (Calvary Baptist Church) has taken us in as their own. When our container got to the house, there were twenty of the church people there ready to help unload it. That was an incredible blessing.

Some of our help unloading the container

Some of our help unloading the container

Our living room after things were unloaded

Our living room after things were unloaded

Ministry Opportunities

Though initially focused on getting settled in here, we have been blessed to take part in a few different aspects of the ministry. Rachelle had the opportunity to help in the nursery and teach the ladies for a Mother’s Day event (Mother’s Day is in October here). Ben has been able to preach a couple of times and is helping with the youth group. We both have also enjoyed being in the music ministry, practicing for the Christmas program and choir numbers. We appreciate these opportunities because they allow us to work alongside Leo, who heads up the youth, and his wife Claudia, who helps with the ladies’ ministries. Leo is the pastoral intern at the church. They want to follow the Lord’s call to pastoral ministry, and we are praying for the Lord’s guidance in working with them to start a church.

Ladies at the Mother's Day event

Ladies at the Mother’s Day event

 

Ben teaching the youth

Ben teaching the youth

God also has given us some opportunities to share His word in either witness or counsel with others. The van we bought came from a business in downtown Buenos Aires, about an hour away. Ben had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the owner of the business, Andres. He was not interested in receiving Christ at the time, but still asked several questions about the Bible, Jesus, the church, and our missionary work. His office staff was listening in and he even had Ben share a brief Gospel witness with them to see if they had ever heard it before. They had not. Because of the vehicle transaction process here, Ben got to meet with Andres a couple different times, watering the seed that was planted, and giving him a Bible of his own. Please pray for Andres to realize his sin and turn to the Savior.

Click to print: Prayer Letter- 2014 Sept Oct

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July August 2014

Greetings from Argentina!

At approximately 1:30 pm on Wednesday, August 27th, our airplane taxied to a stop at the gate in the Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. What a tremendous mix of emotions we experienced as we stepped off the plane onto Argentine soil. What seemed to us to be a lifetime of preparation finally culminated in this moment. We remember the countless hours and endless miles of deputation, the names and faces of people we’ve met along the way, and the churches that have faithfully invested in our ministry and fervently prayed for us as we help them carry out the Great Commission in Argentina. With bittersweet tears we said a temporary goodbye to our earthly family and church family. We regard them with the highest appreciation for their loving investment and encouragement.  We realize that God has prepared our lives and our hearts not only for the moment we set foot on the mission field, but also for the missionary journey that lies before us. This is only the beginning!

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Saying goodbye to Ben’s family at the airport.

Transitions

The past couple of months we have spent packing, going to our last few church appointments, and spending time with friends and family. Time seemed to fly by, and deputation officially ended. God answered our prayers for a smooth transition into the country. Not only did we get through customs without any hassles whatsoever, but we also received our permanent residency visas once again when we went through immigration! Receiving them was a huge answer to prayer. We know you’ve been praying- Thank you! The next phase is getting our children’s residency taken care of. Their paperwork will take a few months to complete, but we have started the process already. They are tourists for now, meeting new friends and learning the culture and the language little by little.

Alenna with some girls from church and her Argentine cousins.

Alenna with some girls from church and her Argentine cousins.

Lucas with some new friends.

Lucas with some new friends.

First Days

Our time since we got here has been spent in both getting our rental house ready to live in (renters have to make the house livable here), and also getting to know the church family here at Iglesia Bautista Calvario (Calvary Baptist Church- Rachelle’s parents’ church in  Buenos Aires). We have purchased many things for the house. Even though we are still waiting for our container we will be moving in soon. We have met the owners and some neighbors already, and we are praying for the opportunities to share the Gospel with them. Please pray with us for the salvation of our landlords, Pablo and Lorena.

Click to print: Prayer Letter- July Aug 2014

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May June 2014

Maradona, Messi or Messiah

Because of the 2014 World Cup happening at this time, it is not uncommon to see news stories detailing and debriefing the most recent occurrences and predictions in the soccer world. Several of those stories have named Argentina, or one of its players. Argentina has a very interesting relationship with its soccer heroes, namely Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. In the midst of its turbulent history, especially in the late 70’s and early 80’s when financial crisis and government oppression ruled the day, Argentines looked to soccer, and Maradona, as a sign of hope and change. Of course, with a little help from the “hand of God” to win the ’86 World Cup, Maradona became that sign of deliverance and is now idolized by the Argentine people.  In this current season of Argentina’s history, as more upheaval and financial crisis approaches, they now look to Messi for that same sign of hope and deliverance. One author commenting on the relationship of Argentina to its soccer heroes expressed, “the curse of the Argentine is that they have to invest emotionally and spiritually in a savior.” Sadly, this is a very true statement. However, the savior they need is not Maradona, Messi, or any other soccer star. The only Savior they need is Jesus Messiah!
Maradona and Messi, Argentine soccer legends.

Maradona and Messi, Argentine soccer legends.

Almost Done!

We praise the Lord for all that He has done over the last couple of months. We presented our ministry in nine different churches, including three mission conferences, spread out from Missouri to Washington. Praise the Lord, three of those churches voted to take us on for support! It was a blessing to connect with so many new people and encourage the churches to continue faithfully involved in carrying out the Great Commission. Right now, our official support level is 98% of our minimum goal, so we are praying for two more churches to partner with us before we go to the field on August 26th. We have just over 90% of our setup costs collected, and we know that God will provide the remaining support and setup funds just in time, because His timing is perfect.
 
Tri-City Baptist Temple, Gladstone, OR

Tri-City Baptist Temple, Gladstone, OR

Pastor & Mrs. Berry, Southland Baptist Church, Belton, MO

Pastor & Mrs. Berry, Southland Baptist Church, Belton, MO

Getting Ready

What will these next two months look like? Packing, packing and more packing is the main answer. While we do have six churches we will be presenting in, most of our time will be spent  gathering all our last minute needs to take with us to Argentina and getting everything ready for our container. Thank you to all the churches and individuals who have been so generous to  help us out with our setup costs for starting our new life in Argentina! We cannot express how much your generosity and care mean to us! 
 
Kids with Argentina missionary Mike Todd

Kids with Argentina missionary Mike Todd

While in Seattle we spent some time with Ben's brother and sister-in-law, Nate and Katie.

While in Seattle we spent some time with Ben’s brother and sister-in-law, Nate and Katie.

Our trip to the Northwest included some great sites, like Mt. Rushmore.

Our trip to the Northwest included some great sites, like Mt. Rushmore.

Click to get our printable prayer letter: Prayer Letter May June 2014

Click to see our list of needs: List of Needs

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