Through Harvesters we have planted churches in the most unexpected, beautiful, dangerous, demanding and forgotten places on the continent. Without compromise we have started all these churches through evangelism and discipleship ….. and a lot of relationship. Most people often ask me: “So just how do you plant churches in the 21st century. Don’t we have enough churches around the world? Is the church still relevant in our time? Are churches not closing down due to secular movements pushing for freedom?” A lot of valid questions that needs answering.
Of course we simply can not overlook Mathew 29:19,20 where we are driven by God’s Missio Dei to bring the Good News of the Gospel to everyone who has never heard of a life FREE of the demands of this world. A life bought by Jesus Christ to not just bring salvation to our dry souls but to restore our relationship with the living GOD that is the CREATOR of ALL. We follow this command meticulously by planting churches while equipping pastors and churches. But it is setting up a new generation of church planters and leaders that really moves me.
This time we find ourselves in ARGENTINA and then off to PERU for church planting. Argentina caught me by surprise. There were so many interesting facts about it. I never knew that:
- Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world;
- Argentina means silver in Latin (argentum) as the Europeans thought there were silver;
- Argentina is divided into 23 provinces each with their own constitution;
- The major figure of the Cuban Revolution Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was born in Argentina;
- Argentina was the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010;
- 37 % of Argentine population are of Italian descent, about 12,8 million people;
- A 3 year long College major in Exorcism is offered at a Lutheran Parish in Argentina;
- and … Pope Francis used to work as a bar bouncer in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It’s with this backdrop that we visit Buenos Aires, Argentina. After meeting with various role-players we quickly discovered that planting churches here would be difficult. As one church leaders said: “We have done evangelism and discipleship is something that is not relevant to us anymore. Bring us something new if you want to grow the church.” As a secular state we knew we would be up against some resistance. A lot of prayer is still needed as we pushed deeper into northern Argentina. Through relationship and good research we started off with great partners and will continue planting churches from March 2018. Peru training was followed-up with partners who are planting churches and great connections were made.
It was great to see God’s presence in the true church who still follows HIM and continue to expand the Gospel in areas that truly needs Christ.