Team Reflections (AR08)

by Stephanie Lim

July 9th through the 24th came and left all too quickly, leaving us with precious memories and lessons God gave us throughout the two full weeks we served Him in Argentina. And we would love to share these with you—may you join in on the sweet blessings we received by the amazing grace of God!

“The first thing I think of when I think of this trip is the church in Tucuman because of how loving they were to us,” shared Ryan Short. And the thirteen of us all wholeheartedly agree. Whether it was one’s first time or one’s fourth time to Argentina, the church unconditionally showed us “love—lots and lots of love,” JR Cuevas commented. We experienced this love in many ways, from the selfless service of young and older women of the church in every meal, to the little kids who would cling to our arms and legs and not let go, to the men and women who would listen patiently to our broken yet improving Spanish. Romi Hong told of a special experience: “Playing futbol with the ladies is always crazy! We always played marrieds against singles among the women. Both sides are very competitive! Very! The younger women have more stamina, but the older women have strength in their hips and curves. Oh my!” Kent Hong shared how this year, “we also spent more time dealing with some personal situations and struggles with church members. Pastor Jorge and Norma really view our church as partners in their ministry, perhaps because they know we are committed to partnering with their church after returning now for the fourth year…they are tireless in terms of trying to serve the needs of the body, almost to the point of exhaustion. We need to be in prayer that the Lord continues to strengthen them and raise up leaders in the congregation.”

God was very faithful to make His Gospel known to the lost in Tucuman. He allowed all of us to joyfully share in five different neighborhoods during a five-day campaign. “What was interestingabout the door-to-door evangelism,” said Ryan Short, “was the willingness of people to accept the Bible as the Word of God, having all authority.” Naomi shared that “It was especially neat sharing the gospel with those who initially seemed so confident in what other people/sources had taught them, yet when we shared with them from the Scriptures, they couldn’t deny the validity of God’s Word and what we were teaching from it.” How great is our God, who is the only one to initiate faith in someone and change hearts to submit to Him! We all realized along with Romi that “God’s Word is powerful to change and convict hearts which teaches me to rely less on my words and to solely focus on the purity of the gospel and its power to save. I cannot save anyone. It is only Christ’s Word and what He finished on the cross.”

As our team of fourteen LBC members were around each other 24/7, it was a joy (and relief) to see that we are all sinners simply saved by God’s grace and striving hard to reflect Christ through our thoughts, words, and actions. From deep and heartfelt conversations to silly moments of goofing off and picking on each other, we enjoyed deepening our relationships with one another as a result of working for the sake of the Gospel. And what a trooper Chris Katsura was! He had an allergic reaction near the end of the trip, but God even used this to allow considerate Ryan Short to “hang out with Chris while he was sick, which was a good time of fellowship and much needed rest.” The surprise of JR and Kathy’s engagement was also a very special memory that brought us together in unity to rejoice and praise God for His goodness to them!!

The glory of Jesus Christ truly is the only one worth living for and serving. As Naomi expressed, “I learned what it truly means to preach the gospel to yourself everyday. Through walking door-to-door, evangelizing, and sharing with others, I was saying the gospel so many times that with every opportunity, it became more real to me. It helped me to remember how imperfect and dirty I am before God. It helped me to really process through the significance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for me.” And what a joy and blessing it was to experience this with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Praise God for a Christ-centered time in Argentina!!

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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