Our Trip to Argentina

I returned home yesterday from my first ever trip to Argentina. It is a beautiful country. I hope that the Lord will send us back there to do work again. Argentina is a very modern and very proud country with beautiful people. They boast wonderful architecture. They prepare food like you just would not believe. It is an incredible place to visit and the church in Argentina is quite strong. We are thankful for this last trip to Argentina.

There were four Passion Life staff members that went on this trip together. In addition to myself, we had Jeanie Perilla. Jeanie is our director for Latin American operations with Passion Life. She is American and she is bilingual in English and Spanish. We had Anderson Ocampo. Anderson is a Colombian national, who is also bilingual in English and Spanish, and is one of our theological training partners that we have on the field. He travels with us quite extensively throughout Latin America, helping us to teach the four questions. We also had Dr. Villa Nadu, another Colombian national. She has a lot of respect within the Church of Columbia and in these alliances of Latin American Evangelicals that are much bigger than the country of Columbia. This network is across all of Latin America. She has wonderful connections. She has incredible organizational and people skills.

The four of us went to Argentina last week. We taught in Buenos Aires the day that we arrived. We taught the four questions to a group of about 80 individuals. Jeanie gave her testimony in long form. Jeanie Perez’s testimony is absolutely incredible. She was an owner of an abortion business with her mother in the 1980s and the Lord took her from that position and from having an abortion in her own abortion business and he transformed her into the co-founder and co-leader of a group of pregnancy help centers to help women find alternative choices to abortion in the Miami area. She rents and runs a pregnancy help clinic out of the very building that she used to abort babies in. It is an amazing story and I hope that you will have the chance to hear it or read it. We have a shortened version of it in the resources section of our website for free as a download.

Jeanie gives her testimony as we travel and teach. It illustrates the theological implications of what it means to bring the grace of the gospel to the guilt and the grief of abortion so that people are liberated from their past experience with abortion or their past negligence on abortion and are free to serve the living God.

Nadu also helps to tell stories of what God is doing around the world to illustrate our fourth question which is: How do we respond to the biblical call to rescue the innocent? Nadu is extraordinary in helping us to tell those stories that illustrate how Christians around the world are responding to the crisis of abortion in their own cultures.

We taught the four questions that first day. The second day, we were able to walk around our hotel a little bit and have some Argentinian food before we drove four hours up the highway to our second city. Our second city was called Rosario. That was a city that I did not see much of because I became quite ill. While we were there, I came down with a cold. I woke up in the middle of the first night with a fever, chills, headaches and a sore throat. Because of this, I decided not to attend the training on that second day in Rosario. Anderson, Jeanie and Nadu

were able to do that training without me, which is a great experience for them to have. When the boss is sick, they have to make their own decisions and it is good for the organization in those circumstances.

Evidently, they did a fantastic job with a group of 20 or 25 Christian lawyers who were working within the laws of Argentina to help change some of the political and legal situation regarding restrictions on abortion. The four questions were a help to them in formulating their own theological basis for why they fight for the things that they fight for. I am thankful for the partners that we have there in Rosario, though I never met them.

The next day was a rainy day and we drove 10 hours that day through the countryside highway to our next city in Resistencia, Argentina. We arrived at midnight. We woke up early the next morning to teach in a large church from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It was a demanding day of teaching for us. There were about 200 leaders that showed up initially for that training and by that time we were exhausted, but excited to have the opportunity to teach in this large church with this eager group of people. They were very responsive, engaged and inquisitive. It was a great day of teaching and at the end of the day, they had a church service. We went back to our hotel and rested for a couple of hours before we came back. I preached a sermon at their Saturday evening church service with about 400 people from 9:30 to 10:30 at night.

We left everything in Argentina. We had some very demanding days of teaching. I lost my voice completely and was croaking through the microphone by the end of the day. I am still recovering from that. We met some really high powered leaders who love the Lord, love his Word, love life and are committed to organizing pregnancy help intervention centers now that they have had this theological training. They are going to bring churches together, in response to our being there, to really focus on rescuing babies in their community and their neighborhoods.

That last church streamed everything live on Facebook, and also had a large radio and television ministry. Everything that happened at the church that day was live on radio and television for people to hear and be a part of. We are thankful for what God did in Argentina. It was a wonderful introduction for us to understand the abortion situation in that country. It was a wonderful opportunity for the local leaders to hear what we do.

I say this in all humility: most of the time when we go and teach, the people are pleasantly surprised by what they hear. I told my team this morning, it is not because we are great teachers so much as it is because their expectations are actually quite low on what it means to come and hear a biblical conference on pro-life theology.

It is easy to impress or to over-deliver, but that contributes to the fact that they do not expect much from us. That opportunity to teach the way we taught builds trust and it means that, when we get our second invitation to come back to Argentina and teach more broadly, the word will go out that this is something that is highly worth devoting time and energy to come and listen to.

As is normally the case for us, we expect our attendance and our enthusiasm levels next time we go to Argentina to be even higher than they were on this trip. Pray for Argentina. Pray for the church there and for the leaders there as they now digest what they heard and they come back to us asking how they can take the next steps. Pray for us as we offer advice for their next steps to take. Pray that we would follow up well and that the result would be people glorifying God by obeying his call to rescue the innocent.

Maybe many babies in Argentina will be saved. Maybe many mothers find rescue, friendship and hope in the relationships that they are building with Christians who are volunteering through the churches. Maybe many fathers find restoration for their own souls and their own abortion guilt for pressuring a woman into abortion in their past. Maybe pastors repent of not having led well on this issue in the past and correct their ways by making sure that they teach well in their churches on the issue of abortion. Pray for the nation of Argentina, that it would be a nation that would stand for life and would be very influential for life throughout Latin America.

Thanks for sending us to Argentina with your prayers, with your finances and with your interest in what we do. As always, we appreciate your partnership and now we ask you to join us in the follow up that will begin to take place as a result of our last trip to Argentina this past week.

We are just home from a marvelous week in Argentina, partnering with local Argentinian pastors and leaders and teaching in churches in three cities across a large swath of the northern part of Argentina. We can not wait to update you on what we saw, learned, experienced and how the Lord is moving in the country of Argentina.