December 2015 Argentina Missionary Update
The following is a ministry update from Pastor Matias Buldain, an SGBC supported missionary in Argentina:
“For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:16
Isn’t this true for God’s people in our day as well? God’s presence in us and with us is the distinguishing mark of the Church! What else give us purpose, so mere activism can become true worship? What else can make us confident, so that we can be separated from those who trust in their own strength? What else can give significance to all of our labor, so that we don’t serve ourselves but the One before whom we will all give an account one day? What else can be called true “favor” but the presence of Him who is our greatest good and for whom all things exist?
There can be no true blessing without it and with it there can be nothing else that man needs. This is our greatest good and our most treasured possession. We rejoice in His mercy and grace that has brought us into the fellowship with His son and with Himself. This fellowship is what give meaning to everything that follows in this report, because everything is His, by Him, and for Him.
Expository Preaching Class
One of the classes that I enjoy the most teaching at the Pastoral Training Center is the Expository Preaching class. We spend a lot of time showing from the Scripture the importance of getting every thought in our sermons from the passages themselves, and learning techniques to do it. After more than 60 hours in the class throughout the semester, I enjoy so much the day when they expound a text in class before all the students and myself. Our prayer is that God will raise up a generation of preachers that will be faithful to the preaching of the Word that will be used by Him to bring many to true saving faith and to spiritual maturity around the world. By God’s grace, every year He gives me the opportunity to invest in the lives of a few that I pray will become a foundation for that movement.
Pastoral Training Center Graduation
The last week in November we had our sixth graduation at the Pastoral Training Center. Even though we are still a small school, the Lord allows us to minister to students from many places where they can then go out with a vision of church planting and a scriptural ministry philosophy. This year we had 7 men and three wives that finished their studies. As every year, this was an international graduation: we had two students graduate from Argentina (one from Buenos Aires state and one from Tucuman state), one from Bolivia, one from Ecuador, one from Colombia, one from Venezuela and one from México. Praise the Lord for these workers that are going out to the fields.
Students Going Out
As the director of the Pastoral Training Center and a professor of 14 classes, I get to spend much time with all the students, but also as the pastor of the church in San Justo I get to spend more time with a few of them that serve in our church and that we mentor together with Neri. Julian and Lili where two of them. They are from Colombia and had come to Argentina to study at Word of Life.
After one year there, Julian knew that the Lord was leading him to come to the Pastoral Training Center to prepare for pastoral ministry (that year we spent a lot of time sharing as he served in our church with the youth and lived with me on the weekends). When he came to our school his ministry philosophy and vision for Colombia changed dramatically. He got engaged with Lili and began praying for becoming church planters in that country. In the last year we mentored them with my wife and walked alongside of them.
Two weeks ago they went back to Colombia with a church planting project. Something similar happened with Osvaldo and Priscila. They had just gotten married and were coming out of the Bible Institute not having a clear idea of where to go next. That year, God confirmed a call to Mexico and they will leave next week to join our church planting team in Queretaro, Mexico. Every year we have to see many going out to the fields who for awhile served with us in our church. This is a great blessing and also a great challenge for our congregation. Please pray that God will allow us to continue serving these men and women that are with us in a training season of their life.
The first weekend of December we had in our church an evangelistic event that we have been having for the last 4 years. Our music school prepares a presentation where all the students show some of the things they have been learning throughout the year. It is a wonderful time watching their progress, not only in their music skills but also in their spiritual maturity. We also invite unbelievers to come so every year we see some come to know the Lord in that event as well.
I am so thankful for the wonderful work that my wife has done faithfully in the lives of the teenager girls in our church. One precious fruit that the Lord has given her in these years is the life of Sabrina. She comes from a very difficult home, but she came to know the Lord when she was 15. Now she is 18, and the Lord has made her grow so much. She is my wife’s right hand caring for the teenager girls. She loves the Lord and is so faithful in her spiritual influence over the girls.
Now, God has placed in her heart to prepare for ministry and missions at the Bible Institute. We have been praying for this decision and we believe that now is the right time for her to do it. This is a faith step for all of us in many ways. One, is the financial aspect of this decision. The Bible Institute costs us US $2500 a year. This might not seem much for some, but it is a lot for us. As I mentioned, she comes from a very poor and problematic family so with Neri and the church we are trusting the Lord will provide us to help her in this project. We rejoice in advance for God’s provision for this.
The last 13th of December we celebrated our first year of marriage with Nerina. We can’t believe it went so fast but we thank the Lord for His goodness every day. We have learned so much and we have so much more to grow. In everything we have seen the good hand of our Father leading us, providing for us and directing us. Thanks to all of you who have been a part of our family in so many ways. May God bless you for this service of love to us.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. We are honored to have you as our team partners in reaching out our country with the gospel.
God bless you!
Matías and Nerina Buldain
“To the praise of His glory” Ephesians 1:6