OF The Argentine revival
in the land
by John C. Miller
These past months have been so full of activities that I barely know where to begin. I am currently pastoring 2 local churches along with having classes and devotionals in the bible school. I also traveled to the city of Cordoba, Tandil, and Mar Del Plata for special weekend meetings. Also, for more than 2 years now, I have been ministering in a local pastor's fellowship. The group is from 12 to 15 pastors, and we meet in our home every 2 weeks or so. They are from different denominations, but with the same hungers for more of God. We traveled together to Mar Del Plata, intending to have a weekend of rest and fellowship, but God had other plans. We ended up having glorious meetings and fireside chats late into the night. One night as we chatted after supper the presence of God was so strong that some fell sobbing to the floor. Many just opened up their hearts and cried out to the Lord. God dealt much with one pastor about returning to his first love. When he returned to his church, he publicly asked pardon for leading them away from the simplicity of loving God, and seeking His presence. The whole church was revived.
As I mentioned in our last letter, this year we opened our 6th local church in the city of Buenos Aires. It is in the suburb city of Catan, close to our Christian community. This new congregation is now about 120 and growing. I am pastoring in our main church in Buenos Aires and also in this new church. I do have the help of a few young "joshuas" that hopefully will soon come into their own strength and ministry. Every week, with the 2 churches and bible school, there are 6 morning services, and 5 night meetings. Not counting daily bible school classes. To avoid utter exhaustion, I do sometimes invite a pastor to help with classes and services for a week.
The city of Catan, where we started our new church, is where we live, along with about 25 church families. It is also where the bible school and camp grounds are.
Every Saturday afternoon, we have special meetings for children in 3 different "barrios". Loving and dedicated brethren from our church reach out to feed and clothe the hungry and needy children. Every week they spend hours cooking, preparing bible classes and sorting clothing. (see picture)
Because of the demands of the growing work, we are currently building, as the Lord provides, a new dormitory for up to 70 people. This is for future camps and bible school activities.
In July we went to the city of Azul for our regional youth conference. These special meetings were declared of "special cultural interest" by the local city government. The reason was that the city has had many teen suicides of late and they were desperate for any help ... even religious! Consequently we were granted use of the central plaza in the city center. Right in front of the city hall and across from the main catholic cathedral. The city set up all the audio, lights and platform for us. The local television (channel 2) came to film the event, and later interviewed a few of our young people and me. There were even police cars blocking off the street for our public meeting! Authorities were very impressed with our message and music. Even the catholic priests came out of the cathedral and stood on the steps, to hear the message. Our theme and banner were "A reason to live." Certainly the youth of the late 90's, known as "Generation X," needs a reason to live.
A very special miracle was the weather. We shuddered as we prepared the platform, audio and video. The sky was dark and stormy all day. People driving in would tell us the downpour was just 20 miles away and coming our way! When time came to start, right at sundown that unforgettable Saturday afternoon, the sun came out over the city! It rained all around Azul. The loudspeakers carried the message and music around a 25 block radius. As the service continued I invited our young people to express the joy the Lord had placed in their hearts. They began to jump, dance, and parade right there in the street. They went in circles, in long trains, hand in hand, weaving in and out across the crowd. It reminded me of Jewish people dancing in their feasts. Also of Israel rejoicing in old times. And David, when he brought the ark to Jerusalem.
People passing in cars and motorcycles stopped and joined in at the sight of Spirit filled young people, dancing before the Lord. What a meeting! Just one of the many testimonies: one of our group told us about two girls standing near him. Seeing the joy, the two had stopped, and were standing by their motorbike in the middle of the city plaza, smoking away. As I spoke, of hope for their generation, of Jesus the reason to live, they threw away their cigarettes and hugged each other, sobbing. Despair gave way to hope and hope opened up a door to Jesus. As you can imagine, it was a great boost to our church in Azul, pastor Rodriguez was on "cloud 9" that week end. From the plaza we moved back to the rented hall for the rest of the youth conference. Some lives were restored, all were renewed. Many met Christ, some for the first time. Others, as the prodigal son, returned to the fathers house. One special message was: "Generation X - the valley of dry bones."
Yet alas, not all are victories in this spiritual war. Because we have accepted the challenge of leading the youth of this generation to an encounter with God, we have also met with the vilest of threats, ragings, and attacks of our enemy. Right after this lovely victory in Azul, we had an especially vile attack of the enemy. "But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Cor. 15:57)
And because of this "victory" God has been doing many lovely things the last few weeks with the young people in the bible school. There are many wonderful things happening in our midst. Surely, His workings have been gracious and sovereign in our midst as He is still visiting His people with ever-increasing waves of His light, love and mercy. We could share so many testimonies here of the many who are meeting with God and experienced His cleansing and deliverance in their lives. So many have found the life giving power of His blood and His Cross as He drew near to show them the depths of sin and darkness in their own lives. His glorious light has shined in hearts bringing deep conviction of sin and planting the cries and groanings of the Holy Spirit within. Such cries have been uplifted before His throne! They are cries that express that whole-hearted reaching out to God which has been so evident during this time on the part of His people. He responds to that kind of cries!
With each day that passes we are more surprised at the love of our Savior to these unfaithful people. Who can understand the reason of so much love? We are conscious that we are living in memorable times. We want to live them with all our heart strength and consecration. God has been releasing His Word in such a precious way during this time. It is our cry that not one of His words shall fall to the ground unheeded; But that they will be firmly planted and rooted in our hearts to bring forth fruit in the days ahead.
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