Missionary Tim Goossen sends in a truly encouraging report from Gualeguaychú, Argentina about the work of God there.
Martín M. and his wife were saved shortly before they were married. They had four children, and brought them up in a Bible believing church. Their family underwent many trials concerning health issues, but the Lord brought them through each one. They were attending the Baptist church in Gualeguaychú when we arrived in that city in 1999 to plant a church. However, when the charismatic movement swept through their church, they decided to attend our meetings. By this time their four children were adults and making their own decisions.
Nancy, their second-born, attended our church very sporadically during the following 16 years. She became a Facebook friend of an unsaved male stranger living in Bolivia. After several months of Internet friendship, he decided to quit his job, move 1,200 miles to Gualeguaychú, and marry her. Her family, needless to say, was scandalously shocked. This relationship was doomed for failure from the very start. To make things worse, he found a room to rent around the block from where Nancy lived with her parents. Upon his arrival, when Nancy told him her family went to church, he said he didn’t mind, but he himself would never go. Thursday of that same week I was having a Bible Study with Nancy’s brother when he told me the story. He had asked this man if he would accept a visit from his pastor. So when Nancy’s boyfriend accepted, I had my job cut out for me that evening.
His name was Martín B. We shook hands as I entered his one-room apartment. He was a thin long-haired man in his mid-thirty’s. Cigarettes and a lighter lay on a small table next to his bed. As we talked, his life story began to emerge: drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, idolatry, a couple unwed relationships, and, foul language were all part of his life. He began to ask questions regarding religion, church and the Bible. I always tried to answer from the Bible. I told him Jesus Christ died for him in order to forgive his sins and give him eternal life. He confessed that he had been trusting in two “saints” most of his life: Gauchito Gil, and San La Muerte (Saint Death). He even had their images tattooed on his back.
Light Dawns and a Life is Transformed
I could see tears swelling in his eyes as he finally understood the meaning of the cross. After three hours he bowed his head, repenting from his sin, and asked Jesus Christ to be His personal Savior.
Martín B. began to grow in the Lord and attend our church. Now he desires to be baptized, has built a trusting relationship with his future father-in-law and is trying to be a faithful witness at work.
Our God has the wonderful ability to turn wrong human choices into ways of showing His grace and power.
Editor’s note: The author asked me to help ensure that no young person would read this and think that missionary dating is OK. It is dangerous. Sometimes God overrules our foolish decisions and brings salvation–but not all the time. A believer should never date or court unbeliever according to 2 Corinthians 6:14.