Lk 21:28; “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We live in a big city, a metropolitan area of over 15 million people. Like most cities there are tall buildings and even mature trees. But as we walk about it is not uncommon to observe the lobbies of these buildings and be totally oblivious to the 20 or 30 stories that rise up above them. Sometimes our view is obscured by the big trees, but most of the time it is just for want of looking up. What is it that prevents us from gazing above to take in the height of the buildings, the canopy of the trees or the blue sky? For us, it is usually one of three things: broken sidewalks, dog poo, or simple preoccupation with ground level. We are so concerned with what is immediately at our feet that we miss much of what is going on around us; all for want of looking up. Our spiritual lives are much the same. It is easy to be caught up in the day-to-day of life and ministry and miss the bigger picture.
When Christ instructed his disciples to keep an eye on the signs of the times, he was referring to the approach of the end – an approach that we have been on since the ascension. The day of the culmination of our redemption is one day closer today than it was yesterday. When Jesus said, “Lift up your heads” it was to remind them to direct their attention to what is coming. The “thing that is coming” should motivate us to vigorous and earnest ministry. Let us not miss the bigger picture for want of looking up.
As stated above, we have a tendency to walk along life’s way focused on what is right before us. For us, that has been our ministry here in Argentina: the semester at the Bible Institute, studying, preparing and teaching online classes, teaching Sunday School to 6–9-year-old children, preaching at various services, continuing to work on our language fluency, the day-to-day living, and preparing for our furlough in the United States. God has a way of causing our eyes and our minds to look up and think and dwell on Him and heavenly things. We are so thankful.
At the very end of September, Patti’s dad went to the hospital for great weakness. It was discovered that he has pancreatic cancer. Within the space of the next ten days, it was discovered that not only is the cancer untreatable, but that he has a very short time to live.
What a blessing it has been to observe Patti’s dad finishing well. He has been preaching every Sunday, and preparing and teaching a daily Bible study. Although he has become too weak to continue with that ministry regularly, he is telling people that he wants to see them in Heaven someday. The Good News and how to be sure you are going to Heaven make it into his conversations whenever possible. His prayer request is that he will be a “good” patient. Dad, John Henry, is weak and in pain. Please pray for God’s grace, peace and strengthening for him, his dear wife Judy, and all of his family.
With the doctor’s urging that family needs to be there before Thanksgiving in order to see him, the prayers and searching for solutions began. Our original flight was to leave Argentina on November 27. God allowed us to change our departure date, and now we are leaving on Tuesday, November 1st. Our plan is to be available to visit and help in any way that we can during the month of November and into the beginning of December. God has provided a place for us to live in Decatur, and we are so grateful. Many people prayed and worked together to make the connections. The house is in use until the end of October, and then it is available for us. Thank you, Lord! (Please note, that while we will be able to get online in other locations, we will not have internet at this house. Do not be distressed if you do not get immediate responses from us.)
On another note, we look forward to seeing many of you in our travels. Our furlough schedule will be starting in December. Here is a link to our tentative itinerary. Only churches are included although we will be visiting many personal supporters, friends and family. Do you want to connect with us while we are in the States? Take a look at our itinerary to see when we will be in your area. There may be changes coming in the schedule. We will put links to updated documents in future updates.
We are busily working to maintain our ministry here while preparing to head up north in just a few days. Please pray for us! Thankfully the mile-long lists are shrinking.
Serving with you in Argentina,
David, Patti and Michael West
God's provision for the change of departure date and a home to use for November.
God's directing in the scheduling process for our furlough.
God's care of us, body, soul and spirit.
The confidence that God is sovereign, loving, merciful and gracious.
James Morrell has received permanent residency.
Effectiveness and fruitfulness in the Bible Institute and plans for the semester that we will be gone.
Comfort and peace for John and Judy Henry and family.
John Henry, that he would be a "good" patient and show forth God's light to those he encounters.
Plans and schedule for our furlough/home assignment
Our continuing progress in the Argentine Spanish language.
Above are pictures of Patti working with her class (Photo credit goes to Michael). Dave continues to preach in churches occasionally as well as his regular teaching schedule for the Bible Institute.
This month, we were privileged to attend the quinceañera of a gal in our church. Turning 15 years old is a big deal for the girls in this culture. The pictures below are at this fiesta. Eduardo is a great help to Dave in various aspects of the Bible Institute ministry.