Doug and Martha Baergen
the assembly in 1965
and serving in Argentina
44 years of partnership
in the Gospel
A brief report for our friends in the snowy month of February
We are praising the Lord and thanking His people for sharing with us over a long period of time. The Lord has used the assembly to provide guidance, encouragement, prayer fellowship and the financial support necessary to serve the Lord in Argentina.
The assembly supplied substantial material support during the years that we were preparing the first buildings that were needed for the Timothy Institute. That support made possible the founding of the Timothy Institute and then contributed to building what began as a kindergarten and became a k-12 school that today has over 350 students and employs 30 Christian teachers and workers. In more recent years, the continuing support of the commending assembly has been important as personal sustenance, as well as enabling the school to fulfill its obligations when local funds are scarce from time to time.
The same time that we began to work on the first school building (1991), the assembly provided us with an offering to buy a used pick-up truck for the work. The vehicle was essential as we were building and has provided personal transportation for many years, as we travel to and from the school (about 7 miles one way) and travel in the work otherwise. The truck has had two motor over-hauls and is still giving good service. Several times a week it transports believers after the meetings of the assembly.
Results or Fruit of the Partnership
We know that the Lord´s Work must be done for Him and that He is concerned with faithfulness more the fruit. Nonetheless, the Bible notes carefully the fruit of the preaching of the Gospel in the New Testament and we are also encouraged as we see the work of the Holy Spirit, using His Word and His servants.
The first area, where we served for 4 years, a place called La Estrella, has not shown much lasting fruit. Several professed to receive the Lord during those years but they have not continued in the Christian life in any way that can be seen by others. Nevertheless, three years ago I, Doug, took a group of students on a trip that included a visit to the school which now stands on the same place that we had a school so many years ago. As I got off the bus a man greeted me. He gave his name and said that I didn´t know him but that he had come to know the Lord through our witness when we had the school. Even in such difficult circumstances the Lord works to save the lost.
Our present sphere of activity is centered on the Timothy Institute. In the school work there has been much more fruit. Many, many of the boys and girls have professed faith in the Savior. In December, 2009, we had our first class of graduating high school senior, with 23 graduating. Some of these students had been in the Timothy Institute since kindergarten. Bible teaching and the memorization of the Scriptures have been an important part of their training and they have memorized hundreds of verses from God´s Word.
Our oldest volleyball team, all but one of them seniors, at the Provincial competition.
The graduating seniors: Class of 2009
Some Important Improvements on School Gym
In the last 15 months, we have been able to make some major improvements to our school gym. We received a special offering for the school that enabled us to put a cement-tile floor in on top of the rough concrete that we had before. Later, in July and August of 2009, we had the open sections of the walls fitted with windows. In this way we have a facility that is much more functional in every way and at every time of year.
Remember: our gym is also used for all the programs which parents and other visitors attend.
When the windows were complete we found that we had a problem. The acoustics were very bad and the gym would not have been a good place to have our coming events. To make matters worse, our next event was a concert on our anniversary week in September. For these reasons we forged ahead with some panels and an economical version of a curtain to absorb some of the extra sound. The acoustics were still poor and so we added some hanging panels high in the roof structure and now we have adequate acoustics.
The anniversary concert in the gym. The windows and panels (blue) that were added recently are in evidence. (Because I organized the concert, I got to play one piece with the orchestra on my baritone.)
Our student body and some of the parents present. At the top left you can see the curtain substitute (blue) that was added to help with the acoustics.
The Local Assembly Continues to Reach Out
The assembly near our home continues to reach out to the unsaved. A few have been saved and we have had one baptism in the last year. Leadership and gift continues to develop and we trust that the Lord will work with his people as they endeavor to serve Him. The assembly has an active young people´s group and they have organized some activities for the youth of the city assemblies. Four assemblies in Salta have a monthly prayer meetings together and four Saturday-night youth meetings, spread over the year. In December there is a combined week-end which has been an evangelistic outreach in recent years.
A Special Treat for our Family
In December our daughter, Virginia Good, went to Argentina to visit us with her husband and 4 children. We had three weeks of good times with them, getting to know our grandchildren and spending time together as we saw some of the local sites in and near Salta.
Our daughter, Virginia Good, and her four children singing a Polish Christmas carol at our graduation banquet (on December 18.)
Prayer Changes Things and Prayer Changes Us
We confess our lack of power and our confidence in God´s power when we pray. It changes our mindset as we admit that there are many things that we just can´t do. Saving souls is on that list. We can preach, we can plead, we can encourage and we can challenge but the Lord alone can save.
Please join us in prayer for the salvation of many in Argentina. Pray for the school students and pray especially for their parents. Pray for the young people from the assemblies in Salta, that they might be kept from sin and witness clearly of their faith in Christ and the power of the Savior.
As you pray, please continue to pray for us. We want to complete our course faithfully, whatever that may mean.
Thank you for sharing with us in the Lord´s work in Argentina.
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