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"On January 19, 2020, twelve travelers from Nappanee, Indiana, embarked on a journey southward to Soldini, Argentina. For many, this was our very first mission trip. We had no idea that we would return as a changed group.
Each day began with prayer with the construction team meeting at the temple. The church in Soldini meets in January to bring their first fruits like the Bible teaches us. These prayer meetings quickly made a huge impact on all of us! To see these people of God, pray and worship fervently and gratefully with tears running down their faces was life-changing. For most of us, we discovered how all too often, our prayers have become passive. Coming from a culture of "wants" and "needs," we were shown a new way to pray. Boldly and expectantly but also with keen and grateful hearts.
After each prayer meeting, we gathered outside to begin laying bricks for the school and painting classrooms. It was such a blessing to work alongside our new friends. The Holy Spirit taught us what it means to be a family on mission. While we worked to lay sturdy masonry bricks, the Holy Spirit quietly laid the foundation for a new relationship between our churches in the United States and in Argentina for years to come.
The church family in Soldini is a fun-loving group! Together we worked hard while sharing loads of laughter throughout the day. The best part of the day was after the work finished. We gathered outside to play games, go swimming, drink maté, and explore the region of Soldini. It was a time of connecting, sharing, and usually included people from the church who gathered to hang out with us. We are so grateful for Nico, Patricia, and Ezequiel, who interpreted for us. As we expanded our Spanish and they expanded their English, we were able to deepen the relationships.
God moved among us, removing language barriers, performing miracles of healing hands and blisters, thickening paint, and showing up in visions. We had an incredible opportunity to worship with the church throughout the week. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing hands lifted in praise to a Good Father! As they sang in Spanish, and we sang in English, I was reminded how the brethren in the book of Acts were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues, but each person heard their own language being spoken. Worship needs no translation when it is given in praise to our Father.
While preparing for this mission trip members of our Nappanee congregation had visions as we were being commissioned. One saw us coming home carrying torches of fire, another saw us in the full armor of God. On Friday, we visited Rosario and the monument there. At the top of the steps was a large "Torch" of fire representing all their fallen soldiers. There was a woman there in military dress just watching. We were told that there is always someone on duty to make sure the fire never goes out. I was impacted by that image. Reminded that we need to be on guard in our full armor so that we don't lose our fire or let Satan extinguish the flame.
To our new family in Soldini, we thank you for welcoming us with open arms and hearts. Thank you for helping us see what community might look like. Thank you for showing us what it truly means to have fellowship among the believers.
As Isaiah 50:11 says, “But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches that you have set ablaze.”
Alice Hershberger – Nappanee First Brethren Church
Together, your local church and your partners around the world are becoming more and more like the kingdom of God here on earth. Many different voices, many different languages, and cultures, one God and one mission. To worship God and tell others the good news of salvation and life in abundance!
P.S. This story and others like it are made possible because of your generosity and support of Brethren Global Partners. If you aren’t already an advocate, I hope you will choose to become one today!