Mission Trip with Blessings Granted to the Early Church
Short-term Mission Team to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina, the second largest country in South America! The distance from the end of the north to the end of the south is nearly 3,700 km [2,300 miles]. Because it is so large, each area has different temperatures. The northern part is hot throughout the year, but the annual average temperature of Ushuaia, the southernmost city known as the entrance to the South Pole, is just around 5°C [41°F].
Maybe because diverse environments and cultures coexist in one country, people here, especially young people, like to travel. Due to prolonged economic hardship, most people live on tight budgets and it costs a lot to go to faraway cities. But many youths in Argentina like to travel with small bags and minimum expense to make memories and broaden their horizons. We got a hint from it. We, the young adults of the Buenos Aires Zion, made a plan to go for a short term mission trip joyfully as if traveling. Up until then, we had wanted to be of help to the gospel work, but we weren’t taking the initiative as we couldn’t afford it and had many worries and fears. That’s why this short-term mission felt extra special.
The final destination of our short-term mission was Chubut Province, 1,700 km [1,060 miles] away from Buenos Aires. We wanted to help branch churches on the way to Chubut. We made a detailed plan of preaching and staying in the branch churches for several days until we arrived at Chubut. Preparation was simple. Faith, the Bible, comfortable clothes, and daily necessities?that was it!
Before we went on our journey, a missionary said to us, “God who worked with apostles 2,000 years ago is with us. Let’s find heavenly family who will love God just like Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, who received the truth after hearing the words, and Priscilla and Aquila, a couple who became gospel workers. The history of the early Church will surely be repeated!”
At this thought that the blessing that was granted to the early Church would come to us if we dedicated ourselves like Peter and Paul, as the missionary said, we were full of anticipation and excitement from the first day of our short-term mission.
Buenos Aires -> Neuquen When we were waiting for the train to go to the first stop at the train station, all of a sudden, we heard an announcement that it was impossible to operate the train. We looked at each other and smiled. Things weren’t going well from the beginning, but somehow it felt like a sign that the gospel work would be prosperous.
We changed our plan and took a bus for Mar del Plata. In this famous coastal city, we preached the word of God diligently, saving time to eat. Since we could stay there only for five days, we were busy in mind. Two days passed, but there was no result. On our third day, one of the brothers cried during the meeting. It wasn’t just because we didn’t have fruit.
“I’ve realized a little more about the path Heavenly Father and Mother walked for us. In the early stage of the Church, They looked for heavenly children alone without anyone helping Them. They must’ve been lonely when nobody was listening to Them!”
On that day when we all cried, thinking of God’s love and sacrifice, we all bore fruit without missing anyone. Yes, Father and Mother’s mind was the key to the gospel work we must have.
The road to Neuquen, our next destination, was rough. It was far, for one thing, and we had to wait a long time as we couldn’t find transportation. We also ran into unexpected showers.
Late at night, a brother who was brushing off the raindrops from his hair and clothes, recited verses from the Bible with a smile.
“I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits . . . in danger in the country . . . I have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger . . . I have been cold and naked (2 Co 11:26-27).” “Amen!”
Just like Apostle Paul who worried only about the gospel and the church even in suffering, we all made a resolution over and over again that we would put all our hearts into finding our brothers and sisters despite difficulties and inconvenience.
In Neuquen, too, we were able to meet a brother lost from heaven. Among cold-hearted people who denied the truth, a worker at a local museum came to us and asked what we were preaching. We told him that we were delivering the truth about Heavenly Mother. With his eyes wide open, he paid attention to the words of the Bible for about an hour.
“I want to be a child of God the Mother. I finish my work at 10 p.m. Can I meet you again?” So we made an appointment to meet again at that time. We preached in another place and headed back to the museum at 9:30 p.m. He must’ve been waiting for us; when he saw us, he waved at us vigorously. He studied the words of God at a branch church and received the blessing to become a child of God.
Neuquen -> Comodoro Rivadavia in Chubut Until we reached Chubut, our final destination, we went through many cities. We could feel the blessing of God as we could meet prepared heavenly family members wherever we went. We preached the truth to people at a gas station on the way to get in the car and to a driver who stopped the car for a short time. Every place was the gospel field and everyone we met was the one to whom we had to deliver the gospel. The shackles of fatigue and tiredness tried to hold us back, but our one mission, “Wherever our step reaches, we will plant the seed of the gospel,” made our feet move and opened our mouths. If we could save one soul, walking ten or twenty kilometers was not a big deal.
Soon after we arrived in Chubut, we got a phone call from the missionary. He said there was a sister’s acquaintance in Puerto Madryn, the first city of Chubut, who wanted to learn the words of the Bible. On checking her address, we were surprised. It was not far from where we were; it was just a few blocks away.
We looked at the map and rang the door bell. She welcomed us. Seeing a number of idols she decorated her house with, we could feel how much she was looking for gods. It was late at night, but we testified about the true God, Elohim, to the lady who was thirsty for the truth. When she realized who the Savior is through the Bible, she got rid of idols without any hesitation and received God the Father and God the Mother.
The next morning, we headed for Comodoro Rivadavia with joyful hearts. There, numerous people’s slander and rejections were waiting for us. However, God’s help that we had experienced for a short period of time was too great for us to feel discouraged or for our resolution to weaken by a little bit of hardship. Surely, as we preached the gospel dauntlessly, we soon met souls more precious than jewels. Among them, there were Brother Juan and his family.
We were preaching to a man in his front yard, and a car came into the parking lot. It was his parents. We were a little worried they might not like us preaching but they invited us into their house and served us with bread and tea. They said they too wanted to listen to the words of the Bible.
The couple studied the words, and became more sincere as they confirmed the truth of Heavenly Mother.
“For such a long time, we’ve been looking for a church that teaches the truth. I don’t doubt at all that it was God who led you to us.”
Juan and Karina, the couple, and their son, Gabriel, received the blessing of a new life immediately. The next day, Brother Juan’s second son was also born as a heavenly child. After they studied about the worship service, they all said with one voice:
“Please hold the worship service at our house. Please allow our family to receive the blessing of God the Father and God the Mother.”
The brother’s family gave thanks to God for allowing them to find the truth and kept service in a godly manner. We pray they will all grow to become gospel workers who will stand at the front line and complete the gospel mission in Chubut like the couple, Aquila and Priscilla.
Again in Buenos Aires After we finished the short-term mission schedule, there remained the prosperous gospel results, confidence that everything is possible in God, and infinite hope that we can surely complete the gospel of Argentina. As we had good results, the young adult members are preparing for the second and third short-term mission trips. As we’ve realized that we can easily jump over a huge wall that we can’t overcome with our own strength when we rely on God, we neither hesitate nor waver anymore.
For the past several years, tens of Zions have been established in Argentina, but there are still many places that the gospel needs to be preached. We cannot forget a new member who looked at us with a surprise. He said, “I’ve believed in God all my life, but I’ve never heard about Heavenly Mother!” We cannot even imagine how many souls are thirsty for the truth of the water of life across Argentina.
We’re thankful that another Zion in Argentina is preparing for the short-term mission in La Pampa Province. When we all gather our strength, we will be able to open the floodgates of the water of life to all the villages and alleys of Argentina this year. Our hearts beat already with excitement!
We remember someone’s word, “You cannot realize the path that our Heavenly Parents have walked for us just by listening to it. You can understand fully only after walking Their path yourself.” As the apostles followed the path of love and sacrifice until the end by engraving Jesus’ Passion on their hearts, we too will always follow Father and Mother, and complete the mission to preach in Argentina and to seven billion people all around the world!