Last night was another great meeting for the Argentina Mission Team! A lot of exciting movements afoot was we continue to refine ideas on content and emphasis for various speaking engagements. Particularly, our hearts were heavy for how to best show grace and care to the native church planters at the leadership retreat we're putting on for 2 days.
The retreat is a big deal. 40 ministry couples, nearly all of which were lost people 10 years ago but are now sold out tri-vocational (yikes!) church planters. These are ministry couples who have NEVER had a weekend away from the kids, ministry and multiple jobs until this retreat. They have a Bible, a ton of faith, boldness for the Gospel and dependent upon the Holy Spirit and David Ibarra to pour into them. This retreat is an opportunity for us to pour grace over them. They have concerns about handling ministry and family/marriage and keeping spiritually healthy/grounded amidst the busyness.
Last night we hit a financial barrier. The retreat center raised their rates $30 (US) per person. That puts the retreat out of the feasible price range for most of these couples and leaves us with the option of just helping 20 couples make it, or coming up with an additional $900 to re-open the door for the 42 original couples to still participate.
Plus, the hope had been to not just spend time with them in teaching and relational contexts, but leave behind meaningful gifts. For the women we're getting gift bags of cosmetic/toiletry items that are meant to encourage them and not be used for anything else. For the guys we hoped to get either Bible covers or perhaps their first Spanish devotional guide. Again, we are stalled because that's another couple hundred dollars we don't have yet.
We got bogged down in the matter of how much to plan for based upon current funding. Jacqui and I are still $1,600 short of our portion, PLUS to restore the retreat program and plan for gifts the team needs to raise an additional $1,500 or so. What to do?
If God leads He provides. That's the truth principle we are focusing ourselves on these next 2 weeks. We have to pull the trigger one way or another by September 30. We are all committing to prayer until that date asking God to confirm His vision and scale for this trip, and for His provision to become very clear. Will you join in this prayer? We don't want to limit God's desired ministry because of our near-sighted perspective, but we also don't want to jeopardize the trip by being unwise in committing funds we don't have.