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Construction Team Helps Build Church for Missionaries in Argentina

By March 16, 2016March 23rd, 2016No Comments

Argentina2_inlineTOLEDO—Emmanuel Baptist Church is supporting one of its missionary families in a concrete way: by visiting their mission field and helping through physical labor.

On Jan. 29 a group of 32 individuals from Emmanuel Baptist Church flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to construct a church building for Mark and Anahi Self, Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries sent by Emmanuel Baptist Church.

This is the fourth such trip Emmanuel Baptist has taken. The purpose of the trips is threefold: to help the church’s missionaries complete work in a shorter time frame than they could do on their own, to encourage growth in the church’s people, and to promote among the congregation a healthy perspective on foreign missions.

The Argentina Construction Team, or ACT 4, worked Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon. Kerry Watkins, team member and associate pastor of Emmanuel Baptist, says, “We leveled the auditorium floor so concrete could be poured, poured the entire auditorium floor, we dug trenches and ran plumbing that would be under the floor, built walls, ran electrical conduit where we could, painted areas of a house that was already on the property that is being used for offices and classrooms.”

When completed, the three-story building will have an auditorium, foyer, and restrooms on the main floor; classroom and fellowship space on the second floor; and a small gym and open patio on the third floor. The first floor should be finished by the end of this year.

Helping every day on the job site were 40 to 50 Argentinians. They not only did construction work but also prepared meals and brought water, fruit, and pastries to the workers on a regular basis—which the workers greatly appreciated, as Watkins says “temps were in the 80s mostly with relatively high humidity. There was virtually no shade except early in the morning.”

Argentina3_inlineOn Sunday, Jan. 31 the team from Emmanuel Baptist visited five churches, sharing music and testimonies in two churches, and then visiting three additional churches that some of the team members had worked on during previous trips. The team also took time on several evenings to share testimonies with one another. “This was encouraging and brought us all closer together,” Watkins says. “We do this on each trip we take, and it is always a highlight.”

Before the team returned to the states on Feb. 7, they held a dedication service, during which both Americans and Argentinians shared their thoughts about the week’s work.

“In the end we worked like dogs for a week and got a lot done,” Watkins says. “There were so many answers to prayer along the way. We had no significant injuries; we grew in our love for the Lord, one another, and the ministry in Argentina. We had no real travel issues. It was truly an amazing trip in every aspect. God was good.”