We are especially excited (and nervous) about what 2024 will bring for our ministry here in Uruguay! After being on the field for a little over two years working with an established ministry, we are launching out by faith to begin our own ministry this year. We have done survey trips in our city and to some towns within a two-hour drive of us. We have an area we plan to focus on for now, while also preparing to start Bible studies in several other areas as the Lord opens doors. Lord willing, we will start several Bible studies and plant our first church around the midpoint of the year. Please pray specifically that the Lord would open hearts and lead us to people who want to listen to the Gospel.
We have helped with the Christmas program for the past three years, although this year we did not participate as much as in previous years. The program was held at four of the churches. Several thousand invitations were given out leading up to each program as well. Some of the faithful church members brought their families to the program, which was exciting! I was glad to see two teenage young men, whom we first brought to church earlier this year, participating in the program! They did a great job! The Gospel was clearly explained by each pastor after the drama and the special music were done. The church that we help in on Sunday mornings had their highest ever attendance for the Christmas program! In total, there were 41 professions of faith that we know of! A faithful young man named Trayan, who started coming this year, brought his family. His mom and several other family members trusted in Christ as Saviour! To God be all the glory!
We wanted to be a blessing to the homeless people in our area for Christmas this year. My wife made some special Christmas cookies and snacks and put them in bags, along with Gospel tracts and a church invitation. On Christmas Eve, we went around passing those out to the homeless people we saw. We simply handed them the small gift and said, “Merry Christmas. God loves you.” Most people just ignore these precious people as they walk by them, so when we did that, many of them lit up and thanked us profusely. We may make this a yearly tradition as a way to show that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
In December, we also began systematically knocking on doors in a barrio called Unión, where we plan to focus our soul-winning efforts for now. We have been able to have several good conversations with people, which we hope and pray will at least open the door for them to being open to the Gospel. One lady named Mirlita told us immediately after we knocked and explained who we were that she had gone to a Catholic church as a child, but now she didn’t believe in anything. As we talked and told her we would pray for her very sick husband, we could sense her warming up a little to spiritual things. Please pray for her salvation and the salvation of others in Unión. Please pray for open doors as well.
• Visitors in church!
• 41 salvations!
• Open doors to present the Gospel!
• Bible class starting in January
• Open doors to witness
• Guidance as we witness to adults
• Our Spanish
Thank you for continuing to give and pray! We love you all so much.
Your missionaries to Uruguay,
Tim, Christa, Ethan, Evan, Emmalynn, & Elizabeth Simmons