Opportunities for Outreach
The Uruguayan people are, for the most part, very warm and welcoming and people will gladly chat with us. Our Spanish isn’t perfect, but people are very gracious to us. It is rare that people will reject a Gospel tract, but we’ve learned that we have to be careful how we approach the subject of church. Many people have either been burned by the church, just don’t see the value of church in their lives, or are skeptical. With the Lord’s help, in June we tried to focus on going to parks, public plazas, and street markets to strike up conversations with the goal of then presenting the Gospel. Since we are heading into winter, there are fewer people outside during this time of year, but it’s still a good way to talk to people. My wife was able to get to know multiple moms and their kids at parks near where we may plant a church. I had the opportunity to talk with several men as well. A couple of parents we talked to told us they are actually looking for a church. Please pray for their salvation and that they would come to church.
On June 25, the church we are serving in while we are preparing to plant a church, celebrated its 47th anniversary! We enjoyed a great service looking back on all that God had done through the ministry and the missionaries there. I had the privilege to bring 10 young people to that service. Someone mentioned how the majority of people there were reached as a result of the faithful missionaries, the Silva family. A teenager turned to me a said, “But you reached me.” I replied, “Yes, but it was because of this ministry that we met you.” One of the teens there had only come two other times, so I asked Christa to witness to her. Praise the Lord that Juliana later accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour!
The Need for Churches
The more I pray, study the information, and talk with other pastors, the more I realize the great need for churches both in our city and in the surrounding areas. For example, out of 10 neighborhoods near the coast, which is about a 10-minute drive from us, only 2 have a Baptist church. Well over 300,000 people live there, which is similar to Greensboro, North Carolina—imagine if there were no Baptist churches there! We are tentatively praying about starting a church somewhere in that area, while also working at starting a work in the northwestern part of the city in a more lower-class area. That way we can have the opportunity to reach both middle- and upper-class people, as well as poorer people at the same time. We know that God loves and wants to save everybody, no matter their economic status! Please pray with us for clarity from the Lord in this. We are praying about shifting much of our ministry efforts to a new area in September so we can plant a church there.
Thank you for praying for and supporting us! We love you all so much.
Your missionaries to Uruguay,
Tim, Christa, Ethan, Evan, Emmalynn, and Elizabeth Simmons