by Brianna Lynch, Delta Oaks OPC, Pittsburg, CA (July 2017)
[Brianna Lynch was a member of the team from California that traveled to Uruguay to assist OP Missionaries Mark Richline and Mark Jeromin with their first “English Club” Outreach]
Team Uruguay’s trip to Montevideo was a blessed adventure! Despite the many unknowns and broad unpredictability, it was a wonderful growing experience of faith, teamwork, and encouragement.
Our team, in coordination with the missionaries and missionary associates, constructed a 4-day English Club for novice and intermediate English speakers.
Included in this course were many skits, games, discussion groups, and food prizes. Each day consisted of a short devotional, first taught in English by Pastor Mike Dengerink, and then translated into Spanish by Pastor Mark Richline. (On the fourth day, Mark’s son, Josh Richline, translated for the class and did a fantastic job!)
Following each devotional was a skit dialogue of a skeptic and a believer, in which the skeptic asked difficult questions based on the passage. This facilitated much discussion on personal spiritual issues within the students. We held break-out discussions afterwards that strictly covered the devotional material. The students were very receptive and open to discuss very deep, personal matters. We were very encouraged.
Our memory verse for the week was John 14:6, a crucial passage for the pluralistic and tolerant culture of Uruguay. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
We did not have large classes (approximately 5 students per day), but were blessed by the commitment and the enthusiasm of those who did attend. One of the students especially showed interest in the gospel and church attendance. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to work in him and in all the students who received the word.
The goal of the club was to make the whole experience fun so that the locals would have a positive association with the church and the gospel. Yet, the learning experience was not one-sided. Our team fell in love with the culture of Uruguay, and thoroughly enjoyed learning the customs of daily life. We also deeply appreciated developing closer relationships with the missionary families and witnessing their prayerful service in Montevideo.
God’s work is not finished in Uruguay and we pray for continued growth and spiritual enlightenment. We eagerly hope to return, and encourage others to consider aiding this ministry. Many thanks to all who supported us in this endeavor. May the Lord use the seeds that were planted so that the people of Uruguay may know the saving love of Christ!