Carlisle, PA (PRWEB) August 24, 2008
Six years seems a long time for a farmer to see the result of his work. Yet when American missionaries Don and Gail Donell witnessed the end result of their labors in Argentina over six years later, they were amazed at the blessing of God. After establishing themselves in Carlos Paz in 2001 with the goal of planting an Argentinean church for the glory of God, the Donells began to go door-to-door inviting people to join preaching services held in their home. It was hard, self-sacrificing work. During those six years, Don and Gail have had contact with nearly 100 different Argentineans who seemed interested, but did not continue with the work. Yet on May 11, fifteen serious disciples joined themselves in a covenant together to become Carlos Paz's city on a hill.
Many witnesses were present for the event, including members of Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina. Pastor Bob Selph and his wife Cathi, Pastor Chad Clint and Aaron Selph attended, as well as other brothers from Chile and Cordoba. Bob Selph reported that the 15 new charter members stood in a circle and recited to one another a covenant, signed a charter in the presence of God of their commitment to the covenant, the Confession, and the Holy Scriptures. "A new family of faith was born. There was the ecstasy of a wedding with plenty of tears, hugs, and joy," Selph commented. Donell expressed that next to his own personal experience with Christ, he had never been so in awe of the grace of God. "We were viewing something that the world would take little notice of but that, according to the Bible, the event had incredible eternal and spiritual importance," he wrote.
The group of 15 included a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, fulfilling different roles, and representing various occupations. However, they all agreed that God had called them out from the world to be a "spiritual house" and a "holy priesthood." Donell stated, "It was as though before our very eyes and to our very ears we saw the Lord form these 'living stones' into a 'people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.'"
The Donells did not join the membership of this fledgling church, however, and instead maintained their membership to their sending Church at Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina. As missionaries and church planters, the Donells are convinced that the Lord would have them to build up this baby church of God by helping them to appoint elders, and look to options for future church plants. One distinct possibility for their next work is in San Nicholas, where there are several families meeting for Bible study and fellowship.
ARBCA churches and Christians around the world are invited to rejoice in the great works God is doing in Argentina for the glory of His gospel, which has not lost its power to save and to gather in a people for the King of all the nations. It is the hope of ARBCA and its member churches that God would bless the fruit of all his faithful workers in the harvest field just as abundantly as he has in Argentina.
The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America was founded on March 11, 1997. On that day the first General Assembly met to establish a charter membership of 24 churches from 14 states. Since then the association has grown to over 60 churches and continues to expand by the providence of God. The association is recent, but the churches have been established many years in their communities and share a rich heritage that extends back to the Reformation.
Gordon Taylor, ARBCA Coordinator
P.O. Box 289, Carlisle, PA 17013