Dear Friends and Family,
March was a difficult month for the Figgins Family. Zoe went back to school, and before she had completed her first week, she had come down with what turned out to be a flu, but showed signs of the newest COVID variant to hit our area. We were quite pleased when her COVID test came back negative. We were all less happy after coming down with the same flu ourselves. I was the last one in the family to get it, and also the one sick the longest! They are speculating thatthis year's flu bug came so early because of COVID, but they do not really know as of the time I am writing the report.
We would also ask that you pray for our neighborhood, which has been vandalized by kids writing or painting things on walls over the course of the last month. Our house has been hit, but was the only one where markers were used instead of paint, and the young man who did it was caught in the act by another neighbor, so we were able to talk to him about it. Please continue to pray for our relationship with this boy and his brothers, and for his parents, who refuse to discipline the boy or take any responsibility themselves for his actions.
On a more pleasant note, we continue to make progress moving into the new house, in building up Vanesa's business, and getting ready for a long-delayed visit from Mom in April! We are all so very pleased that she is finally able to come, and are looking forward to the day when we can visit all of you there again.
Zoe starts her UBA XXI classes (university level classes online for college credit) this coming week, and Vanesa will be back in college in early April as well. Both of them are looking forward to the classes they have this semester, and Vanesa is counting down the hours until she receives her "license" for the business administration track (this is an intermediate degree that allows the recipient to work in the field, acquiring experience for the day he/she can put the full degree into practice).
EYES ON JESUS
We continue to meet physically in the building, even as the building's owner remodels the structure! The construction has left us with some really big messes to clean up before services on some days, but for the most part the work focuses on the front of the building and the small apartment above where we meet as a church.
Inflation has hit the church hard again, especially since many people are still working less than full-time as the economy ramps up to speed again post-quarantine. We have started preparing food packages again, and Arturo delivered the first of them this week.
Please be in prayer for everyone: between the economy and the rampant flu bug, everyone in the church is struggling with something, and many of them are finding it more difficult than they imagined to get back to physically meeting at the church building. This is not a surprise, but it is a concern, obviously, since we have not yet been able to manage streaming the live services (we don't have enough people who can use the technology required). We are working on a way to record the services and upload the audio, but so far the recordings have been very patchy.
Please also be in prayer for the building and our access to it. Pray that the remodeling work be exactly what the owner says it is, and not an excuse to raise our rent or rent the whole building to someone else.
The new year has seen roughly half of the previous group(s) members start new ministries. While the relationships with all of the people involved are still solid, I will not be directly involved in any of these projects. If the pattern holds, I will be consulted if and when folks hit issues that they want to bounce off of someone who is not part of their new leadership structure. As of the last week in March, however, I will be working with another new group, started by Daniel, so the total number of people involved in the Discipleship ministry will remain about the same, at least until one of the others is also ready to launch a new group.
Please keep Vane and I in prayer during this time. This is always a joyful time for us, but it is also difficult. We rejoice that God is expanding the ministry of the people that we have worked with for years, but it is hard to see them go.
The radio ministry continues to be a solid success. I am working through 1 and 2 Corinthians, and expect to finish up the study by the end of August or early September. The studies I have done in preparation for the radio show have provided a great deal of material for work in the church and in the discipleship group, as there are many parallels between present-day life in Argentina and the circumstances in Corinth during Paul's time.
The cost of doing the show has gone up considerably, but Martin, the young man in charge of the sound booth, has given us a discount on the cost of the program because I send it in pre-recorded. I continue to be very pleased by the way the relationship with Radio Zoe is going, and I am looking forward to seeing what new opportunities God brings us through this ministry.
Thanks to all of you who have been writing us, praying for us, and partnering with us in this ministry. You are all portraits of the abundant life in Christ that we want for our Argentine brothers and sisters. Thank you for sharing with them and with us.
Envoy Christian Mission