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A group from Bethlehem Lutheran in Minneapolis was in Argentina from June 24 – July 3, 2014

June 25th: All the travelers have arrived in Buenos Aires safe and sound. When they took this photoArgentina 2014 06 BLC-Olaus Petri (2) they were enjoying lunch while watching Argentina play in the World Cup (on TV). We look forward to hearing more from them soon.

June 26th: The group took some time to tour Buenos Aires to learn historical and current culture. They also met some leaders of IELU (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina & Uruguay) for a nice dinner. Then they took an overnight bus to Obera, the sister church/partner of Bethlehem. Mark wrote, “It is one of the nicest overnight buses I’ve ever been on. The seats reclined to be totally flat beds. They served a meal but it wasn’t very good. Thankfully we had a lot to eat earlier in the day! …

June 27th: Pastors Klovis and Mariela greeted us at the bus stop with an ELCA YAGM (Young Adults in Global Mission) volunteer. We just checked into the hotel and are about to go over our schedule for the next few days. It has been unusually rainy here, just like MN. Thanks for your prayers!”

Argentina 2014 06 BLC-Olaus Petri (12)From the Rimington’s Blog: Once in Obera we met our hosts, Clovis and Mariela, the pastors at Oleus Petri Lutheran church here in Obera. They brought us to our hotel where we freshened up and had a conversation about what our 4 days would look like. They introduced us to Mate tea. Mate tea is the national drink of Argentina. The tea is packed into a gourd and hot water is added. It is drunk communally out of a metal straw with hot water added each time a person has finished drinking.

[After lunch] we were off to visit some of the church’s mission sites around the city. Church members host prayer groups/ bible studies for adults and children in some of the more impoverished areas of the city.

In the photo on the right, the group is in Jorge’s garage. Jorge holds Bible classes here for Argentina 2014 06 BLC-Olaus Petri (9)neighborhood children. It is one of the mission sites of Olaus Petri.

June 28th, From the Rimington’s Blog: Today we visited the area around Obera. The province Obera is in is called Misiones. It named for the many Jesuit missions that were built in the 17th century … By the early 19th century the missions were abandoned and fell to ruin. We were able to visit two today. Nuestra Senora De Loreto was destroyed to the point that the jungle had taken it over. The last couple of years the government has been excavating and reclaiming it from the jungle.

June 29th, From the Rimington’s Blog: Today was spent getting to know the congregation of Oleus Petri Lutheran Congregation in Obera. We went to a service at their borrowed church, where I (Rob) gave a short Bible reading and Amy helped with communion. Many thanks to the wonderful people of Oleus Petri, they are wonderful hosts.

Note from the LPGM office: The travelers learned about the challenges and obstacles that the members of this congregation have faced in the past four years. They show a resolute commitment to God and their mission as Christians in this community.

Argentina 2014 06 BLC-Olaus Petri (11)June 30th: The group spent most of the afternoon talking with leaders of the congregation about how to be in partnership and possible next steps. The congregation of Olaus Petri currently worships in a borrowed building. They have dreams of building a new building someday.

We are off to Puerto Iguazu to see Iguazu Falls and the surrounding area. We will soon begin our journey back to the U.S.

Thank you for your prayers for us and for the people in Obera. May God bless the relationships that have been formed on this visit!

Author Naomi Staruch

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