Hey, more people were baptized! Yessica and Gianella are good friends who were baptized together.
My current Bible study schedule is full, and Barton is working every week with a group of newcomers at his home. Attendance is up on Sundays, and Lord willing there are plenty more conversions to come in the near future.
We are still learning this balancing act between evangelism and inward growth. The church has some of the struggles here and there, which makes it all the more important to strengthen the saints so that the new Christians mature in the right environment. Just like the first century church, most of the members are only 3-4 years old in Christ at the most. So the “mature” members who we normally think of being well-equipped to mentor new Christians are themselves still often only on the milk of the word. Add to that, we are fighting against the Catholic/Christian culture baggage where everyone comes to the church with a strongly engrained idea of what things are supposed to look like. It’s a very unique dynamic, and we have to learn on the go. For the first time in my life, as I read the letter to Corinth, I feel a bit of deja vu. I feel deja vu because the Cusco Christians are wrestling with first principles, and it is not always pretty. It is oftentimes tough. But still, at the end of the day, they are IN Christ. And isn’t that the bottom line at the end of the day for all of us?
My hope: My peace of mind came recently when I heard a new Christian explain to a visitor, “Well, the neat thing about this church is that, I was Baptist, and this guy Catholic, and the other Evangelical… etc., but here, we are all just Christians.” And I thought, “WOW… he gets it!” He unintentionally summed up, 1 Cor. 1:10, and all the while encouraged me that, yes…people are catching on.