Welcome To First Baptist Church

Lake Crystal, Minnesota

Barry and Diane Courts

Posted April 23, 2014:
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family and Friends,
 
The angels in heaven are rejoicing . . . and so are we!!!   This past Thursday, Friday
and Saturday we had our annual Easter family retreat at the camp.  On Friday night
after the service Marisa Samariani was talking to one of our young teenage girls
whom we have been burdened for for some time now because she has never made
a profession of faith in Christ.  She had been having lots of struggles with anger and
rebellion toward her mother.  Karen finally broke down crying and realized she
needed to give her heart to Christ!!!  That same evening, Nico’s wife Mariana went
off by herself and poured out her heart to God in acceptance of His salvation for her
soul!!   What a time of rejoicing and crying as we shared this new faith with both Karen
and Mariana.  Also, Marta, Ruben’s wife (Ruben is Lorena’s father who was saved at
the Christmas program), attended the retreat and I was able to have a good talk with
her about the assurance of her salvation.  She has been confused for some time now
as to whether she was really saved or not.  She was able to understand and to realize
that she needs to start to grow in her faith, part of which includes attending church. 
However, she confessed that it is a struggle for her, so please pray for Marta to take
the steps necessary to grow.  She also wants to do a discipleship study with me.
 
The Easter retreat was truly a blessing in every way.  There were 70 present in all,
and we had a great time enjoying each others’ company whether it was playing
soccer or volleyball, working together in the meal preparations, playing table games,
or singing praises to God in the services and listening to the excellent preaching by
Barry, Alejandro Samariani, Horacio our son-in-law, and Leonel Escobar.   A very
memorable time!!  I have attached some pictures to help you get the idea of how we
enjoyed being together.  I tried to find someone with a good picture of one of the
preaching services but this is the best one I could find.  It is a little blurry right in the
middle where Nico Vergara is, but I wanted you to see who his wife Mariana is since
she is one of the two who were saved. As you can see, both of our older sons were
able to attend the retreat and this was a real joy for us to have them there.
 
You probably noticed that our granddaughter Eliana, pictured with her mother Sara, is
wearing a neck brace.  About three weeks ago Eliana began to complain about pain in
the nape of her neck, and it was accompanied by vomiting.  Sara and Horacio took her
to two different hospitals where they did brain scans, blood work, x-rays, etc. to try to
determine what the problem was.  A neighbor of theirs is the chief of staff at the
second hospital they went to and he arranged for them to be attended right away. 
The x-ray showed that one of the vertabra in the nape of her neck was out of place. 
Also the soft tissue in the medula was somewhat stretched, which if it would stretch
too much and tear, a person would become paraplegic.  Praise God this did not happen!
  But the doctors were astounded by her condition because they had never seen
something like that in a child so small.  From what we can gather, she apparently
made a wrong move when playing with one of her uncles, and this happened.  She has
to wear this neck brace for about a month all together to insure everything heals well. 
She is taking it like a trooper!!
 
Our Easter service on Sunday was also a tremendous blessing.  It started off at 9:30
with an all-church breakfast.  The service afterwards consisted of a cantata
interspersed with the preaching.  There were several musical numbers by the church
choir, a men´s group, a ladies´ trio (Sara, Heather and I), a mixed quartet, the youth
choir and a solo number by our daughter Heather who composed the song.  There
was a really good group out for this special Resurrection service!!! 
 
The Lord is leading in some interesting ways recently.  Horacio and Sara have been
praying for some time for God to lead them to a place of service. Just since the
beginning of this year, Horacio was transferred to a desk job which is just Monday-
Fridayand he is usually home by 4:00 in the afternoon.  This has allowed him to be
more involved in the ministry with the youth, preaching, and studying in the Bible
college in the evenings.  They have also begun to help out in another church in the
capital.  They attend every other Sunday evening, and Horacio preaches once a
month.  Please pray for God´s direction in this, as to whether this would be where
He would have them serve in the future.  Also, our church is considering taking on 
Leonel Escobar as an intern pastor.  You may remember that he recently got a
delivery job five days a week.  He and Claudia are directing the youth ministry, and
Leonel is also involved in leading the song service each Sunday.  They are expecting
their first child in less than a month, and it will be delivered by C-section because
there is also a benign tumor (It is called a myoma in Spanish) in her uterus that has to
be taken out at the same time.  Please pray for a safe delivery for baby Maia and no
complications for Claudia.   So, we would appreciate your prayers as our church family
makes this decision regarding Leonel´s internship. 
 
The Lord has also laid it on our hearts, as well as on Alejandro´s, to begin a Bible study
with the young men in church as a means of strengthening them in their faith and daily
walk.  Having seen how God worked in Nico’s life to bring him back to church and his
wife to Christ, was a real inspiration! Our two older sons have already said they would
participate and we are hoping this will be a stepping stone to see some of the other
young men who have left church, come back to fellowship with the Lord and the local
church.  Please pray especially for Fernando, Brian, and Gaston. 
 
Please pray for Liliana, a neighbor and friend with whom I have been able to talk about
Christ on many opportunities, as well as invite her to church, but she has never come.
Please pray that I will be able to continue sharing the Gospel with her and that she
would actually come to church and that she and her husband would come to Christ.
 
Just today I also spoke with a young single mother, Cinthia, who works in an area store.
  She has been away from the Lord since her mid-teens.  As we began to talk, she asked
what church I attend.  When I told her, she said that she knows our son Daniel.  She has
been wanting to attend church again and said she would try to go on Sunday morning. 
Please pray for Cinthia to really take this first step, as we have seen how difficult it is
for many to come back to the Lord after being in the world for many years. 
 
There will be a men’s retreat in a sister church May 1st and 2nd.  We are hoping that
several men from our church will be able to attend, especially since it is in Buenos Aires
this year. 
 
Our church’s 25th anniversary is fast approaching!!  We plan to pass out invitations to
our neighbors and area businesses so they can share this important event with us. 
Please pray for this important event, that God´s name would be praised for the “great
things He has done!” 
 
Thank you for your prayers and support!
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts’ family
 
 

 
Posted March 18, 2014:
 
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family and Friends,
 
Remember the parable of the lost coin and how the woman looked all over the place
for it?  When she found it she called all her neighbors to rejoice with her.  Well, I feel
like that woman but it wasn’t just a coin that I lost; it was my key for the van!!!  And I
would like you to rejoice with me because it was found, in a very unusual way, 6 days
afterwards.  I also looked all over for it, and I prayed that God would help me to
remember where I might have placed it and that it would “show up.” Well, last
Wednesday our neighbor came over with an older couple.  They showed Barry the key
and asked him if it was ours.  Barry said that it was and asked where they had found it. 
They had been walking on the sidewalk that goes past the side of the church and saw it
lying on the window ledge.   How it got there and how long it had been there we have
no idea.  But the van was parked right there also, and if the wrong people had found it,
adios van!!  We are so thankful for God taking care of our van; it is a ministry tool and
we use it a lot for church activities. 
 
We are also rejoicing because Julio, his wife Nora and their two children have attended
two Sunday services!  You may remember that they had attended the Easter retreat last
year and Julio accepted Christ.  They have a lot of struggles, one of which is taking time
off from the g  ym they own to come to church.  The attended once last year and then
nothing, so we are so glad to see them come now.  Please pray that they will continue to
be faithful and to mature in Christ.  A neighbor of Ramon began to come to church on
Wednesday nights a few weeks back.  Juan is attending a church that does not preach
the whole counsel of God and wants to begin attending our church on Sundays also. 
Please pray for him as he makes this transition.  Also, yesterday one of our families
brought two teenage boys with them.  Please pray for Javier and Cristian.  We are not
sure if they are saved, and Cristian especially has been in several churches where he
was taught some very strange concepts and practices.  They said they plan on coming to
the youth activity on Saturday. 
 
The Bible college classes began last week and we are encouraged by the number of
people who are taking classes, both from our church as well as other area churches.  It
is a joy to see our son-in-law Horacio taking several classes, including Greek.  On the
other hand, classes still have not started in the public schools due to strikes by the
teachers who are demanding a raise in their salary.  Please pray for this situation to be
resolved.
 
In one of the last updates, I believe I had asked for prayer for Leonel who needed
employment.  It has been a long wait, but praise God he did find a job driving a delivery
truck for several businesses.  He and Claudia are expecting their first child in May, so
Leonel was really becoming desperate at one point.  It’s interesting that after he finally
wrestled over it with God and entrusted it in His hands, this job opened up!!  You may
remember that Leonel and Claudia are now the new youth directors, and they are doing
a great job!
 
We appreciate your prayers on behalf of Pastor Orlando Loredo who was in a coma.  He
now is in God’s presence, worshipping his Savior face to face!!  Please remember his wife
Leci and son Esteban as they are in the grieving process, and for direction for the church
he was pastoring.
 
Marisa’s mother was to be operated on March 10th.  However, the kidney surgery has
been moved to March 22nd.  So, please continue to pray for her both physically and
spiritually that she would truly seek the Lord during this time.
 
Please continue to pray for the situation with Mario’s DNI (National Identification
Document).  The judge that was in charge of his case was fired because she had not been
doing much of anything with any of her cases.  The fairly young man who took her place
has to study the huge case file on the seven brothers and sisters so that he can then begin
to get to work on it.  We are praying that it will come through soon; he will be 18 next
month!!
 
Thank you for your prayer and interest in the Lord’s work here in Argentina!  May God
bless each of you!
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts family,
 
 
Posted February 24, 2014:
 
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family, and Friends,
 
We trust the God is “working in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.”  It’s wonderful
to know that God can use us, even though we are fragile vessels, to do His work!
 
In our last update, we asked you to pray for several important activities.  The first one was
our vacation.  We are thankful for the restful time we had in Tandil.  It was nice to just be
able to relax as well as visit some tourist attractions with Mario and Nancy.  Barry did hurt
his knee in the middle of the week and was somewhat limited in what he could do for a
couple of days, so Mario, Nancy and I had to go up 268 stone steps to see the “moving rock”
by ourselves.  We are thankful that his knee is back to normal now.
 
Two days after returning from vacation, we attended a marriage retreat at the campground. 
Besides Barry and I, three other couples from our church attended, and there were around
17 couples all together.  Barry and the camp director, Mike Todd, shared the teaching of the
classes which gave us all some important information on how to make our marriages stronger.
Please pray for Pablo and Elba as they have some struggles they have to work through.  (One
of the attached pictures is of the couples who attended the retreat.)
 
The day after we returned from the retreat, we began hosting the group of 9 Peruvians who
have been in Argentina since December.  Vicente, who is from one of the Amazon villages
that Barry has visited on his trips to Peru, preached the message on Sunday the 16th and the
whole group sang some special music.  We have been blessed to have them here during this
time.  They are very giving, loving people who have a genuine love for the Lord.  The hardest
thing has been not to be able to communicate with the wives of Vicente and Juan who live
upriver from Iquitos and are part of the Urarina people group.  They do not speak hardly any
Spanish and the little they do is very hard for me to understand. Barry has been teaching
them a Bible course on Thessalonians while they have been here, and they have helped us
do some evangelism as well as visiting several of our senior members.  It has been special
for Barry and those who went with him on this last trip to spend time with these dear
brothers in Christ again.  It has been quite a culture shock to them.  It was very encouraging
for us to see how our church family stepped forward and brought lots of chicken, vegetables,
and other food items to feed these Peruvian brothers and sisters in Christ.  (The other
attached picture is of me with the Peruvians out at the camp.  We took them out one day
last week during the pastors´/workers’ retreat so they could meet some of the pastors.)
 
For some time now we have been praying that in God´s timing, our son-in-law Horacio would
be able to get a different work schedule so as to be more involved in the ministry here. 
Praise God, he is now in administration on the police force, so he just works Monday through
Friday and arrives home a lot more earlier than before.  He will be helping Leonel with the
youth group as well as taking classes in the Bible college in preparation for the full-time
ministry. 
 
Nico and Mariana continue to attend our Sunday services.  Yesterday Mariana went forward
during the invitation and told Barry that she has a lot of questions and concerns about what
she grew up believing in catechism.  She has been reading the N.T. and struggles with the
place of Jesus’ mother, Mary, in her life. She is really searching and wants to know the truth.  
Please continue to pray for her to understand and come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
 
The new school year will be starting up again soon; however, classes will be delayed due to
a strike that is already programmed by the teachers who are demanding a raise.  Classes will
begin in the Bible college on March 10. Please pray that God would bring those who truly
desire to grow and prepare more for the ministry.
 
Sometimes in the ministry, there are other things that come up that don´t have anything to
do with the ministry, but rather with the church  building itself.  Usually it entails
maintenance of the building.  However, in this case we had to have an exterminator come to
get rid of cockroaches that had infested the kitchen and also there have been some mice. 
That meant that we had to take everything out of the cupboards, and once the poison had
accomplished its purpose, clean all the cupboards and return everything to its place.  We are
thankful that the  Peruvians were able to help us with this project.
 
Please pray for these specific requests:  
     1)   Marisa Samariani´s  mother who will have kidney surgery on March 10th. 
           It is a very risky surgery that could be life-threatening.  
     2) Please pray for Orlando Loredo, a national pastor who went into a coma a
         few days after having heart surgery.  
     3)  For the salvation of Cacho.  His wife Marta has been such a help this week,
          bringing lots of food items for the Peruvian believers.   
     4) For the young people to remain faithful to the Lord once school begins. 
         Many of the churches are working together to provide joint activities every
         2-3 months so that they can keep in contact with other teens who also love
         the Lord.  This Saturday they will be attending a music conference in a sister
         church and will provide special music.  
     5)   For God´s continued work in the lives of our sons.   
     6)  For the workers´ meeting and business meeting in the next couple of weeks
          to organize this year´s church ministries and important events.  Our annual
          Easter retreat is just two months away!
 
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support of the ministry here.  We greatly
appreciate all you do! 
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts family
Iglesia Bautista Calvario
Facultad Bautista Bíblica
Juan de Alagón 75
(1765) Isidro Casanova
Tele: 54-11-4625-2167
Buenos Aires, Argentina
 

Posted January 30, 2014:
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family, and Friends,
 
Isn’t it incredible to think that January is already basically gone!!  It has been a busy month filled with many blessings!!  We can see God at work in the church families – almost everyone in “on board” readin the New Testament through this year, souls are being saved and changed, the young people are growing and making important decisions, there are visitors in almost every service and there is a mutual love and concern for one another. 
 
On the 13th, Barry and I attended camp (for ages 15-25) as counselors.  Mario and Nancy, along with nine other teens from our church, went as campers.  There were 106 campers all together!! What a wonderful week we had, with many opportunities to counsel and challenge these teens and young adults in the Word!!    During the second week for those 12-14 years of age, two of our teenage girls made professions of faith!!  One of the girls, Florencia, invited her father to come to church the following Sunday and he came. Though Florencia and her mother attend regularly, Rodolfo has been away from the Lord for a few years.   He attended some couples’ meetings  last year and enjoys the fellowship of our church family.   Please  pray for Rodolfo to return to the Lord with his whole heart. 
 
Please pray also for Isidro and Wilma who visited our church on Sunday.  Isidro is almost completely blind and also has cancer and is not expected to live too long.  He is a cousin of one of our charter members, Cristina, who has been trying to get them to come to church for a long time.  After the service he made a profession of faith, but only God knows if he truly understood everything.  Also, pray for a couple (Raul and Mirta) who came for the first time on Sunday. 
 
It is always a tremendous blessing to see those who have strayed from the Lord, return to the “sheepfold”!!!  Nico, who is a close friend to our son Mike, has been attending regularly now for several weeks along with his wife Mariana and their three children.  Though Mariana does not know Christ yet, she is always warmly welcomed and really enjoys the church services.  Please pray for Mariana’s salvation!
 
A couple of weeks ago we had a baby dedication service.  Cesar and Sofía presented their little girl Celeste and German and Marilu presented their daughter Abigail.  Carlos and Raquel were not able to be here with their son Elias.  In our last update we asked prayer for Cesar and Sofía because their little nephew had passed away. The whole situation was especially difficult for them because Celeste came into the world at almost the exact time that their nephew was buried, making it impossible for them to attend the funeral.  Please continue to pray for them and for Cesar´s brother Sebastian who is grieving the loss of his son.
 
Thank you for praying for Daniel to get a job!  He began working as a “server” in a Sushi restaurant last Saturday and really enjoys it!  Plus he works with a friend who lives close to his apartment so they travel back and forth together. 
 
But along with all the blessings, sometimes God sends along (or allows) bad things to keep us on our toes.  Last Tuesday after Nancy and I returned from grocery shopping, there was an incident.  Apparently the door was pushed shut, but due to the air current from the open windows, didn´t close all the way.  Shortly thereafter, we heard some yelling downstairs but didn´t recognize it as Barry’s voice because I have never heard him yell like that before!!  By the time we opened the upstairs door to the house, Barry was leaning against the wall trying to get his breath back.  He told us that two guys had seen the open door and came in to see what they could rob.  They were unarmed, but Barry struggled some with them while all the time yelling at them to leave.  One took his cell phone and then saw some scissors which he held out towards Barry.  But Barry had grabbed his multi-use tool and opened the switchblade and when they saw that they took off!!  We are so thankful for God´s protection!  Cell phones can be replaced; lives cannot!  So now we are taking extra precautions to make sure the door cannot be left opened. 
 
Upcoming events to pray for:
 
1)    Family vacation beginning this Monday.
2)    Married Couple’s Retreat - February 13-15.
3)    We will be housing the Peruvian group – February 15-25
 
Please pray for the salvation of these people:
Juana, Carlos S., Nestor, Cristian, Eddi, Daiana, Mariana, Dennis (his wife Rosmery has been attending quite regularly after being out of church for almost a year) and Cacho,  the husband of Marta who has been attending our church now for about 5 weeks. 
 
As always, thank you for your prayers and financial support that make it possible for us to be involved in this ministry in Argentina!! 
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts family
Iglesia Bautista Calvario
Facultad Bautista Bíblica
Juan de Alagón 75
(1765) Isidro Casanova
Tele: 54-11-4625-2167
Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
 
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January 6th Update:
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family and Friends,
 
Happy New Year!!  We hope that each of you have had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and New Years with family and friends, and that this new year will be one of continued spiritual growth in your walk with the Lord!!
 
We do thank the Lord so much for the wonderful time we spent on Christmas Eve with the Peruvian believers that are here on a missions trip!!  Even though the two Urarina women could only communicate to us through their husbands, the bond we have in Christ tied us together.  They enjoyed being with us just as much as we enjoyed having them!!  After eating a wonderful “asado” (cookout) we all crowded into our air-conditioned living room and read together the Christmas story from God´s Word.  Then we shared something we are thankful for, and closed in prayer.  At midnight we had a toast and then watched the fireworks display all around us.  Things that are so common to us can be rather terrifying for someone accustomed to the quietness of the jungle.  The airplane ride was a very scary adventure for them as well as the noise and lights of the fireworks.  Please pray for us as we  prepare to host these brothers in Christ for 10 days in February.
 
The youth Gala we had was a great success!!  We tried to make it as much like a restaurant as possible; taking their orders (even though there was only one real option), wearing white aprons to serve them, etc.  This was the last night in which Richard and Heather Elissa would be in charge of the youth group.  Please pray for Leonel and Claudia Escobar as they take over this ministry.  Richard and Heather will still be helping out for awhile to make the transition easier. 
 
We would appreciate your prayers for Cesar and Sofía.  Their three-old nephew died yesterday after having convulsions for no apparent reason.  The father, Cesar´s brother Sebastian, used to come to church when he was younger but is away from the Lord.  Also, Sofía is due to have her baby any time now, so this could affect that.  Pray for wisdom for us and the church family as we minister to them during this difficult time.
 
We also just found out that Carlos S.’s cousin Eddie is very ill with cancer and other health issues as a result of the cancer.  He is not a believer either but has expressed his desire to have Barry come visit him.  So, Barry is planning on seeing him tomorrow afternoon.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit would use Barry and give him the words to say so that Eddie will come to know Christ as Savior.
 
On the other hand, we praise God for the victories and His work in different lives.  Yesterday we had a really good service.  Carlos and Raquel with their little baby boy were able to come to church after several months.  She had a very difficult pregnancy and they live in downtown Buenos Aires.  They would really like to move near here so that they can attend church regularly and be able to fellowship with the many young-married couples there are in our church.  Please pray that they would find housing if it would be God´s will for them to make this move.
 
Also, we were pleasantly surprised when one of our former teens (a friend of our son Mike) came with his wife and three children.  His wife Mariana is very open and really enjoyed the service.  We have been praying for many of these young adults who left the church years ago when some of the leaders “fell” into sin.  Please continue to pray for Fernando, the brother of our son-in-law Horacio, who has also come back to church a couple of times and is wanting to come back to the Lord.  His girlfriend, Daiana, is not saved either but is very interested.  Sara was able to talk with her for two hours a few days ago and she began to read God´s Word. 
 
On Saturday, Alejandro (our evangelism pastor) was able to share the Gospel with the grandson of one of our members and his girlfriend.  Cristian has been very depressed and was talking about taking his life.  Alejandro visited them with the hope of leading Cristian to the Lord, but instead his girlfriend was saved!!  I don´t remember what her name is, but please pray for her spiritual growth and for Cristian´s salvation!!
 
Two Christian ladies have also started to attend our services and want to make our church their home.  Please pray for Marta and Olga, and for their children and husbands who are not believers.
 
This Thursday and Friday we will be going to camp to help clean and organize things for the first week of camp which begins next Monday.  There will also be a training session for counselors. Please pray that this would allow us all to be united in prayer and purpose so we can be more effective as counselors!  Barry and I will be counselors this next week (Jan. 13th-18th), and Mario and Nancy will be campers.  Mario is also planning on being a counselor during the third week for ages 8-11.   Speaking of Mario, please continue to pray for the situation with his national identification document, that it would come through soon.  He is going to be 18 in April and it is very important for an adult to have this document. 
 
In the last update we mentioned that Daniel was needing to find a job.  He had a very good prospect, basically was told the job was his, only to be told after waiting for the woman in charge to get back from vacation that they were not hiring at this time.  He has been looking all over the place and was getting pretty discouraged.  We know that God is using this to work in his heart.  He has started to read God´s Word again, so we are thankful for that!  But we would appreciate you praying with us for this need.  Now that he has an apartment to keep up, he understands how important it is.
 
We appreciate  your continued prayers for the salvation of the following people:   Carlos S.,  Nestor,  Dennis,  Cristian, Juana, Daiana, Mariana, and Casandra.
 
May God richly bless each of you!
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts’ family
Iglesia Bautista Calvario
Facultad Bautista Bíblica
Juan de Alagón 75
(1765) Isidro Casanova
Tele: 54-11-4625-2167
Buenos Aires, Argentina
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December 23, 2013 Update:
 
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Family and Friends,
 
Christmas . . . some want to take Christ out of Christmas and just call this time of year “the holidays”. In Luke 2 we read of Simeon who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Messiah.  God had promised him that he would see Him before he died.  He must have started out every day wondering if that day  would be the day he would look upon the Promised One.  We no longer have to look forward to the Savior’s arrival because He already came and now we can have a personal, family relationship with Him.  And that is why Christmas is so special to us!
 
On Sunday we had our annual Christmas program.  Our son-in-law Richard Dominguez wrote it and did an excellent job of organizing it and bringing it all together.  He composed several of the songs that were sung throughout it and many were moved to tears through them.  Barry and I sang one about Simeon and Ana as they saw the baby Jesus that day in the temple.  We are so thankful for the great attendance and for the many visitors who came.  There was a very clear Gospel message presented throughout the program, and we are thrilled to share with you that two people made professions of faith.  One was Julia, the nine year old daughter of one of our young couples.  The other was Ruben, the father of Lorena who is a member of our church along with her husband and two children.  Please pray for his wife Martha who also attended the service with him, that she would  come to know Christ.   Carlos S. also came and Richard had a very intense conversation with him about his need for Christ.  We, along with his wife Mirta (and many of you), have been praying for him for many years and would love to see him come to Christ!  Nestor S. came with his wife Flavia also.  He has heard the Gospel several times but still appears to be resisting. 
 
On the 7th, we had our annual ladies’ Christmas Tea.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship and in the Word, looking at different aspects of the Christmas story that tend to be overlooked. 
 
The youth conference on the 14th in Temperley went very well!  Ten of our young people were able to attend with us and there was a good group of  teens from other churches also.  Barry shared what God’s Word has to say about honoring and respecting our parents, especially in this high-tech age where many times teenagers know a lot more than their parents do.  After a break we divided them into two groups, Barry speaking to the young men and I to the young ladies.  We thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to serve Him in this way.  It also allows our young people to meet teens from other churches and form friendships. 
 
Today is Christmas Eve and as we have mentioned before, this is the time when  most of the celebrating is done here in Argentina.  This year is going to be a little different for us.  Mario and Nancy will be spending the day with their oldest biological sister Roxana and her little boy Alan.  Richard and Heather will be with his parents.  Our daughter Sara and her family will be with us as well as Mike and Daniel.  However, we will also be hosting a group of 9 Peruvians, their missionary and his wife and daughter whom our church supports, the missionary wife’s parents and their son as well as her sister’s family of three, who are all members of our church.  This makes around 30 people!!  Some of the Peruvians are from the jungle areas north of Iquitos and the wives do not speak hardly any Spanish.  Barry, our daughter Sara and Horacio know them from their trip to Peru. Please pray for us to make them feel comfortable and welcome in our home, especially since it is already 97 degrees out and since the group is so big we will be in the church where there is no air conditioning.
 
On Saturday the 28th the youth leaders will be hosting a Gala for the young people who have been faithful in their attendance through the year.  Heather and I will be cooking the food, and our husbands as well as a few others will be serving the food.  Please pray for them as they begin this new year to remain faithful to the Lord.  Bible camps will be starting up again in January, and they are always a special time for our teens.
 
Please continue to pray for our son Daniel. As I mentioned in a previous update, he was let go from his job back in September.  He has applied in many places but has not found a job yet.  We know that God is at work in his heart and will use this for His glory. 
 
Thank you so much for your faithfulness in praying for us this year as well as for supporting this ministry financially!!  May this new year be one of continued growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!  God bless you all!  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts family
Iglesia Bautista Calvario
Facultad Bautista Bíblica
Juan de Alagón 75
(1765) Isidro Casanova
Tele: 54-11-4625-2167
Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
 
December 7, 2013 Update:
 
Dear Prayer Supporters, Friends, and Family,
 
December is such a wonderful month of the year because it is when we remember the birth of our Savior so many years ago. This year it seemed to arrive even faster than normal.  We here at Calvary Baptist Church are “up to our ears” in preparation for the many special events we have going on.  I really wanted to send an update out sooner, but just was not able to.  But, I decided to sit down and write a short one just so I could place some special requests before you.
 
First of all, today at 5:30 this afternoon, we will have the Ladies’ Christmas Tea.  We have invited several unsaved neighbors to come and we would appreciate your prayers for them.  My desire is to present a very clear presentation of the Gospel in the hope that someone would come to know Christ as Savior.
 
Next Saturday our teens will be participating in a mini-conference in another church.  We would appreciate your prayers for Barry and I as we prepare the studies that we have been asked to speak about. 
 
On December 22nd, we will present the Christmas play/musical that our son-in-law Richard Dominguez has written.  Several of the songs in the play were written by him, and he has been busy recording the background music for them since many of the instrumentalists are also involved in the play.  The choir also sings a couple of songs, so we have had rehearsals for that.  Please pray for all involved; there is a very clear salvation message which we are praying would be used to bring someone to Christ. 
 
During the week of Christmas, starting with the 22nd, a group of Peruvian believers will be staying in our church and participating in a training program to prepare them for future full-time ministry.  Though it will be somewhat complicated for us due to the Christmas holidays, pray that we would be hospitable as God’s Word instructs us to be so that we might be a blessing to these brothers and sisters in Christ. 
 
The last major event on our church calendar is the teen banquet on December 28th.  We the leaders, will be preparing the food and serving the teens.  It is always a special time to show them how important they are to us and to give them words of encouragement and challenge for the coming year. 
 
Thank you so much for praying for us and for these special requests!  In the next update, we will share with you how God has worked in each of these events.  May God bless each of you and give you a truly special Christmas as you remember the Reason for the Season!!
 
Serving the Lord in Argentina,
Diane for the Barry Courts family
Iglesia Bautista Calvario
Facultad Bautista Bíblica
Juan de Alagón 75
(1765) Isidro Casanova
Tele: 54-11-4625-2167
Buenos Aires, Argentina