Dear Friends

I write from north-west Argentina knowing, as soon as I return, Jean and I will move to Holmes Chapel. Several months after hearing the Lord’s call to join you at St Luke’s, we are excited to start meeting everyone.

The large city of Salta is a place I am visiting for a fourth time. There are over a hundred Anglican churches in the Diocese of North Argentina and we have had a strong partnership with the Spanish-speaking city churches.

This time we were asked to lead their weekend away, with 120 people mainly under 40 years old, at a retreat centre in the beautiful foothills of the Andes. It was great to be part of San Andres Church who are full of faith, love and hope.

This sort of travel makes me ponder ‘where is the centre of the world?’ Argentinians here feel rather on the edge of the world. And on the map they are! But they hear the Lord’s call and fulfil his purposes, and Jesus is at work. Several people have experienced new life and become committed Christians this weekend. Two of the five homegroups grew to over 20 people and were so ready to share how God is changing them that the meetings lasted well over two hours. The soup kitchen team joyfully served fifty homeless people. The three youth groups are full of young people seeking the Lord.

It is so good to see and makes me wonder if this is the centre of the world in God’s eyes.

However, such thinking is probably not biblical. The better way to think about it is this. In Acts 1 verse 8 Jesus is saying to his followers ‘You will be my witnesses here, there and to the ends of the earth’. At the end of Matthew’s gospel Jesus is saying ‘I will be with you’ wherever you go and make disciples.

So Jean and I cannot wait to get started in Holmes Chapel………… the centre of the universe!

Yours with prayerful excitement

Rob McLaren