IN 1964, for the first time in the history of the Austral Union, we have gone above the goal for conversions set by the South American Division. This is symptomatic of a new awakening, not only in the officers of the churches but in the militant position of the laymen. From year to year our people have given more and more for evangelism, and the results have been wonderful. In the city of Rosario, in Argentina, for example, under the direction of Arturo Schmidt, who is associate evangelist of the South American Division, and with the financial contributions of the division, union, and local fields, it was possible to rent the Theatre Real, seating 2,900. The evangelistic series resulted in 250 baptisms. The same wonderful results have been realized from the evangelistic meetings of Antonio Arteaga, associate evangelist of the union, in the city of Iquique, Chile. Our pastors there baptized 190 souls. I had a series of meetings with the results about the same as these mentioned above: one in Temuco, Chile, immediately after the dedication of the new church. There 239 souls were baptized. The other series was held in the Flamingo Confiteria in the city of San Juan where 118 persons went through the waters of baptism.
But this is past history, and we now look to the future with the strength that the message gives and the assurance that the Lord will soon return. The greatest project that we have had until now in the union, and perhaps in all of the division, is the united plan for Buenos Aires. When you read this article, the project will be in full swing. Some forty-five workers and hundreds of lay Bible instructors will be working with the three evangelists in four series of meetings. Antonio Arteaga will open two series of meetings at the same time, holding three meetings each week in both places, in the cities of Avellaneda and Lanus. The rented halls will seat in all, 1,400 people. We are very encouraged with the beginning of the meetings and the workers have in their hands hundreds of addresses of people to be visited. We hope to baptize about 150 souls.
In the geographical center of the Federal District, in the section of Almagro, a young evangelist has been asked to hold his first evangelistic meetings. This evangelist is Carlos Viera, a talented and consecrated young man. In the first two meetings which he held in the Cine Lezico, hundreds of people came to hear the message. I began another series of meetings in June in the Teatro Avenida, which is right in the center of Buenos Aires. The theater seats 1,400 people and it is considered one of the best halls in the city.
God opened the door in a marvelous way for us to rent this hall for two hours daily for two months.
The budget for the united evangelistic program in Buenos Aires, including the rents of the four halls, and the advertising will be cared for partly by the division but mostly by sacrifice and consecration of our brethren in the local conference.
All the institutions and all the churches in the union are looking with optimism upon this evangelistic program and doing their part to see that all is done to the glory of God. We ask the prayers and interest of all those who read THE MINISTRY.