Preaching Christ in Buenos Aires

An evangelistic campaign in Argentina

ENRIQUE CHAIJ, Secretary, Radio-TV and Public Relations, Buenos Aires, Argentina

"And should not I spare Buenos Aires, that great city, wherein are more than six million persons that cannot discern be­tween their right hand and their left hand." This paraphrase of the Word of the Lord about the city of Nineveh tells us the size as well as the tremendous spiritual ne­cessities of Buenos Aires, a city which for decades has presented an overwhelming challenge to evangelists. But, as yesterday in the capital of Assyria, so today in the capital of Argentina we have an over­whelming desire to warn its inhabitants of the imminence of divine judgment and of the necessity to prepare to meet the Lord.

With this as our motive, and with almost one year of anticipation, we began pre­paring an evangelistic campaign that was to stir the city of Buenos Aires. We used as our motto "Buenos Aires for Christ" and announced widely the first subject, "The Way to Happiness." As the first step in preparation for this campaign different committees were set up to plan and organ­ize the different sections of the work, such as finances, publicity, music, special prayer, and the indispensable help of our laymen. With the object of using our laymen to their fullest capacity during the campaign, we held a special training- course in each church of greater Buenos Aires. To head up these committees and to coordinate the activities of the respective groups an execu­tive secretary was appointed.

After all the necessary preparations were made the evangelistic campaign began on March 20 in the southern section of the metropolis, with two series beginning si­multaneously, one in Avellaneda and the other in Lanus. These were under the di­rection of Antonio Arteaga, associate evan­gelist of the Austral Union, who presented three lectures in each location each week. The public filled the halls in both series of meetings and gradually the audience be­came regular in attendance as the most in­terested came each night. At the time of this writing fifty souls have been baptized as a result of these two evangelistic series, and the seeds sown have resulted in the be­ginning of a new congregation.

Two weeks later, April 3, the second sec­tion of the Crusade "Buenos Aires for Christ" was begun under the direction of Juan C. Viera. The theater had a seating capacity of 500 and was almost in the cen­ter of the city. From the first meeting the speaker captivated the interest of the peo­ple, who filled the lecture hall four times a week to hear the message.

In the Bible Investigation Course that followed the introductory meetings, we found that 480 persons were studying; three hundred of these received both their diplomas and the Bibles they had used dur­ing the long series of studies. We are now having our regular Sabbath worship for the newly interested people in the same theater and the baptized members in that section of the city also attend here. And so, just as we had planned, a new church has been born in this section of the city of Buenos Aires. It is known by the name of Almagro.

The last phase of the crusade began on June 4 in the heart of the city of Buenos Aires, in the Theatre Astral, under the di­rection of Salim Japas, Austral Union evangelist, who presented his messages six times each week. He is giving the message in a most interesting way and the meetings are moving along with much success. Nine hundred people are enrolled in the Bible Investigation Course, eager to learn more of the Word of God.

The possibilities that we see from here, as a result of this series of evangelistic cam­paigns are very encouraging and we be­lieve that by the grace of God we will reach our goal of 500 new members. These will be organized into three new churches.

To engage in this crusade, the only one in the history of the Buenos Aires Confer­ence, has signified a tremendous task for all those involved: administrators, pastors, evangelists, departmental secretaries, Bi­ble instructors, and an active and coura­geous group of laymen who have collabo­rated magnificently and voluntarily with their means and their talents. The millions of pesos used, the hours of work given, the prayers offered for the success of the work undertaken, have resulted in a rich experi­ence of love and sacrifice for the salvation of the lost. And the truth of God's Word is lighting the minds of many.

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ENRIQUE CHAIJ, Secretary, Radio-TV and Public Relations, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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