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October News 2010

JM IN BA
My Contact Info:

Email:
jmskinner87@gmail.com
Maling Address:
Rio De Janeiro 840, Dept. 4A
Capital Federal 1405
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Blog:
http://
johnmarkonstint.blogspot.com

October
Hello friends, family, and supporters!
The month of October has flown by to say the least and has been very busy. I “graduated” from my Spanish semi-
immersion class on the 15th and am so glad to be finished. I have to say, I thought that I would enjoy class a lot
more than I did because being a student is something that I am familiar with. While the instruction was very helpful,
it also cut into my campus time quite a bit. Since I’ve finished, my time on campus has been great, and I’m feeling a
lot more confident in doing ministry here and in doing it is Spanish. I have also made big strides in ministry this
month and have seen the Lord work through me and my team in many different ways.

Proyecto VAS
During the month of October, Vida Estudiantil Argentina has been promoting a
campaign called Proyecto VAS. VAS stands for “Valores a Servicio,” which
means Values to Service. Each week on campus we promoted a different value
(Compassion, Respect, Honesty, Hope) and discussed with the students what it
means to them, how they put it into practice in their daily lives, and where they
get their values from. The last topic is the most important because it really gets
the students thinking about the origin of their values. Are they derived from
their parents, society, friends, etc? Or do they come from something deeper
than that? This question, in turn, usually leads to good discussion the
opportunity for a gospel presentation. One particular encouraging moment
that came from Proyecto VAS was on the last night. A guy who didn’t believe in
God received a flyer; came to see what we were about; and, after our meeting
wanted to speak to the whole group (there were about 60 people this particular
night). He said that he came not believing in God; but, after being here and
seeing the love we had for each other he knew that God was real. His
statement was evidence of God working among us, and hopefully he will
continue coming to our meetings.
An Encouraging Story:
If you have read my previous newsletter or my blog, then you know
that God has been humbling me a lot since I’ve been here. I feel like He
Prayer Requests:
has constantly been breaking me down to the point of feeling completely
inadequate for ministry, for team leadership, or for anything really; and I -TEAM UNITY AND UNITY
BETWEEN STINT AND
have even been wondering if I am really supposed to be here. Recently, I
ARGENTINE STAFF
came to my senses and realized that I can’t do anything, at least not by
my own power. I realized that I was trying to rely on my own abilities and
-RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE
that I was not asking for the Spirit to fill me and work through me. Once I
ARGENTINES
was stripped of my pride and forced to rely on the Spirit, things changed
tremendously. One particular example happened on the 25th of October.
I had to go to campus by myself because of schedule conflicts and - CHANGES TAKING PLACE
was feeling very timid, not just because I was by myself but because of IN NOVEMBER AND
the previously stated feelings of inadequacy. Like every Monday, the first DECEMBER
hour on campus is devoted specifically to prayer. I began praying for the
campus, the students, the day and week in general, and also that the
Holy Spirit would completely fill me and direct me in my speech, in my
listening, in who to talk to, and in my every decision on campus that day.
Why I had not prayed for these things before I do not know, but what a
difference it made! Not only did I get to share the gospel with several CHANGES:
people that day, but I did it all in Spanish! The first person I talked to,
and possibly the most encouraging conversation of the day, was with a Our team is going to go through a
guy named Sebastian. I began with the Soularium (a survey tool lot of changes in the coming months,
referenced in previous newsletter) and quickly got to a discussion on and it will take adaptability and
religion. He expressed that he grew up attending a Catholic high school, flexibility to be able to handle the
was confirmed into the faith by completing their confirmation rituals, but transition well. First off, the STINTers
afterward just grew apart from it. He said he didn’t feel like his who have been here for two years left
confirmation experience was real but that he just went through the for good on November 1st, along with
motions because his friends were doing the same things. He felt like he the STINTers who have been here for
was trying to justify himself to the church. Inside I was yelling, “That’s a year but will return in January. So
because it wasn’t real; you can’t earn your way into heaven!” But I let him there remain only four of us here, as
continue. When he finished, I got to share with him what I believe- that I opposed to our team of eight. This
don’t believe any ritual can justify you, but we are justified through change makes me a little nervous
Christ’s blood (2 Cor. 5:21). I told him that I believe in the Bible, what it honestly, but I am also excited for us
says, and that all of it is inspired by God. He said he believed the same newbies to be able to bond and grow
thing, and he wants to get together again to talk more about it! I am so together.
excited for this next encounter, and hope it follows through. Also, the school semester wraps up
I know, by the time you read this, we will hopefully have already met up around the end of November. We will
again, but this story was so encouraging to me, and I could not wait to then begin preparations for the camp
tell it. This breakthrough conversation was just the beginning to my day that we put on in the summer (1st
and week; and, as I continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to direct me, He week in January) as opposed to going
continued to do so. I shared the gospel with others that day in Spanish, to campus on a regular basis.
and Tuesday was by myself as well but was not timid at all. I knew that, Then, come January, the returning
no matter what my language abilities were, nothing could get in God’s STINTers come back along with the
way. Now I see why God was humbling me so much. My daily prayer is new STINTers who will be here for 10
now for the Holy Spirt’s guidance; and I don’t know why it took me this months, so our team dynamics will
long to take advantage of the promise Jesus gave us to provide a Helper change once again. Please pray for
to guide us in truth (John 16:13), but I’m glad that now I am. Tough love flexibility and open-mindedness
is sometimes the best love, and I’m so thankful that God loves me during these changes.
enough to break me down to a state in which I can be a vessel that is
usable for Him.