Finally Catching Up
It seems that catching up is part of my daily routine lately...especially now that I'm the shortest member of the family. And then there is that new year many times have I written 2019 when I meant to write 2020? And since we've been away a lot, every time I run into someone I haven't seen for a while we take the time to chat and catch-up on the latest events in our lives.

Well, as I looked back over recent newsletters, I realized that I'm not the only one who is behind. I've been telling you for months..."we'll give you a full report soon!" Well, my friend, soon has finally come! My goal with this newsletter is to get you caught up on all of the unfinished reports in order to keep you informed and so that we can advance together into this new year of ministry.

Since we're catching up, this might take a little longer than usual. So, lace up your running shoes or get ready for a good chat (choose the metaphor that works best for you) and let's get you caught up! (I so wish we could do this face to face.)
Ministry Advances
Perhaps you are wondering...whatever happened to the Gomez' report about the trips to Honduras, Chile & Argentina in November and the missionary retreat in January? Wait no more. And while you're at, why not find out where Ricardo is now?
Honduras is the most economically challenged country Ricardo has visited in Latin America so far. Despite that, they have planted 24 community churches in the past few years! Ricardo presided the first annual meeting there in which he named Pastora Daisy Arzu (shown with her husband) as the first Mission District Leader of Honduras. She has already led a pastoral retreat and begun the work of creating a district board. We were able to connect her with the Eden Reforestation Projects with the hope of combating some of the poverty in the country and providing a transformational witness of the church.
The trip to Chile was abbreviated and it was decided that Ricardo would go alone due to the ongoing societal unrest. It was disappointing to miss our first chance to return but there will be other opportunities. Here he is reunited with two of our friends from the Casa Grande church we planted. They are now part of the pastoral team!

The meetings themselves went very well. Ricardo's emphasis on matters of the heart really turned the annual meetings into somewhat of a spiritual retreat. Superintendent Patricio Alvial has fully embraced vision of community church planting and we believe that this could be the beginning of numeric and spiritual growth in Chile!
Argentina was the last stop on Ricardo's 2019 Annual Meeting tour, a a first for Juliana and Jonathan. Juliana made friends immediately but it took introverted Jonathan until the last day despite the overwhelming hospitality of the Carmen de Areco church. (We even adjusted to the customary late dinner hours).

Even though it was the annual meeting for the Argentina-Uruguay district, 8 different countries were represented. Argentina is becoming an international church. Ricardo had the privilege of ordaining Pastor Bartolome, a man who was instrumental in the beginning of the FM church in Argentina 25 years ago. Once again, the business meeting took on the atmosphere of a spiritual retreat...and it was a precious time.
The 2020 Missionary Family Retreat. Oh, what a blessed time! I can't speak for everyone but I can truly say that being together with our missionary family for a whole week was good for the soul! From our perspective, the retreat incorporated a good balance of spiritual instruction, organizational vision casting, and relaxation in the mountains of our beautiful Colombia! We learned so much from one another, from the kids - the Bishop and everyone else, including how to pick and process coffee on a local coffee farm!

We left the retreat re-energized and ready to continue the vision God has given us to develop healthy leaders who multiply committed disciples and plant transformational churches for the Biblical restoration of Latin America.
Peru 2020. Ricardo just sent this picture from the Annual meeting in Peru. He said it is exciting to be there for what seems to be re-start. The ministry in Peru was crippled in an old model of ministry but now there is a new generation of leaders with a new vision of multiplication and expansion and the FM church in Peru is beginning to flourish. Pastora Geovanna Chavez was appointed the Mission District Leader last year and she says they are, "making new wine skins. It will take some time but the future is bright." Special thanks to Pastor Casto for his coaching of Peruvian leadership over the past four years, it is bearing much fruit! It is be Today they were electing a new board to help with the process of Pastoral Formation. Let's pray for them in this important time!
Prayer Updates & Requests
Thanks for faithfully praying for the requests we send you. It is a huge comfort to know your with us!
Ben. You were praying for Ben while he was hospitalized in Bogotá. His family never got to the retreat but he was released from the hospital and able to travel home. He has ongoing pain and a complete lack of energy so they are continuing to run tests. Please pray that a solution is found and Ben will heal completely and quickly!

Dad. His open heart surgery was successful on Christmas Eve. Despite a few complications he is recovering at home and making gradual improvements each day.

Pastor Ricardo Guerrero. He is the Mission District Leader in Argentina. He will be having surgery in February to treat an ulcer in his leg. Please keep him, his family and the church in Argentina in your prayers.
The majority of our missionary team, after picking coffee together!
The Gómez Family serving Latin America | Visit our Webpage