Back in Texas
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(See video below)

We have been back in Texas at Rio Grande Bible Institute (RGBI) for three weeks after spending half of June and all of July in Illinois. It was great seeing family and friends up north and we miss everyone already, but we are glad to get back into a routine after being out of one for so long.

Our trip back was good, and even our van’s alternator failing just north of Dallas on a Saturday morning gave us reason to thank God for his provision and timing. Our battery somehow powered us down the road for over an hour and still had a full charge despite the alternator not working at all (which really surprised the guy at O’Reilly Auto Parts)! A small shop in Waco got us in right away and, only three hours later, we were back on the road.

Later that evening, when we finally arrived in Edinburg and glimpsed the RGBI campus for the first time, Abree let out a joyous “Thank you, Lord!” It did our hearts good to hear such a spontaneous response to seeing what has become home for us. Later that evening, Abree yelled out the same thing when jumping into her bed. And I whole-heartedly agreed.

I am so thankful to even be here at RGBI. Just over month ago, I didn’t know how we could pay for even our first month’s rent, let alone tuition, food, and all our other expenses. God has provided in very unexpected ways, though, and we ARE here and we continue to depend on him to meet our needs one day at a time.

Classes are already in full swing, campus is buzzing with activity, and there are many new students and families to meet. Many familiar faces are gone, too, as students have graduated and moved on to far-away countries. Such is life here; people come and go every few months.

I am very busy with my studies and I can tell this semester is going to be much harder than first semester. We are no longer the rookies and are expected to be able to communicate fully in Spanish. While I am a little intimidated by all the expectations and new material being thrown at me, I am excited, too, because I am already speaking at a much higher level than at the end of last semester. After four more months of school, I can’t even imagine how much better I’ll be able to speak!

Danyelle is getting back into a routine with the girls and is excited to start homeschooling Abree. She is not taking Spanish classes as we had originally planned because we felt that both of us taking classes at the same time would have been too much for our family. She is, however, studying on her own each night with a computer program. Though the girls keep her very busy, she is enjoying getting to know some of the new students and has a heart to encourage them during the rough transition to life on campus.

God is doing some awesome things with the Bible institute and language school students. Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard reports from various student mission teams that went to places such as Brazil, Paraguay, and Spain for two months this summer. RGBI strongly encourages students to go on such trips, and they even coordinate outreach trips on both sides of the border each month as well as send a team of students and staff to Reynosa, Mexico, every Sunday to help a church there.

Thank you to all who have prayed for us and supported us over the last year. It has been a wild journey and we haven’t always known where we would end up, but you have been behind us and we are so grateful for that! Please continue to pray for us as we seek His guidance.

If you would like to know more about Rio Grande Bible Institute and its ministry, you can watch the following video about the school (which I was interviewed in).

 

Because of Him,
Andy Barker and Family

Summer Break Update
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The spring semester of language school at Rio Grande Bible Institute ended on May 10th, but that doesn’t mean we have had a summer vacation. It has been a busy, challenging two months but God has been good and we trust he will give us some rest before school starts again on August 10th. Here are some highlights of our summer break so far: Continue reading

A Sobering Perspective on Short-term Missions
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Below is a part of a very thought-provoking article about something very relevant to me: short-term missions on the US-Mexico border. Click the link below to read the entire article.

A Typical Evangelistic Case

In a fast-growing, poor border settlement, a great number of men, women and children brave the cold wind and clouds of dust and dirt in an open field. They have come to see a film on the life of Jesus being shown by a short-term evangelism team. The people don’t complain that there are no chairs or benches. For almost two hours, the crowd shivers in the cold watching the Gospel film to the end. At film’s end, an invitation is given and well over half of those present raise their hand to accept Christ. Food and used clothing are passed out to the crowd and prayer is offered for the new believers. The visiting group leaves, happy to have made this spiritual impact. Continue reading