A bold voice in Buenos Aires
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 14, 2010

A bold voice in Buenos Aires

A bold voice in Buenos Aires
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 14, 2010

BUENOS AIRES — Just a few

seconds into Mrs. Han’s flute solo, the ladies recognized the tune to the hymn

“Because He Lives.”

Across the room, North

Carolinians and Argentines began providing the vocal accompaniment to the

closing song of the evening.

Hearing ladies sing, each in

their heart language, of the glorious truth of a risen Savior is an experience

Ashley Allen, director of Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries, will not forget.

Allen recently led a team of

10 to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the inaugural Embrace international mission

trip. The team worked alongside International Mission Board missionaries Mark

and Melissa Hobson (see related story).

A ladies tea concluded the

week of ministry.

BSC photo by Melissa Lilley

Linda Gray, of Carmel Baptist Church in Concord, spends time with an orphan in Argentina as part of the first mission trip with Embrace, the Baptist State Convention’s women’s ministry.

Argentine women from

different churches invited women to the tea who were not believers in Jesus

Christ. Allen described the event as “very intentionally evangelistic.” Three

team members, including Allen, testified how they came to know Jesus Christ as

their personal Lord and Savior.

Allen shared that as a sixth

grader she realized she was a sinner and needed Jesus Christ to save her.

At the time Allen served as

secretary of the youth group and was embarrassed to admit she was not saved.

Allen read from Ephesians

2:8-9 and shared with the ladies how the Lord used His word to convict her

heart of sin and her need for a Savior.

Although the ladies sitting

around the tables spoke different languages and represented different parts of

the world, some things, like the joy of talking about family and friends, are

universal. Allen was encouraged to see the North Carolina team “turn those

conversations around to focus on the Lord.”

Turning conversations around

was a priority from the trip’s inception.

From language schools to an

orphanage, the team took advantage of opportunities to share the gospel of

Jesus Christ.

“If we’re not sharing that

message, we’re not doing missions as biblically defined,” Allen


Allen’s three-fold prayer

for the trip came from Matthew 9:36-38. She asked the Lord to grant the team

compassion, that they might see nonbelievers as He sees them — as sheep without

a shepherd.

She prayed for the Lord to

use the team in a way that brought Him much glory, and “I prayed that the Lord

would break our hearts for the nations,” Allen said.

“Only when our hearts are

broken for the lost will we reach the 5.5 million lost in North Carolina.”

The Embrace team, which

included ladies ranging in age from early 20s to late 50s, is the first team

the Hobsons have hosted since they arrived in Buenos Aires as career

missionaries. Allen worked with the Hobsons to plan mission projects that fit

into the Hobson’s overall strategy for reaching the Argentine people.

For example, Mark is working

to start neighborhood Bible studies, and by team members leading classes in

various language schools they were in a position to invite people to the Bible


The team prayer walked

neighborhoods where the Hobsons hope to start Bible studies. Later this year

two more teams will work with the Hobsons and will build on the work done by

the North Carolina team.

During their time in

Argentina Allen saw God work not only among the team, but in her own heart. She

was reminded that God has a heart for the nations and is using national

believers to spread the gospel.

“Their passion to do

whatever it takes to share the gospel is very humbling,” she said. “The

nationals are very bold in their witness and a deep joy permeates their lives.”

Some of the national

believers working alongside the Hobsons live in poverty and some live as one of

the only believers in their family and among their friends. To them, it doesn’t

matter. What matters is faithfulness to the gospel and willingness to serve however

the Lord commands. “We were faithful to plant seeds,” Allen said. “The reaper

can’t reap unless the sower has sown.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Lilley is a

researcher and writer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)

Related story

Little victories add up for Hobsons