Little victories add up for Hobsons
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 14, 2010

Little victories add up for Hobsons

Little victories add up for Hobsons
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 14, 2010

BUENOS AIRES — Six-year-old

Claire is a cute little blonde-headed girl who likes Barbie dolls and using the

reclining chair at home to practice gymnastic moves. She is bashful at first,

but it doesn’t take long before she is singing “First grade, first grade,” a

song her kindergarten teacher wrote to the tune of “New York, New York” in

honor of Claire’s class graduating and moving on to first grade.

Big sister Olivia, 8, is a

whiz at Wii games and her Spanish keeps improving. About a week ago Olivia was

baptized in a swimming pool in her home during a service with members of the

house church her parents started.

Until two and a half years

ago Claire and Olivia Hobson’s grandparents would never have dreamed of missing

milestones such as baptism and kindergarten graduation. They saw their

grandchildren all the time. That was when the Hobson family lived in Pine

Bluff, Ark.

BSC photo by Melissa Lilley

One of the ways Mark Hobson serves the International Mission Board is through an afternoon langauge school in Martinez. He and his wife, Melissa, are with the International Mission Board.

For Mark Hobson, telling his

wife Melissa’s parents that the family was moving from the only place Melissa

had ever known to Buenos Aires, Argentina, was one of the hardest things about

transitioning into career missionaries with the International Mission Board.

Yet, “it was exciting enough to me that we picked the family up and came down

here,” Mark said.

The Hobsons are adjusting

from a small town of 55,000 to a city of nearly 14 million. They learned bus

routes and subway routes, and how to drive in a city of one-way streets where

three left turns equal a right.

Mark and Melissa sold most

of their belongings and in Argentina had to make a new house feel like a home.

They attended language school for a year in Costa Rica before moving to Buenos

Aires and from time to time still struggle with the language.

Only about four percent of

Buenos Aires people are believers in Jesus Christ, even though it is “a city

full of religion.”

“They respect the Bible,” Mark said, “but they know little

about it.”

While most Argentines say

they are Christian, they really mean they are Catholic, which translates into widespread

worship of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Argentina is also home to the largest

mosque and Jewish population in South America.

A few years ago Mark would

not have picked his family to be living in another country as career

missionaries. Mark worked as an industrial electrician, Melissa as a nurse.

Mark was a deacon and Sunday School teacher.

In 1999, at Melissa’s

insistence, they went on a mission trip to Romania. The next year they went to

Brazil and before long Melissa started coordinating mission trips for their

church and association.

In the beginning Mark’s

contribution to the trips consisted of being an extra pair of hands to haul

supplies. Yet, the Lord began to burden his heart for the nations and Mark

began understanding the need for missions and how his family fit into the

global missions picture.

The Hobsons work in an area

of Buenos Aires that includes about one million people. Instead of focusing on

the enormity of that figure, the Hobsons break that number down into smaller

units. Argentina is divided into 23 provinces, Buenos Aires Province being the


Within the Buenos Aires

Province are partidos, such as Vincente Lopez and San Isidro, where the Hobsons

live. Both partidos include various suburbs, or neighborhoods, and the Hobsons

are working to start a Bible study in each neighborhood.

They already have a church

of about 17 meeting in their home in Martinez. The goal is to raise up national

believers to lead Bible studies in various locations. From there, house

churches across the area will form and eventually these house churches will

meet together once a month.

The Hobsons have made

contact with interested Argentines in at least four other neighborhoods and

Bible studies are underway. In these Bible studies Mark shares the gospel and

he shares what the Bible has to say about life issues, from dealing with guilt

and shame to family problems.

In just 18 months Argentina

has become home. The Hobsons may be just as excited as the nationals over the

World Cup. They can now say they know why Argentina is known for its beef, and

instead of pointing through the glass at it in the supermarket Mark knows how

to order exactly what he wants.

Eighteen months ago the

Hobsons were ordering furniture off Craig’s List and working on household repairs.

Now they are building relationships and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now

they are watching as the Lord uses a family from rural Arkansas to proclaim His

name among those who have never heard before.

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