domingo, 11 de julio de 2010

June 21st, 2010

Dear Friends & Family,
The weeks have flown by! I can hardly believe July is so close and we have officially entered into winter. I write to share with you about some of what has been happening here over the past two months, and to include you in some of our plans and dreams for the future of the YWAM base here in Mar del Plata. I hope you will be encouraged by the work God is doing, and inspired by the testimonies of how His grace and love transforms lives.
First, I want to thank you for your prayers for Polly, the wife of Phil, who died suddenly on May 25th. I also felt your prayers as the Lord’s grace covered me in the week following while I accompanied Polly in the process of grieving amidst busy preparations for her return to be with her family in England. Below is a picture of me with the two of them at church in July of last year.
Phil and his wife Polly have been serving here in Argentina, spreading the message of God through the ministry of reconciliation. Phil played a role in managing the logistics in the war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands almost 30 years ago, which being Argentina’s only official war since the late 1800’s, remains a very sore wound in the hearts of Argentine citizens. From their first arrival here in Argentina about 6 years ago, up until this year, they traveled to many different churches in several provinces across the country. Phil always shared his amazing testimony of how God transformed his life, saving him from a dead-end road of addictions and uncontrolled anger. And everywhere they went, he recognized the opportunity to ask forgiveness on behalf of his country for the hurt that was caused and the damage that was done in the war of the Falkland Islands. He told me story after story of the amazing responses that you could see in the people’s faces as he humbled himself to ask their forgiveness. There were times when he met mothers of deceased soldiers and he described it as if a wall of bitterness would just fall down as Phil ministered the grace of God through reconciliation. Phil was an ambassador of Christ, releasing the power of forgiveness and ushering the peace of God into the lives of those in need. I feel blessed to have known him and served alongside him and his wife though it was only for a short time.

What resounds most in my mind now, are Polly’s words when I had confirmed to her that Phil had indeed passed away. She told me that once, about a year ago she had prayed, asking God that if one day something were to happen to Phil, that she would be able to stand and worship God. She then looked at me and said, “Blessed be the Lord, for he gives and he takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” In the days that followed, I learned through her life what it means to truly stand in the Lord, and to trust in Him in all circumstances. The best moments were when Polly and I sat in the office and sang worship songs together to the endless supply of Christian music videos with lyrics via YouTube!

Since Phil’s emergency, my burden for the growth of our Help and Rescue ministry has about quadrupled! We have high hopes and dreams, and we are praying for God’s guidance in developing the vision. One hope is to have an ambulance here on the YWAM base, equipped to respond in situations of disaster or catastrophe. Another is to start a second-level YWAM school of more intense training in Help and Rescue. The picture below is of four out of the five of us who are serving full time in the ministry E.R.S. (Equipo de Rescate y Socorrismo, or “Help and Rescue Team”). From left to right: Pedro, myself, Vanesa and Matias

For now, the majority of our involvement is in training and educating. First and foremost, is the training of the DTS students, being that the annual Discipleship Training School (DTS) we conduct has an emphasis of Help and rescue. We assist year round in the courses at the school of Help and Rescue in downtown Mar del Plata; give Basic First Aid Workshops in churches; and conduct capacitating courses on other YWAM bases. The picture below was of one of our simulations conducted at 5am one morning, when we awoke the students for a surprise evacuation using firecrackers, followed by a brisk run to the beach in search of our “victims” awaiting rescue.

I continue working full time with the DTS and am serving in various roles. Three mornings a week between 7:15 and 8:00 I am the exercise coach, rain or shine! Then I generally translate at least three classes per week, which is getting easier as I go, though for sure a challenge. Another role, which is perhaps the most important, is that of a “discipler” or mentor. Vanesa and I work as a pair to disciple two of the girls each week in individual counsel and prayer as their needs arise.
In the photo above, from left to right are the female students of the DTS: Annina from Switzerland, Elena from Peru, Yamila from Argentina and Jenniffer from Colombia. This picture was taken on the last day of our mini-outreach trip to the city of Miramar, just south of Mar del Plata. There we served in a church giving a different workshop/seminar to the youth and adults each of the three days. My group’s topic was on basic First Aid, and included an introduction to our Help and Rescue ministry. My favorite part of our time there was the chance to interact with the people, and to share my passion for Jesus especially with the youth and women in the church. I even had the chance to speak with a young woman about her dream of one day traveling to India to serve in missions, and I was able to encourage her that with faith in God, all things are possible! I felt led to give her my favorite scarf which was a gift to me from a friend who traveled to India on a short-term mission a few years ago. I get so excited because I believe unique opportunities like this will result in extending the kingdom of God!

The next big thing coming up in the DTS is the practical portion, which is an 8 week mission outreach. Our plan is to travel to Chile by way of two cities in southwestern Argentina, where we will serve for the first two weeks before crossing into Chile. Each week we plan to serve with different churches to reach the people in the area with the gospel. We are going with preparation in first aid, but also in the areas of art, drama and music. We also expect to work in activities of humanitarian aid, assisting in current projects of restoration and reconstruction in the areas most affected by the earthquake, as well as in the distribution of donations. More importantly, we are going with the disposition to serve God in all that we say and do, and to carry the message of hope in Christ to those in need. In order to travel to Chile and back, we each need to raise 1300 pesos, or about 340 dollars apart from our monthly fees. We are working to prepare two dinner events to raise funds as well as selling homemade bread in our neighborhood. Something we have found as we walk door to door selling bread rolls is that we are able to share the purpose of our project, and in that way, to share about Jesus!

Prayer Requests:
-For God’s protection, that the mountain pass will be open & safe for travel into and out of Chile
-That all the places we go will be just the right places that God has planned
-For good health and emotional well being of the entire team
-That the Holy Spirit will guide us in each outreach activity
-For God’s provision in fundraising

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support! I think of you often and always praise God for each of you. May you be blessed and feel a part of God’s work here in Argentina and in the extension of the kingdom of God throughout the world!

I send to you my love,
In Christ, Marissa

If you would like to participate in supporting me financially please make your check payable to YWAM and send it to YWAM Accounting at: P.O. BOX 3000 Garden Valley, TX
USA 75771-3000
Due to Income Tax Laws my name cannot appear anywhere on the check. Simply enclose a separate note specifying it for the support of Marissa Griffith. For alternate giving options, please contact the YWAM accounting dept directly at: 903-509-5302 or email

martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

April 26, 2010 Dear Friends & Family

Since my last letter to you I have celebrated my 26th birthday! I felt much love from my YWAM-Argentina family, who made me an American breakfast, then prepared my favorite meal for lunch, followed by a fabulous cake complete with candles and presents! (I am in the back center of the picture below, surrounded by a great party of friends!)

These past eight weeks have been very good for all the activity we did not only inside YWAM (Youth With A Mission) but also with the local church. Each weekend in the month of March, we sent a team of “YWAM-ers” to different churches close to Mar del Plata to support the work they are doing. We were able to be involved just as much with outreach activities as well as teachings and ministering to the people within the churches. In one of the mobile teams, a few of the youth from Kings Kids (YWAM’s Youth Ministry) were also able to serve in support of the missionaries in that town, who are recently opening their ministry.

In one of the churches in Mar del Plata, where I attend, we began organizing a Catastrophe Committee, which also involves other churches. Each week we have meetings in which we offer first aid capacitating, and information regarding resources in case of disaster. On the level of YWAM, we have also begun a Catastrophe Committee involving the leaders of the bases in Argentina, and we are seeing what resources we already have in order to organize the best response to any natural disaster. The picture to the right is of Dr. Covelli, the director of the Technical School of Help and Rescue in Mar del Plata, teaching the YWAM leaders at the National Center of Prayer in Buenos Aires. (I am seated at the far side, sporting my bright orange, Help & Rescue uniform.)

The month of March was a month of learning for me. I was put in charge of the kitchen on the base. This means that each day, I determined the menu for lunch and dinner, and was in charge of buying the groceries each week, and the vegetables every day. Thanks to the rotating system we have set up, I didn’t have to prepare each meal; I was simply in charge of informing the people assigned to cook what was available for their use, and how to put it all together. It was a challenge, but also a great lesson to learn! I now know what it takes to prepare a meal for 10 – 15 people, and by God’s grace I can achieve a tasty, healthy dish without spending much money!

A new responsibility I have been given is to prepare Bible lessons with an emphasis on missions to teach to the youth of our Kings Kids ministry each Saturday. I have released my creativity and truly enjoy the challenge of incorporating different ways to involve the kids in each lesson. To the left is a picture of 8 year-old Jósua and 11 year-old Leo, attempting to count the stars in a picture of our galaxy. I used this to help them understand the greatness of the promise God made to Abraham, of the blessing he was to inherit- “’Look up at the heavens and count the starts—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “SO shall your offspring be’ ” (Genesis 15:5).

In the picture to the right you can see the kids on the left acting as the three visitors, visiting Abraham and Sarah who are seated on the right side. Here I am narrating the story and instructing them to “fan themselves” since the story takes place in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1).

In the midst of all the preparation for the busy season of the Discipleship Training School (DTS) for this year, the five of us girls who are on staff, along with our director’s wife Norma, went out for a treat at one of the popular restaurants on the coastline. I feel blessed to have such wonderful friends who are all seeking God and serving Him with their whole hearts! (Photo is from left to right: Estefanía, Vanesa, Marivelia, Mariana and me.)

These past two weeks have been a new challenge for me as one of the translators for the DTS. We have one student from Atlanta Georgia, and one from Switzerland who speak English. The picture below and to the left is of our opening night for the DTS where I was translating for the student’s introductions. If the speaker cries, I cry, and if the speaker laughs, I laugh too!

As of April 9th, I celebrated one year since my first arrival in Mar del Plata! In some ways, I can hardly believe it’s been any more than 6 months that have passed, while on the other hand, considering the growth and changes the Lord has made in me, it feels that at least two years have gone by! One thing is for sure, and it is that the Lord is faithful! He has directed my paths and He has stuck close to me in every challenging situation. He has always provided for me, and continues to lead me step by step, revealing little by little the plans in His heart for my life.
The last highlight I’d like to share, looking back on the year, is that of the missionary calling God specified in my heart at the youth Missions Conference in Cordoba, Argentina this January. Since I was little, I’ve just had a love for Latin America; but in this past year, God has been putting Asia on my heart. Our purpose at the Conference was to teach a workshop titled “Evangelism through Help and Rescue,” but we also were invited to attend the messages preached each night. There, I learned of the many missions’ organizations which are rising up in Latin America, to send missionaries to Europe, Asia and the entire world. I was so encouraged and motivated by the passion in the 2,000 youth present in that conference, that I so desired to identify myself with them as a “Latino” going forth unto all the nations! The anointing presence of God was there in that crowd, as their hearts were so willing to sacrifice their lives for Jesus, stepping out of their comfort zone to carry the gospel to the unreached people groups. As I prayed there that night, I felt God clarifying to me that He will use me to help push this wave of Latin youth into the mission field of Europe, Asia & all nations, and that I too will one day go with them to carry the gospel to the unreached tribes and people groups.

I was reminded of a scripture I had posted on my mirror for a time during college, which says: “I will also make you a light for the gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6b). I pray that the Lord may use me as such a light to accomplish His purposes! The picture to the right is of a pamphlet from this conference which I cut and pasted into the back cover of my Spanish Bible. “Enviar Misioneros” means “Send Missionaries” in Spanish, and that is exactly what I want to do, from Latin America into the world! I love the image, because it is like a wave going out from South America to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth!

I hope this letter has been a blessing and an encouragement. Please write to me so I can be praying specifically for you! May God bless you and I thank you so much for all of your support!

Much love, your sister in Christ, Marissa

sábado, 6 de marzo de 2010

Back in Mar del Plata, and summer is turning into fall...

March 2, 2010

Dear friends and family,

The last update I sent you was from the YWAM base in Santiago, Chile. But I returned to Mar del Plata on the 25th of January, and I am alive and well here at the YWAM base, where no effect was felt from the earthquake in Chile. We give thanks to God because the two groups from YWAM Argentina that were in Chile at the time are safe and sound. I returned after having traveled between four different YWAM bases in Argentina and Chile over the course of six weeks.

During the last week of January, four of us from the Help & Rescue team at our base traveled to Córdoba (a province in the mid-west of Argentina) to give workshops to the youth of a huge, biannual, international youth mission’s conference called CIMA. Our workshop was titled: “Evangelizing through First Aid, Help & Rescue.” We had a group of about 45 students, three days in a row, which we were able to instruct in basic first aid skills, and in so doing, prepare them for the mission field. The most exciting thing for me was to see over 2,000 youth so on-fire for Jesus, that they would consider leaving their comfort zone to preach the truth of Christ, even if it meant risking their lives. I am so encouraged by their energy and faith to step up to the challenge to reach every tribe and every nation with the message of hope in Jesus.

When the earthquake happened in Haiti, we prayed for God’s guidance in how we ought to respond in reaching out to the people suffering there from so much loss and trauma. We decided we would send at least a portion of our Help and Rescue team as soon as possible, and set a potential date for February 15th. Soon after, the opportunity arose that Argentina’s national search and rescue organization, “Cascos Blancos,” would transport at least two members of our team to and from Haiti, free of charge. In response to the many prayers lifted up, God provided in miraculous ways so that four missionaries from YWAM Argentina were able to travel to Haiti on the 8th of February and return on the 15th, safe and sound. We are all very excited, being that this was the first real “Help and Rescue” mission from our base—the result of much work and preparation from the birth of the vision over five years ago. I would have liked to be able to go, but I know that if it is God’s will, I will be there before long with a larger team, to serve not only through the means of humanitarian aid, but to evangelize through art and music as well.

February was a month full of evidence that God’s hand is at work! We held our first ten-day “Summer of Missions” for 9 students from different parts of Argentina. Summer of Missions is a mini-DTS (Discipleship Training School) mixed with Biblical teachings on interior healing and identity in Christ along with times of evangelism and outreach activities. I was given the topic of intercession to share, which is one of my passions and areas of gifting from the Lord. The camp was a great success, and I truly enjoyed my roles as a mentor to one of the teenage girls, camp nurse, and as the daily aerobics teacher! (Picture below: I am leading the group in some boxing-aerobics exercises on the ocean shore)

The mission to Haiti came up during the same time-frame as “Summer of Missions” in the first week o f February. The rest of us who stayed home on the base were busy putting on a campaign for Haiti which we named “Sonrisas para Haiti,” or “Smiles for Haiti” in English. The idea was developed from a word we received during fasting and prayer that is Proverbs 17:22. It says: “The best medicine is to have happy thoughts; but when one loses their hope, the entire body becomes ill.” I have translated the description of the outreach event into English so that you can read it and share it with the church and with all who may be interested. YWAM Argentina is planning to make several mission trips to Haiti at least over the next two years, including a “Christmas for Haiti,” which is a ministry focused on bringing Christmas to Haiti in the form of gifts and donations. So, if anyone is interested in a short-term mission trip to Haiti, we could coordinate to meet there and serve together!

Sending you my love and blessings and prayers of thanksgiving for all your loving support!

Praise Reports:

In my 6 weeks of travel, the Lord kept me and my travel companions completely safe in traveling by bus in and around the city, and not one item was robbed or lost! I praise the Lord that every financial need was met for food, housing and travel expenses.

Prayer Requests:

• For the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for our neighborhood, and how we should involve ourselves as we recently learned of a division in the leadership. And we believe God has called us to be mediators of peace.
• Since the 27th of February, there have been two earthquakes in Argentina near the Chilean Andes. We are praying and seeking the Lord’s guidance for our role in response to these disasters as well as the need for aid and assistance in Chile.

En Cristo (In Christ),


viernes, 22 de enero de 2010

To my Dear Friends & Family on January 10th, 2010

I want to wish you a belated “Feliz Navidad!” and a “Prospero año!” from Santiago, Chile. I am here with my best friend from our home YWAM base of Mar del Plata, Argentina for the Southern Cone YWAM Conference. I also write to share with some of the testimonies of God’s greatness in these past six weeks.

December started out with lots of moving around, since we are in the midst of switching to a different rental house. An answer to prayer is that we recently were able to sign a 2-year lease for an affordable rental house! It is just across the street from the smaller house we are continuing to lease and have been renting for the past two years. Praise the Lord! Signing a 2-year lease is not an easy task here, since they require high-value collateral and lots of signed paperwork!

The first weekend of the month, four of us went to minister with a church in the city of Villa-Gesel, just about 100km from Mar del Plata. We helped with outreach events in a neighborhood where the church had closed down for two years and was just opening up again. I won’t forget the first night, when I met four girls between the ages of 10 and 15 years old, and they all accepted Jesus! I went forward with them and after they prayed to receive Jesus, I shared about the dream the Lord had given me one year ago, when I was dealing with the sadness of preparing to leave my family. In that dream, I saw my little sisters dancing in white gowns so beautifully, without any physical ailments, with complete joy and perfect peace. When I woke up, I prayed to ask God what it was it all about, and I knew His response was this: “Marissa, your little sisters already know and love me. Where I am sending you, there are many little sisters who don’t know me, and if you don’t go in obedience, they may never come to know me.” I then explained to the girls that although sometimes I don’t understand why God chooses to call someone like me from the US to go to Argentina, or why he calls Argentines to go the US to share with others about His love and salvation, I came in obedience and I celebrate now with them as they are proof of God’s faithfulness to fulfill of His promises.

The following weekend was our first missionary dinner, which was focused on the Middle East. We rented an event hall and decorated the walls, entry way and table center pieces with the flags of the 13 nations. We dressed in typical attire from those countries and served delicious, middle-eastern cuisine. It was a great success as we were able to convey God’s heart for the people and culture of the Middle East, and also to encourage the people to have a heart for the missions.

The following day, I attended the wedding of one of my classmates from the DTS in her hometown of Necochea, which is about 150 km south along the coast from Mar del Plata. It was beautiful and I even got the chance to play a piece on my violin at the reception! The next day was Sunday and the church invited me to play my violin and to speak for the evening service. So I played with the worship band, and then got and up and shared what the Lord had placed on my heart, about His transforming love. That night I got on a bus to Buenos Aires where I was able to receive the package my family had sent which included my brand new computer, which my home church on Vashon gave to me as an offering! What a blessing!
What is more, is that Mom, Dad and the girls had included several wrapped gifts which I saved to open on Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 16th, I arrived at the YWAM base in Mendoza, joining the three other “JuCUMeros” (YWAM-ers in Spanish) from Mar del Plata who had arrived 2 days earlier. Mendoza is very different from Mar del Plata, in that it is in the middle of the hot, dry, desert! Luckily, they have an awesome swimming pool which we jump into whenever we can! We came here initially to serve as volunteers in the week-long camp for the “Huarpes” community. The Huarpes are the indigenous people of the desert region, and they are invited to come each year to enjoy the YWAM ministry called “Semana Diferente” which means “Different Week”. It is a family camp that is set up specifically for us to shower them with the love of Christ in the way that we care for and serve them. Some of the ways we serve them include three complete meals each day; medical, dental and eye care available for the entire family; fun activities and day-outings for the kids and adolescents; Christmas gifts for the entire family; new shoes and clothes; and much more! My duties included everything from cleaning port-a-potties to lifeguarding at the swimming pool, to assisting in the medical area! It was a great experience for me, working long and hot hours of service with this single motivation- to show the love of Jesus! Honestly, it is a blessing to be a blessing!

December was so full of activity! I am so thankful for God’s guidance each day, as I am learning more and more what it means to truly depend on Him for everything from emotional wellness to financial provision. And His faithfulness to provide never ceases to amaze and surprise me!

We arrived here in Chile a week early for the conference; due to the fact that my visa was due to expire on the 6th. The day before we traveled, some other foreigners serving with YWAM in Mendoza warned that I could be charged for having gone two days over 90 on my tourist visa, because some agents don’t have lenience for the months like October and December, which have 31 days each. And so, I count it a blessing of God’s grace and protection that I was able to cross into Chile without a fee!

All my life, the scripture in Philippians chapter 4 has spoke to my heart and guided me. First I saw it as a promise of peace, and now I am learning to obey it as a command to “not be anxious about anything”, but instead to depend on the Lord for every need and concern. And so, whether it be in the midst of a busy day, a crowded bus terminal, or dealing with financial matters, I choose to obey God and to turn my anxious thoughts over to Him with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise. Then, most assuredly, every single time, His blessing of peace comes upon my heart and mind, because He His always faithful to His word.

May the Lord bless you with the same peace, “which surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

I love you miss you all a ton! I always keep you in my prayers, and I thank you so much for your support!


martes, 12 de enero de 2010

November 2009 was fun and busy!

December 4th, 2009

I am composing this letter from the sandy beach of the Atlantic coast, on a sunny Friday morning in Mar del Plata. I am praising the Lord for this quiet morning as it provides the time I need to recharge my batteries for the busy week ahead.

I can hardly belive it is already December; this past month has literally flown by! During three weekends in November, I attended a help and rescue course which taught skills for the relief worker in situations of high elevations. We learned to use ropes in order to ascend and descend victims on steep inclines, including vertical walls. It was very interesting and also a lot of fun! Soon, when I am able, I will upload pictures from my camera to share with you.

Mid-November, we gave our first week-long intensive First Aid and CPR course for the School of Missions, on the YWAM base in the north-eastern province of Argentina, Corrientes. It was my job to gather all of our materials and prepare a guide for the students in the class. As I love to study all things doing with medicine, that was a challenge I truly enjoyed! The week was a wonderful success, and many agreed that it would be a valuable course to provide for every YWAM base!

The last weekend in November, we spent 4 days working as volunteer first aid responders at the world cup Tae-Kwondo championships which took place here in Mar del Plata. It was a great opportunity to practice our skills and also to just be present as witnesses for Christ. The Tae-Kwondo competitions are an annual event where YWAM has been volunteering for the past couple years as a part of the medical team, and each year we pray that the spirit of God will be present in that place, and prevent any serious injuries from occuring. This year we did the same, and the doctor who is the instructor of the help and rescue organization with which we partner, made a comment to the fact that our prayers are a little TOO effective, and so we are not getting enough practice with really bad trauma! It is an answer to prayer that this man, Dr. Covelli, is recognizing the power of prayer, and that He is opening up more to the gospel. All the missionaries on the base here have been praying for him ever since they met him, three years ago.

Another wonderful thing that arose during the world cup, was an opportunity to witness to the competitors we met at the nurse station. One in particular was very hopeless as he had injured in his knee and "lost everything." On top of it all, when he went to the public hospital for an xray, no one gave him proper care since he did not speak spanish and no one spoke english to help him. He returned to the event feeling that life was so worthless, and that nothing on Earth has eternal value. Since English was not his primary language, I found myself sharing Christ with him in a very direct, simple way. It was so wonderful that the exact scripture I was carrying in my pocket that day was the one he needed to hear! He said that when he returns home to his country, there are many things he wants to leave behind, and turn his life over to God! I think to myself now, how bazaar is it that God would bring me from the United States and him from Romania, to extend the gospel of Jesus!

Lastly, just a week ago now, in my honor, being the only American in the group, we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Mar del Plata! In my mind, it was a miracle that everything turned out cooked just right, considering that at noon Thursday, the two turkeys we´d just bought were rock-hard frozen! I was even able to put together three "pumpkin" pies using preserved sweet potato! The Lord has blessed my with a wonderful, loving Argentine family!

October 23rd, I'm back in Mar del Plata!

October 23rd

Dear Friends & Family,

I am so happy to be writing you from my new home in Mar del Plata , Argentina . I arrived here safe and happy by the abundant grace of God, which blessed me every step of the way! I was listed to fly standby on each of the four flights I needed in order to be able to visit my friend in North Carolina on my way to Buenos Aires , and God provided me a seat on each one! And not just any seat either, but first class! I praise the Lord, because flying standby cut the price of the ticket substantially.

I arrived in Argentina on Tuesday morning, October 6th; and I spent my first 5 nights at the National Center of Prayer, which is a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministry in Buenos Aires . Though I was originally planning on staying just one night, upon arriving I learned that on the coming Friday there was an international prayer day organized by a group from YWAM Kona, Hawaii, and two of them had come to Buenos Aires to help facilitate. They asked if I’d be willing to help lead the worship music on my violin and so I willingly stayed to participate. It turned out to be a wonderful week, full of great conversation and encouragement as well as great new friendships. It was truly a beautiful thing, sharing meals with two in particular who I had the privilege to come to know- Amy from India , and Onesimo from Cameroon . The diversity of cultures within the great family of Christ is something I truly enjoy!

At last on Sunday the 11th, I arrived to reunite with my Argentine, YWAM family here in the quiet and cool beachside neighborhood just south of the coastal city, Mar del Plata (MDP). It was a very joyful meeting, with lots of kisses on the cheek and lots of fast, Spanish chatting. Almost as soon as I arrived, I opened up the large jar of Adam’s Peanut Butter I had brought, which everyone tried with curiosity. It was so funny to see their faces as they were so surprised at how sticky it felt in their mouths!

I’ve now been here over a week, and we are almost all here together. People have been arriving in pieces as a group of five was gone on a mission trip to England , Egypt and Israel ; and others had gone home to visit their families during the month of September. Not including the husband and wife directors and their three sons, there are 12 of us who are living in community and working full-time together. During the first week, we settled in and started right away to involve ourselves as much as possible in the neighborhood. On Saturday, we had our weekly King’s Kids (youth ministry) meeting at a church in downtown MDP. Our first outreach activity as a team was especially to bless the mothers on Sunday the 18th, which was the nation’s Mother’s day here. We made cards with scriptures inside to pass out in the neighborhood and we performed a drama at the new Evangelical-Christian church in the area. Every time we do a drama, we follow it up with a message, sharing testimonies of the transforming power of Christ in our lives. It was a great time of ministering to the people and their families.

Yesterday I participated for my first time in the official staff meeting of the YWAM base here, and it was very exciting as our directors shared with us the many opportunities ahead to be involved in mission trips and activities. Many times we will be working with one of the 10 other YWAM bases in Argentina . Yesterday evening was the first class of a new session at the First aid and Rescue school in downtown MDP. It was my first time attending as a member, to help facilitate the class. Though I am no longer officially a student of this first-level course, I am still picking up a lot since the first time through my “Argentine” Spanish was only “so-so”. I was relieved as I sat, listening to the professor lecture at his usual speedy pace, and I was able to follow every word! I praise God for gracing me with understanding! One of the other staff members from our base, Pedro and I will be teaching a Basic First Aid and CPR course to students of the School of Missions at the YWAM base located in the province of Corrientes, which is in the Northeast part of the country. It will be my first time presenting this type of material in Spanish, and so it is a great help to be attending the First aid and Rescue School classes now with the perspective of preparing to teach.

I thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement during my visit home in September. I want you to know that without your love and help, I would not be able to have left everything to start afresh, more than 5,000 miles from home. Though I miss you all dearly, I am content here, knowing that I am in the center of God’s will, following His plan for my life. There is no better or safer place to be!

I send you all my love and blessings from the southern hemisphere!

In Christ,

Marissa Griffith

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is a confidence in God’s plan and provision for our future as well as an expectation that God will fulfill everything he has promised though we haven’t experienced fulfillment yet.

–Jean E. Syswerda

September 25th, Preparing to move to ARGENTINA!

It’s been two weeks since I returned from my first trip to Argentina, and in less than two weeks from now, I’ll be heading back! I have thought of you in my time away and I pray this letter finds you well. I write to you with much excitement to share what the Lord has begun in me during these past 5 months. On April 14th, my Discipleship Training School (DTS) began, and so did one of the most beautiful seasons of my Christian walk. It was an amazing time of learning and being transformed by the love of God! Each week I received more from God, and grew in my passion to spread His love to others. The week of study which impacted me most, was when we focused on building our identity on Christ alone. I realized that thru the painful process of letting go of the extra things I had begun to depend on, came the amazing fulfillment of re-building my identity only upon the love of God. I am truly a new creation, each day as I recognize who I am in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Now that I have completed my DTS, I have been invited to serve full time as a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) missionary in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The base in Mar del Plata is a pioneer base as of three years ago, started by a married couple who have been serving for more than 20 years with YWAM in Buenos Aires. It consists of three rental houses, filled with a total of 18 staff. The ministries running as of now are: King’s Kids- a ministry for youth ages 6-18; Mobile team- a team which visits and collaborates in ministry projects and church congregations in different places; Help & Rescue- a team specialized to serve and help in situations of catastrophe; and the DTS S.O.S. -discipleship training school oriented to Help and Rescue. Since we are still a new base, most of the staff will be involved to some degree in each of the ministries while also working to develop new projects.

My decision to come on staff at this base is a big step of faith for me, since my exact role is not cut in stone. Though I am not filling a spot titled “missionary nurse,” I know I will have many opportunities to use my knowledge and experience as a nurse to serve God and others. I foresee myself working in many areas, giving all of my gifts and abilities to the Lord’s service. One possibility, which was a surprise to me, is that I may have the opportunity to teach violin lessons, and in that way, open a door for YWAM in our neighborhood, to have a bigger impact for Jesus. Another sure need I will fill is to serve as a Spanish-to-English translator, for any DTS students from English-speaking countries. In my next letter, I will share more about what God has put in my heart in regards to the work of these ministries.