Two years ago, we brought you the story of the MacQueen family's call to ministry and their journey to the mission field in Argentina. After finding Andrew on television, Joe, Nancy and their son Sean, left their comfortable and ordinary surroundings in Connecticut and headed to Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs. Following their graduation and third-year apprenticeships, the family made an exciting move to Buenos Aires where they began their ministry, Charis de Dios (Grace of God).
Since stepping out in faith to attend CBC in 2004, the MacQueens have let the Lord set the pace for their ministry. While the idea of opening a CBC extension school in Argentina had been a desire of their heart since their arrival in South America, they waited patiently for God to open the appropriate doors. The trio was purposeful in only doing those things in which they discerned His leading.
In the early days of Charis de Dios, the MacQueens held small Bible studies in their home and assisted a local pastor's ministry to the homeless. As they continued to follow the Lord other doors opened, and they began serving as course facilitators for CBC-Colorado's online program. Then, in June of 2011, God gave the MacQueens the green light to move ahead with plans for CBC-Argentina.
As the MacQueen's ministry blossomed they began taking the steps necessary to make the extension school a reality. The process began with governmental (both Argentine and U.S.) hoop jumping, which included securing the proper visas and establishing the appropriate civil association for the college. Juggling laws from two nations to obtain the correct documentation was not without struggle and required the assistance of a lawyer. The MacQueens saw God's hand in the process as He brought them a bi-lingual, English-speaking lawyer to guide them through the paperwork.
For the certification necessary to collect tuition and hold classes, the MacQueens were required to have a meeting place, one that could be inspected by the government at any time. Of course, to secure such a place to meet, they had to have the certification—a catch 22. After some difficulty, God miraculously opened the door for the MacQueens to use a space (for a small fee) in a former Argentine Presidential mansion. Location problem solved.
In June of 2011, the MacQueens began holding Bible studies in their mansion "classroom," and CBC-Argentina officially opened its doors in March of 2012. "It had a gorgeous outdoor courtyard and we loved it there," Nancy said with fondness. Two weeks into the school year, which runs from March through December in South America, Joe and Nancy were informed that they had to move the school from that facility. Though the prospect of relocating was an inconvenience, the MacQueens did not let the disruption shake them. They turned to the Lord. "God miraculously provided another classroom for us—this time in a palace (Palacio Barolo)! So we moved from a mansion to a palace...and, for the same amount of rent—that's favor, " said Nancy.
With the location issue settled, the MacQueens moved forward with discipleship, something that can be difficult when there is a language barrier. Again, the Lord provided for their need. "We needed translators for the school, for both morning and night classes. Joe had said to God, back in 2004, that he would go anywhere in the world as long as He provided a translator, and God miraculously provided a whole family of translators. The family's daughter translates in the morning classes and the father translates at night. And our daughter-in-law, Alejandra, fills in whenever needed," said Nancy contently.
All of CBC-Argentina's current students travel from at least an hour away to attend class. Their determination to attend and their dedication to spreading the good news is already bearing fruit. One student, Maria, has started a weekly Bible study where she has been teaching what she learns in class. Maria's study has grown from two people to 13 in just a short amount of time, but her success has not been without harsh criticism from other professing believers. In the early days of the MacQueens ministry, Maria struggled with the teaching because of the conflict between what local religious teachers were saying and what the MacQueens were sharing. Maria prayed, and asked God who she should believe. Maria received her answer in a dream and shared her dream with Nancy. According to Nancy, Maria saw a great light coming towards her in the dream. God told her not to be afraid of the light—that the MacQueens were bringing the light of the Gospel to Argentina. Since then, Maria has been to every one of the MacQueen's Bible studies and has never missed a day of school.
"Maria is the one that is truly out on the front lines, blazing a trail," said Nancy. "We have an awesome, dedicated group of students; they will be the ones to impact Buenos Aires with the Gospel of Grace."
The MacQueens consider CBC-Argentina to be God’s project, and they operate as the overseers of His work. "Proverbs 16:9 says, 'A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.' There is freedom and great peace in knowing that. We do what we can and walk through doors as God opens them, and it is so humbling to be chosen to be a part of God’s work. We just look in amazement at the working of God," Nancy reflected.