Grief, Retreats, and Silas – Andrew & Kelly Baxley

Grief, Retreats, and Silas – Andrew & Kelly Baxley

Category : Colombia

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that you are doing well. Above are pictures in order of each grandparent with Silas. Also, Silas was baptized by Terry Baxley, Andrew’s dad, when he came for his visit. It was a sweet moment to surrender our little boy to the Lord and recognize God’s faithfulness through all generations.

As far as ministry goes, I don’t even know where to start.  Sorry that it has been so long since we last let you in!  In the past few months, we have continued to minister in light of the tragedy that struck our church last December when we lost one of our high school students.  Since then we have hosted a grief group focused on helping many of our students continue to grieve the loss of their friend, Jaime.  Alongside of this, we just recently hosted a three month memorial gathering at the church at the request of Jaime’s family and not only was it a place for people to process their grief in a healthy way but we were also able to use it to share the gospel with many non-churched friends and family of Jaime.  Additionally, in wake of this tragedy, God has opened many students’ hearts to having really important and meaningful conversation about God and the gospel.  Just last Friday night, one student who was very close to Jaime and had formerly claimed to reject Christianity proclaimed in group discussion, “I’m constantly wondering if I’m loved but I now know I am because I see that God was willing to die for me.” We are still grieving here, but God’s work in the midst of it has continued to be an encouragement.

In other news, the youth ministry has continued to keep me busy.  We planned and pulled off the first ever UCB youth retreat and had 26 people attend.  We talked about how God is our good father who is patient, gracious, and pursues our hearts. 

For about a month we hosted a 16 year old youth group student while his family worked through some difficult things.  I think that we were able to clearly communicate the gospel to this student and his family and it really seemed to have an impact.

There are so many other things going on that I cannot go into here but please be in prayer for us.  We often feel like the water is over our heads but pray that we would know clearly that it is God who is in control and that we would continue to see glimpses of the work he is accomplishing.

Below are a few pictures of the the “farm” in Tenjo, Colombia where we had our youth retreat.

Counseling Update
Kelly meets with 6-9 clients per week and leads a grief group at least once a month. There has been an enormous need for counseling resources in our youth group and church. Many have come looking to find help with suicidal ideations, depression, anxiety, and family conflict.

On a brighter note and maybe news to you, our church has approved the finances to build a counseling center. This counseling center has room for group counseling, 2 private offices, a waiting room, and a terrace. This is such a gift from God. We hope to provide more resources to our church congregation, local missionaries, and Colombians in need of Christian counseling. There will be pictures to come soon when it is up and running.

-Andrew’s sister Carey is coming to visit in two weeks.

-Andrew is going with our teammate (also Andrew) to scout out a potential service trip for UCB to take in Laguajira, Colombia. We are hoping to partner with some missionary friends that are church planting among indigenous tribes.

-Kelly will be leading UCB Redemption Groups again on April 7th and 14th.

-The counseling center should be completed within the next 2 months.

Here’s a recent picture of Silas. We love you all and are so thankful to have you on our team. 
Love, The Baxleys
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