Eleven Months!

photo 1-8-19, 12 30 11 amIt’s hard to believe it’s been 11 months! But yes, that’s how long we’ve been here in Mendoza. The Lord has been faithful and we have been developing good relationships and planting lots of seeds.

In the time since our last letter, we started the Viña Rock Café two Sundays a month in a local bar. It started out great and we had quite a few non-believers coming, but as the weeks went on, the attendance started to drop. Still we had some great nights, great music from local bands, and the Gospel was preached. Typically, the months of January and February are vacation time here and the city pretty much looks like a ghost town. So, we have decided to pause it and start up again in March.

As far as our regular Viña Wednesday meeting, it has been small but good. Usually 6 to 10 people, but it would be more if they all came at once. We worship, and study the gospel of John and pray for each other, followed by a meal. Everyone seems to feel comfortable and they are open about sharing. We have had some powerful times of ministry as well.

Mark is still reaching out to musicians and spending late nights in conversations. We are still reaching out to our neighbors and to others the Lord brings across our path. We are getting ready to start a conversational English class as an excuse to get people into our home. At this point we are really wanting to hear from God about in what ways we can reach more people.

It would seem that there is still a spiritual blockade going on, because so many people seem eager to hear more about God, but then they never show up, or start avoiding us. We think this is also symbolized by our car, which is STILL in Customs with no firm date in sight to get it out.

So we ask you to please pray for a release in every arena – spiritual and natural. Please pray also that we could get commitment from those that have been coming to our meetings, so we can begin to build a core group. And please, last but not least, pray with us for the people of Argentina because the economy is in shambles and there is an atmosphere of despair everywhere.

We have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to the US in February to see out kids and grandson. We look forward to seeing many of you in the Nashville area as well!

God bless you, and thank you for your prayers!

Mark and Karina

Viña Rock Café

Vina Rock 10-28 3

Hello Friends,

I apologize for taking so long to write. Hard to believe it’s been almost 4 months since my last post! It’s been a crazy time. But we also believe that since now we are in Mendoza, having a blog called “Going to Mendoza” doesn’t make a lot of sense. So we will be phasing this out to focus instead on a prayer letter  for our supporters and a blog on iglesiavinamendoza.com in Spanish. If you are not on our prayer email list and want to be, please write to Mark at markyoungmusic@gmail.com.

In a nutshell, here’s what has happened since my last post.

We launched our weekly meetings on August 2. Attendance was off and on at first. We have had some people who came once, but some Christian friends who come once in awhile to support us. So we are averaging 6 to 8 people weekly. We had a woman give her life to the Lord in our Tuesday group. and another man returning to the Lord after being away for 20+ years who has been coming regularly. Plus this past week we had 2 new people! So our weekly meeting is going slow but well.

But we felt the Lord was calling us to do something more drastic to reach the musician community. And that led us to a bar called “Hard Lomo Rock” about 15 minutes from our house. So we asked the owner if we could hold a service there Sunday nights when it was usually closed. To our surprise he said yes! So on October 28th we launched our first Viña Rock Cafe which will be held two Sundays a month for now. We are going to have different bands play for about an hour, then a short message, then offer to pray for people. The owner is not charging rent, but does serve food and drinks.

Vina Rock 10-28 2

Our first meeting went very well. We had around 5 non-believers there and a couple of them were touched by the music and the message. There was a real nice atmosphere and although we were trying to be “non-religious” you could still feel the presence of the Lord. Our next meeting is this coming Sunday, the 11th. We would appreciate prayer for this because most of the people we specifically invited to the last meeting never showed up. They are the ones we are doing this for!

The other good news is that we may finally  get our car out of Customs this week! And I may get my residency permit as well!

Things feel like they are starting to happen here in Mendoza and we are very thankful!

Thank you all for reading this blog. I will try to post again soon.


Mark and Karina

A Miracle, More Waiting, and a Launch Date!

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Our living room is ready for church!

Hello dear readers,

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster here for the past few weeks (but that’s not news at this point, right?) Let me start with the big event first:

We have decided to begin weekly meetings in our home Thursday nights, starting August 2nd. It will be good to have an actual time and place to which invite people because until now it’s been sort of up in the air. We already have two people we have been praying for since February who promised to come at least once to check it out, and we are inviting neighbors we have met and others we have been building friendships with for the past several months.


Qien Es Jesus card 2
These are our invitation cards – we will be going though the gospel of John and learning who Jesus really is.

We also have friends coming for our first night who are believers who we’ve met at various churches, just to celebrate together, and we will be serving tacos, quite a novelty food in Argentina.

Now for the miracle I mentioned above. You remember we have been meeting on Tuesday nights at the home of a woman called Roxana. Two weeks ago, the day after our last meeting, her 3 year old boy Lorenzo woke up crying with a headache that wouldn’t go away. She took him to the hospital and they said he had swelling in his brain. The following day he couldn’t even walk, but would stumble and fall because he couldn’t control his balance!

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 Here is Lorenzo with his mom playing with a puzzle that used to belong to our kids.

We went to the hospital to spend some time with them and of course pray for Lorenzo. When we were finished he said he wanted to walk, and so we took a walk up and down the hallway and he was perfectly fine! But still they were waiting for an official diagnosis. The doctors had done a spinal tap on him and the next day they told the mom he might have leukemia! We went back to the hospital and prayed with them again. We were not alone because there have been many people we know praying for this family as well as people in Chile where they have believing friends. Here is what happened: the following day the doctors came back and said they had done another analysis and now he was 100% fine and released him to go home!

Lorenzo 2
Lorenzo’s mom posted this on her social media the day he came home from the hospital.

It makes you wonder – why is it that if we really believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever, that we are surprised when he shows a little bit of his love and his power? Shouldn’t it be “normal”? Needless to say that was very encouraging.

So we are doing well, and looking forward to this new beginning. In the meantime, amidst the victories, there have been plenty of disappointments: our car is still stuck in Customs – every time we get over one hurdle, another one appears out of nowhere! It’s been three months of delays now. Then this week our hot water tank developed a leak and we had to get it repaired, then our washing machine also broke, but then miraculously when the repairman showed up it started working again.

But in other news, I start teaching my class this coming Saturday. It’s only one class a week, but it’s something, and Karina is still pursuing job opportunities. And we may have a book to translate as well.

If you think of us, please pray for us for all those things, but especially for our meetings beginning August 2.

Bless you all, and thank you for your prayers!

Mark & Karina


Week 20 in Mendoza – We finally start our first meetings!

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Hello friends,

It’s been a long time coming, and we have really been looking forward to this day, but we finally had our first “official” meeting last Friday, and will switch to regular weekly meetings on Tuesdays starting next week! A while back were contacted by a friend called Roxana who used to attend a Vineyard church in Chile but last year moved back to Mendoza. She offered her home for us to meet where she lives with her mother and 3 children aged 4 to 12. She has only been a believer for 2 years.

Long story short, a week ago we met with her and basically just spent time praying, because she was going through a  really tough time, and the Lord really did some amazing things. Afterwards we talked about possibly starting weekly meetings at her house which she gladly said yes to. Below you can see Roxana with her mom Gladys. Her children would pop in and out of the meeting as well. She has been inviting her neighbors and other relatives, and we see where she could potentially be a “Lydia” and reach her entire neighborhood.

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Roxana’s home is in a suburb about a 15 minute drive from our house, so we’re still planning to start meeting here in the near future. One thing we’re praying about is that our living and dining rooms are not heated and it’s starting to get really cold (down to freezing some nights). Gas and electricity are expensive here, so we’re asking the Lord to give us wisdom (and money) to know what to install. (We have no central heat, which is normal here, and winter is just beginning.)

Anyway, you may be wondering about the picture at the top. A few weeks ago we ran across this street, “La Viña”, which is only a block long and about a mile from our house. I’m sure it’s significant in some way.

In other news, our grandson Chael is now 2 months old but looks like he’s 4 or 5 months old! He and Lisa and Sam, her husband, are doing well.

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Another cool thing is that I finally got to play in a worship band last week, after 4 months! It’s a church where they have hardly any musicians, and pretty close to here, so I offered to help them if they need me. Their Sunday meeting is in the evenings, which is good because we have been visiting other churches in the mornings jus to get to know the pastors and other believers in the city.   It’s in a very poor neighborhood and their main ministry is giving food and clothes to children in need, and through that to reach the parents. I’m playing there again this Sunday.

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As far as prayer requests, we were able to get a few translating jobs recently which was great! It’s amazing to think that it’s June already and financially we’re still doing OK. But now that we’ve been in the house a few months the bills are starting to come in. Karina sent a resumé to a contact at one of the local universities, to see if she can get a teaching job there. I also had an offer at a music school to teach audio classes starting in July. We’re still working that one out, but it seems promising. But in other news our car is still stuck in Customs, believe it or not. It’s been almost 3 months now and we’re paying storage by the day! We need God to do a miracle and work in the Customs people’s hearts to release it. We have done all we can.

So please keep us in your prayers. We invited our next door neighbors Oscar and Marta to dinner next week and Oscar mentioned he was given a Bible once that was printed in Tennessee but he has never read it! Our list of people we’re praying for is growing longer, and longer.

Finally, this was  a sad week for Argentina because the House of Representatives passed a law approving abortion (which was illegal) and now it’s going to the Senate. It passed by only 4 votes too. We were really hoping and praying Argentina would break the norm, but I guess not. I even found out today they have a Planned Parenthood affiliate here who spent a lot of money (probably some of it your tax dollars) to get the law passed.

BTW, if you for some reason feel the desire to support us financially, please contact me by email at markyoungmusic@gmail.com
I’ll be glad to show you how you can do that!

We also have a domain name, but no web site up yet. (Although we did set up a Facebook page, now that were “live”- facebook.com/iglesiavinamendoza)

IVM Logo 4 small

Blessings to all of you faithful readers,

Mark and Karina

Catching Up…Miracles and Other Happenings

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Hello friends,

I apologize for the long time between posts. (Almost a month!) But it’s certainly been an eventful time.

But first the miracle. Our stuff had arrived in Mendoza, as I wrote in my last post but it ended up sitting in Customs for a week. The two guys highest up in the totem pole were absolutely not going to clear our container. We’re pretty sure they were waiting for a bribe. But since the freight forwarder we used is a believer and absolutely refuses to bribe anyone, we decided to pray that the Lord would just change their hearts. And the Lord did just that! The following week they were friendly, helpful and signed our papers to release the container. They still had to open it and pull a bunch of stuff out for a cursory inspection, but nobody tried to create problems, and, as you see in the photo above, Wednesday April 18 the container finally arrived at our house! (Two months and 4 days after it had left Franklin.)

File May 03, 11 16 43 PMThis is our furniture all over the Customs dock

I then spent the following week arranging it the best I could and unpacking the necessary items, in anticipation of Karina getting back. I hadn’t seen most of it since early January!

File May 03, 11 40 22 PM               Having coffee with the Argentina Partnership

The following Wednesday I traveled to Buenos Aires to meet up with US pastors from the Argentina Partnership: Ray Duran, John Aureli and his intern Julio Regla. It was great to see them and so encouraging. They have been extremely supportive of our venture into Argentina, and besides that they are really great guys. Then Karina finally arrived Friday and my joy was complete! Six weeks apart is a long time!

File May 03, 11 38 29 PM                          Teaching at the Viña La Ferrere ordination service

Anyway, last year at this time there were no Vineyard churches in Argentina. As of this week there are three! That same Friday we ordained pastor Cristian Mansilla and his wife Mabel from the city of La Ferrere in Buenos Aires province, then Saturday we traveled to the province of Entre Rios and ordained pastor Ezequiel Ferreira and his wife Gisela. It was an awesome time getting to meet them and their churches in person. We did a lot of teaching and ministry and it was a great blessing for them and for us.

          File May 03, 11 35 58 PM                     The pastors from the 3 Viña churches in Argentina (Missing Gisela Ferreyra)

I believe 2018 is a big year for the Gospel in Argentina and I am excited for the part the Vineyard gets to play. Now in Mendoza we need to get started! Up until now we’ve just been getting settled in and organized, and we still have plenty of that to do but we have the rest of our lives to do it.

Please pray the Lord will give us wisdom and discernment on how to begin reaching out to people. Please also pray for a couple or a few people that can come alongside us and be partners in helping get this thing off the ground. Also for work opportunities for Karina and myself.

Thank you all for your prayers and support! God bless you.


Our Container Has Arrived

MSC_ANZUAs I write this, the container has finally arrived in Mendoza and Monday the paperwork will be presented to Customs. (Pictured is the actual ship, but not the actual voyage.)

But that’s not the only thing that arrived. Our baby grandson, Chael, arrived early Saturday morning! Lisa and baby are doing great.

Baby ChaelProbably the cutest baby I have ever seen, and he was huge – 8lbs 11 oz!

So we are praying that we won’t have any trouble with Customs, especially since Karina is not here and everything is in her name. And we’ve already been warned there could be trouble, so we pray for favor. If everything goes smoothly we could have furniture by Wednesday! Certain of our friends will be glad to hear that we hired a moving company to unload it, and thank you to Franklin Vineyard for donating the cost! But the wait finally appears to be over.

So please pray for us. Since I last wrote I am still painting and fixing things in the house all day long, trying to get as much done as I can before the furniture comes. Karina will be flying back in two weeks. It will be so good to have her back!

Anyway, blessings to you all,



Two Months

mendoza 21Downtown Mendoza, sidewalk café

Today marks two months since we arrived in Mendoza. It seems like forever, because a lot of things have happened since then:

  • We stayed in a rented apartment for the first month and spent our days getting paperwork done government offices, walking a lot and learning the bus system
  • Our furniture was finally picked up and our friends in Franklin did an amazing job loading up the container
  • Our house in Franklin finally sold
  • We spent the first two weeks of March living at people’s homes and a hotel
  • We visited five different churches, and they were all very nice
  • Karina left to go back to the US due to the birth of our grandson
  • We bought a house (the day after she left)
  • Mark moved into the house and is camping out until our furniture arrives
  • Mark’s sister and brother in law spent a week helping him fix things in the house, clean and paint (it had been vacant for almost 2 years)

It’s been a very eventful time. Not to mention the setbacks, disappointments, and emotional ups and downs we went through during that time. But God’s timing is always perfect and he came though in every situation.

File Apr 01, 12 32 06 AMPainting the house

So what does April hold in store for us?

Lord willing our grandson will finally be born. Our furniture should finally arrive on the 10th or 11th. Mark should finally get his ID card so he can open a bank account, get a cell phone number and a drivers license, among other things.

We have a meeting at the end of the month in Buenos Aires with three US pastors from the Argentina Partnership and members of 2 other Argentine churches soon to become Vineyards. It will be great to meet these people in person, and one of them, Cristian, who is leading a church in his home, is going to be ordained that weekend. We will be visiting those two churches as well. And it will be great to be able to hang with some Vineyard folks from the US!

As far as the church planting business, it’s sort of hard to start a church when there’s just one of you, but of course that’s what Jesus did, so I’m keeping my eyes out for opportunities with people. I’ve met and chatted with quite a few people in the neighborhood and the current plan is to start up a meeting in a nearby coffee shop and invite people to “a group of people having conversations about God”. I think in May when Karina gets back we will begin to be a bit more proactive. We do have a list of people we are praying for and the list gets longer and longer.

File Apr 01, 12 33 19 AMMy brother in law, Alberto, hard at work

So two months in, I really miss the US and our home church and Franklin and our friends. But Mendoza is beautiful and we love the city, and after meeting so many “Mendocinos” I realize why God loves them so much and wants them to be part of His Kingdom.

Blessings and Happy Easter!