The church in Paso Flores
A little over 60 years ago, 80 Christian Germans immigrated to Patagonia, Argentina. There they built the farm Paso Flores, but during the first 20 years, some of the people moved to other places in Argentina or to neighboring countries, while others returned to Germany. About 30 believers remained, and God answered their prayers in 1988 when Fritz Holzwarth from Germany visited the colony. They sensed their need to live a Godly life, but they were not able to obey God’s Word as it was written. Holzwarth came with help for them; he preached the gospel about following Jesus and overcoming all sin.
In the southern hemisphere, there are nine young people from Scandinavia, and together with three South-Americans, they are part of the YEP’s foreign exchange, sent to Argentina to, among other things, help build a new conference center.
Einar Gangsö from Lahti, Finland and Vincent Camilo Gangsø from Oslo, Norway are among those who had the opportunity to travel to South America. They now live in an apartment in Paso Flores, which was originally a German colony in Rio Negro, Patagonia.
“This is a unique opportunity,” says Einar, who is a certified plumber, and smiles to his work partner Camilo. Camilo is an apprentice plumber, and is gaining a lot of experience during this building project. When asked if they miss anything from home, they quickly respond “no,” but then they think a little and one of them replies, “…well, they don’t have kebabs here.”
‘When Einar starts speaking Finnish to me in his sleep, I notice things are different here,” laughs Camilo, and continues by saying that he is really enjoying being with the Argentinians and the rest of the young people from YEP. Einar spends a lot of his free time staying in touch with friends from home and from all over, but he has also made himself at home here. The young people stay active by playing soccer and volleyball as well as by taking horseback rides and excursions from time to time.
Fellowship wherever you are
Every other Wednesday they go with a group from YEP to the nearest town, Bariloche, which is just over two hours from Paso Flores. There they have meetings and other activities with two boys from Paso Flores who are studying there. The group has also visited Buenos Aires, Chile and Brazil, to strengthen the bonds of fellowship with the friends and churches there. Camilo is excited that the fellowship is the same wherever you are, because we are members of the same body – the body of Christ – as long as we have laid hold of faith in a life of victory over all conscious sin.
Together, Einar and Camilo make up “Team Gangsø.” They are responsible for all the plumbing for the project and are thriving in this task. The new conference center will have five toilets and two showers, in addition to the kitchen facilities, so Team Gangsø has plenty to do. When it is completed, the center will offer many other facilities including 42 beds, a meeting hall that can seat 300 people, and a coffee bar that will be a delight for young and old. The project is mainly financed through donations from local fellowships all over the world, which are distributed from Brunstad Christian Church central.