Dear praying friends:
The last couple of months have been full of blessings for our church, and for our family. We have started 2018 with much gratitude, as we reflect on God´s strength to keep us here in Santa Ana for the last ten years. Right now, we are in the midst of a transition that will have a great impact on the future of Iglesia Bautista Central.
Ever since the church started in 2008, we have been praying for land. However, when the church began, buying land was not the priority. We wanted to be used of God to produce a faithful group of believers, who were going to depend on God for their needs. Over the last three years, we have been able to save some money towards this project. A good portion of this money has come from the tithes and offerings of the church members.
The building that we have been renting over the last six years has been a great blessing. However, we realized that if we moved to a less expensive, and less comfortable, location, we could save enough money to buy an ideal plot of land sometime in 2019. After much prayer, I presented the proposal to the church, and they were excited with the idea of having their own place by next year. God led us to this decision, without knowing where we would have services in the meantime. By His Grace, He placed in the heart of one of the church members to let us use part of his home (which has lots of space) to have our services.
It is exciting to see how God pieces things together. The church is very close to being self-sustaining. There is a good group that gives faithfully to the Lord’s work. Once we start building, it looks like several of the men have lots of experience in construction work. Also, the church is close to being self-governing. We are praying about ordaining one of our Bible institute graduates (Mauricio Escobar) as a pastor, later this year. If the Lord permits, and these things fall into place, from this stable church we can start planting other stable churches. All of this is miraculous, when we consider that we work in a city that is not yet “white for the harvest.”
The house where we will be having our services is only about two miles away from the previous location. It is located in an area that we have heavily canvassed since the church started. Please pray for the people of this neighborhood (San Miguelito), that the Lord would allow us to see fruit that remains. Please also pray for wisdom for all of the church´s soul-winners and disciplers.
Our children have caught the excitement of these changes at the church. Rosa, 13, has been very involved in brainstorming ideas for how to make the church transition a smooth one. She is creative, and often helps us think “outside the box” in how to accomplish our goals. While Caleb does not like change, we feel we´ve explained things well to him. Joshua has only ever known this particular church building we have been renting. We are trying to involve them in this process so they can see how God takes care of his children who are trusting in Him. We pray this will be a time frame that they always remember, as one that God guided us through.