Dear Family and Friends,
We have several new efforts underway for this coming year in our ministry to plant churches among Hispanics across the Americas. I’d like to share two of them with you in this newsletter. The first is in Northwest Mexico, specifically Baja California and Mexicali. Our Field Coordinator in Central Mexico, Paco Damian, has been developing a plan for ministry in this region alongside a local pastor in Rosarito (Gonzalo Gonzalez) we have worked with for many years. They have been identifying communities to evangelize and start home groups in as well as planning our first Pastor’s Retreat in Baja. The retreat will be in May of this year with a goal of attracting 30-50 pastors to encourage them, bring training on important issues such as ministry to families and discipleship, and cast vision for church planting. Our Field Coordinator from Argentina, Eduardo Buldain, will be the key speaker.
Baja California is 72% Catholic, 12% Evangelical/Protestant and 16% undeclared. These statistics illustrate the enormous opportunity to plant evangelical churches in the five main cities in the region – Tijuana, Rosarito, Tecate, Ensenada and Mexicali. These five cities represent over 3 million people! We have another opportunity in addition to planting churches here. There are 300,000 to 400,000 deportees annually from the United States and many of these pass through Tijuana, creating a unique ministry to displaced people. This hasn’t yet been adequately explored.
The second effort is in El Salvador. In March Ricardo Ayala (Field Coordinator – Chicago) and I will be in San Salvador to conduct the first of several Discipleship Training Seminars. We have been invited by an influential group of pastors in the capital to increase their effectiveness in making disciples. I hope to also visit with a pastor working in Santa Ana to see if there is more for us to do in this country.
Both of these examples illustrate how HFC is a “church planting network.” Our Field Coordinators based in various countries throughout the Americas come together to support each other’s efforts to make disciples, gather them into home groups and grow them into independent churches. Thanks for being a part of this “network”!