I enjoyed very good fellowship with the other speakers at a conference a while back. Glen and Debbie are veterans of eight church plants in the former Soviet Union. They are now moving to the border area of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to begin a church and orphanage. Jorge is on his second Spanish-language church plant in the USA. Their wisdom and insights are tremendous, and I am very grateful to the Lord for putting us together.
I was encouraged to hear how the Lord used them to reach “hard cases.” The gospel is still the power of God unto salvation. So much “church growth” is a transfer of Christians from other churches. That may be good and right in some situations, but it isn’t Great Commission fulfillment.
One of the first people Glen led to Christ was his Jehovah’s Witness Russian language teacher. He asked to use the Bible as one of the textbooks, and she soon responded to the Holy Spirit and the gospel message. Jorge told about Elvys, a former gang member from El Salvador. He was a poster child for violent crime, but the Lord saved him, Jorge discipled him, and he now pastors the church Jorge started eight years ago in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I was encouraged, too, by their trust in the Lord in the face of challenges. Haiti was a rough place before the earthquake, and it is out of control in many places. Because they plan to work in a border town near the Dominican Republic, Glen and his family will eventually have the formidable task of learning two new languages, Haitian Creole and Spanish. Jorge left the believers at the first church with a building, a well-prepared pastor and $40,000 in the bank. He and his family began the second church under a tree in a park with “nothing” but the Lord. Of course He is everything!
Please pray for them, for yourself and for us that we would all walk worthy of the Lord today and fulfill our God-given callings. Others are walking with God, so may we!