Our Privilege to Serve
Every week Dawn and I meet with a number of pastors as close as Tijuana and as far as the Big Island. Those that live far away we meet online, and those that are close we can see face to face.
I’m always amazed by our time with these men and women who’ve chosen to sacrifice to serve the Lord. It’s a privilege for us to coach, mentor and encourage the leaders that we work with. Most of the time we feel invigorated after meeting with these friends who have become like family to us. They often refer to Dawn and me as dad and mom, and we love the relationships that the Lord gives us with them.
Pastor Uriel and Arely Garcia
This last week we met with Pastor Uriel and Arely Garcia who are planting a church in Rosarito, which is South of Tijuana. This church is in the community of Ramos 2 just a few miles away from the church we just built this summer in my parents memory in Lomas Altas.
The church that the Garcia’s are ministering in we helped start 5 years ago. The church has faced tremendous opposition. The day after we inaugurated the church in Ramos 2 our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. I must confess that I don’t fully comprehend how spiritual warfare plays out, but I do know that Satan doesn’t like what we are doing and he will doing anything he can to deter us and discourage us from continuing. I also know that we are in a battle and that our battle is not with flesh and blood.
The first pastoral couple that were called to start the church left the church within a year. Until Pastor Uriel stepped in the church was struggling to survive.
Uriel told Dawn and me that the day after they accepted the call to pastor in the community of Ramos 2 in Rosarito that he was involved in a terrible car accident. He broke his arm and other family members who were in the car with him were also hurt.
Despite all the obstacles Pastor Uriel and his wife, Arely have been faithful to reach out in the community. It hasn’t been easy and they haven’t always been received well as they’ve shared the gospel in the neighborhood surrounding the church. In fact, one day when they were out sharing their faith one of the neighbors got mad at them and the woman of the house brought out a pistol and threatened Uriel and told them to leave.
God is using the García family as they show the love of Christ to the people that live in Ramos 2. On Saturday’s they’ve been having fun activities and Bible stories for the children and this has begun to open the door to the families.
God is building his church!
It’s a real privilege to see the humility and the dedication in Pastor Uriel. He is a bi-vocational church planter, which means he has another job that supports his family. They are very busy working as pastors and fulfilling his other responsibilities.
The families that live in the community where Uriel and Arely are ministering are poor. They struggle to survive. Many of the the children are malnourished and they aren’t doing well in school. Arely told us that she has been learning from Sol who ministers at another church that we helped start nearby. Sol has is a Master’s in Education and Psychology, so she is a great resource to Arely.
God is bringing light into the darkness!
Extend Your Hands to Help!
You can help by praying for Uriel and Arely as they reach out and show the love of Christ in the community of Ramos 2. You can also give a gift, extend your hands to help these families who are in need.
There are also other needs as I’ve shared in previous posts about the crisis on the Big Island. Our familia is suffering due to the scarcity of food, basic needs and medicine. You can read more about those needs here…
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In His Grip, Dave