Renuevo – A Church Plant to Renew Center City Ensenada
We are super excited about the new church planting project in Ensenada that we are launching this year! The city of Ensenada, México has a population of about 500,000. It lies 78 miles south of San Diego. It is known locally as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential.
Ensenada consists of 65.7% professing Roman Catholics although by experience we can say that they are nominal Catholics, not practicing by conviction. There is only one Presbyterian church in the city. There is a huge need for gospel-centered churches to be planted in this city.
In fact, the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico considers this part of Mexico a mission field, since only 2% of all the churches in the country are in the north. The NPC is seeking to start churches in 10 cities in 10 years, with Ensenada being one of these cities due to its importance (size, modernity, and urgent need). Ensenada is a port city with commercial routes that link it to other cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Panama, Lima, Yokohama and Hong Kong.
Ensenada is also an important port for fishing, tourism and military bases. Currently, Ensenada is the city with the most scientists per capita in Mexico and was recently declared a City of Knowledge. Ensenada has a variety of cultural, scientific and artistic institutions.
The city of Ensenada is a city with many large neighborhoods and there is a need to plant a church and start a regional movement of church planting in the city and in the state of Baja California. Thus, the work in Ensenada is intended to start a movement of urban reformed churches, and of leaders for the transformation of cities.
The target area for the church plant is in a neighborhood called Zona Centro in the center of the city, near where many professional people live and work. The church planter and his wife already have connections in this area, as this is where they work.
With these characteristics and with this population, it is urgent that Ensenada be reached by the gospel. As Tim Keller says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. (“Why Plant Churches” article by Tim Keller, 2002)
Through the planting of a new church, we want to bring the gospel to the non-Christian professional populace, most of whom distrust religions and established churches. They need a place where friendship, preaching the gospel and the worship of God is promoted. The people of Ensenada consider it important to be cultured and educated in art, music, and the sciences, but they need to know the gospel in order to teach their spirits and to worship the God of all creation. It is our dream that we can take the first steps toward this goal in 2016.
The church planter is Jesús (Petri) A. Petrikowsky along with his wife, Yudy Bernal de Petrikowski. Petri and Yudy were invited to the Church Planting Assessment Workshop in Tijuana in 2015 sponsored by the Church Planting Center of the National Presbyterian Church. Petri was unanimously identified as the best candidate to plant this new church. Since he and his wife are both working professionals in Zona Central, they are uniquely gifted to minister to this population. Also, because they will be working bivocationally, the needed funds are significantly lower than most projects.
They currently work in the ministry of the New Jerusalem Presbyterian Church in Ensenada, Mexico. Petri is a church elder, and together with Yudy, they are responsible for the area of education, and also community service. Petri is a professor of secondary education in the government and in a private school. He studied Mathematics at the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of Baja California; Spanish Language in the Benemérita State Normal School and Theology at Miami International Seminary.
Join Us In Prayer!
We’d love to have your prayer support. We are looking for churches and individuals to partner together with us in prayer and financially towards seeing a new city center church plant in Ensenada, Baja California.
Paraphrasing the words of the Macedonian man in Acts 16:9b, we say “Come to Mexico and help us!”
In His Grip, Dave