Latin America

New Planter Spotlight: Eduardo Faria

The Faria Family

The Faria Family

Eduawrdo Faria

Eduawrdo Faria

EDUARDO FARIA IS THE THE HEAD PASTOR FOR IGREJA PRESBITERIANA DE IPANEMA IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. WE ARE HONORED TO PARTNER WITH HIM AND THE CHURCH COMMUNITY BEGINNING IN 2018.

How have you seen God working in your life?

I believe that God is working in my life by making clear that he is the one in charge of the church plant. I came to a point where being a child of God is enough for me, regardless of my performance. That frees me to do my best and leave the results to God. My confidence and strength are in him! In one hand, that demands the best of me, on the other hand, that makes me confident that he will accomplish whatever he wants in that sense. All of that freed me from the need of people's approval and, at the same time, I want to serve people not for their approval, but for the sake of the kingdom.

How have you seen God working in your family?

First of all, I think it’s important to say that my family feel as called as me to plant this church. My wife and daughter believe that God wants us to be involved in this ministry, and this changes everything. At the same time, we have a deep conviction that planting a church is not ultimate, the glory of God is ultimate, and he will be glorified by the planting of this church. He will also be glorified by a family deeply rooted in His will, so we, as a family, will do our best to plant the church, but we will not sacrifice our health at the altar of church planting. That frees us to work hard without being consumed by the results. We also, as a family, are free to find our meaning in God.

How have you seen God working in your church?

I felt called to plant a church a little while after being called into ministry. Since the very begining, I was sure I was going to serve God as a missionary-pastor, but the specific field of ministry wasn’t clear yet. When I was around 20 years old, a team from SEPAL (a missionary organization, stands for “Serving Pastors and Leaders") came to my town to teach on the importance of planting new churches as the most effective evangelistic method. On that occasion, it became clear to me that I was going to be a church planter. From that moment on, I started shaping my ministerial formation towards that direction, reading books about it and participating in conferences on the subject.

After being ordained, I pastored two established churches, which, combined with the time I worked at a church that had just recently been planted (Chácara Primavera), formed a period during which God provided me with the tools for the task of planting a church.

In February of 2017, Reverend Haveraldo Vargas Jr., president of the Presbytery of Rio de Janeiro and pastor of the Américas Presbyterian Church, challenged me to plant a church in Ipanema region. At that moment, I noticed the good and providential hand of God guiding me towards ministry purposes that He Himself had designed. After talking to Rev. Haveraldo, I sought confirmation through much prayer, talking to my wife, and listening to advices from wiser and more experienced pastors. In addition to that, I underwent the process of Church Planter Assessment (undertaken by CTPI), whose report concluded that I’ve got medium-high potential to be a church planter (second highest score, only below “high potential”). All of those confirmations made me sure and willing to plant a church in Ipanema.

Church Mission

Share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people, love them and be their agent of reconciliation with God, being biblically faithful and culturally relevant.

Church Vision

To be a missional church, acknowledged by the faithful preaching of the gospel, promoting righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and the planting of new churches.


If you would like to reach out to Eduardo, you can visit the church's website at www.igrejadeipanema.com.br

New Planter Spotlight: Sigolf Greuel

Sigolf Gruel and his wife

Sigolf Gruel and his wife

Sigolf Greuel IS THE THE HEAD PASTOR FOR Comunidade Encontro in Santa Catarina, Brazil. WE ARE HONORED TO PARTNER WITH HIM AND THE CHURCH COMMUNITY BEGINNING IN 2018.

How have you seen God working in your life?

I see God acting and shaping my character through his Word: through the word I read and study, but also the word I preach and share with people. God's word is transforming me and making me more aware and sensitive to people, and giving me a more missional heart. My deepest desire is to become a better person, through the Word of God.

How have you seen God working in your family?

I see clearly God leading our family and approaching us one from another, building solid love bonds between us. Different experiences of life, some of suffering, has been used by God with this purpose in our family. We have been seeking to learn and to trust in the Lord, even in the suffering experiences. And having the whole family committed with Christ and his mission is a blessing!

How have you seen God working in your church?

The short history of Comunidade Encontro is an eloquent testimony of God's acting. In only two and a half years, we have already consolidated ourselves as a congregation. New people coming every week, and many of them becoming disciples of Jesus are another clear sign of God's action among us. Lives are being transformed. Also the way everything happened to set the new project Encontro Ilha, the base group and the partnerships, shows us that God is acting among us and in the control of everything.

Church Mission & Vision

Encontro is a contemporary christian congregation that cares about people and provides opportunities for meaningful relationships with Jesus and with others, acting with societal relevance.

Visão:
To be a referencial of christian congregation, multi-located, planter of new communities, communicating the Gospel of Jesus with boldness, excellence and creativity.


If you would like to reach out to Sigolf, you can visit the church's website at www.encontro.org.

Spotlight: Alfredo Forhans & Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos, Holguin

Alfredo Forhans

Alfredo Forhans

The Forhans Family

The Forhans Family

We are excited to partner with Alfredo Forhans and support Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos in Holguin, Cuba. Please keep Alfredo and his family in your prayers.

What are the names of your family members?

Dainel Pifferrer is my wife and we have three children, Juan, Rebecca and Laritza. We have one son-in-law, Hennyer and a grandson, Allen.

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

I was born in the city of Holguin, Cuba. The church is in the center of the city of Holguin.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

In fact it was a process, as such I found myself pastoring in a very traditional and legalistic church. It was after a crisis in the ministry in that church, mainly due to legalism, that we requested to leave. We were encouraged to move to the city of Holguin to do church planting work. To tell the truth, we had no idea what we were going to do, since we had never worked in church planting before. Being in the city of Holguin, God began to move our hearts towards the work of planting, and with it, the vision and philosophy of how we were going to do it started to show up. The current location of the church was decided after a first attempt in the outskirts of the city. We realized that if we wanted to impact the city with the gospel we should move to strategic areas where we had a greater reach to the community.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

Cuba is a very syncretistic country both culturally and religiously. It can be said that the Cuban people now live in a kind of pragmatism mixed with much uncertainty and search for answers to their many concerns. It is a culture open to teaching and willing to learn. The most common gospel alternative in the Cuban context is heavily influenced by neo-Pentecostal movements with a strong legalistic emphasis. There are hardly any churches preaching the gospel of the grace of God. That is why our church focuses on preaching and extending the gospel of God's grace, opening a dialogue with the culture that allows us to interact with their concerns and present the gospel alternative, in fact this is our core value.

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

The most difficult situation was in the beginning of the work. Among the greatest difficulties was that I had never had previous experience in planting. On the other hand, we did not have formed leadership. We arrived alone to the city of Holguín, so we had to start from scratch. Another difficulty was the economy. We did not have any financial resources to do much. Then God began to reach out to friends, to whom we presented the gospel, and these came eventually to be the leading leaders we have today. Also during economic scarcity, God opened doors, one of them being the beloved church of SRC, who generously supported us and made strategic investments for the development of the work in Holguin.

Tell us about how you have seen God working.

God has being at work wonderfully by giving us friends, very special people whom his grace brought to salvation. Then we trained them, and they became the main leaders in the work of Holguin. Interestingly these friends, not only have a wonderful job in their leadership in Holguin, many of them have a very important leadership role in the movement of the gospel that God has raised in Cuba.

If there are any other stories or information you would like to share, please do so here.

Something interesting in this planting process, which I call it the story of God's love and faithfulness: When we started planting, we had no idea what God would be doing in the future. No one can say that this was a human strategy, rather it always was and still is a good plan of God. He has given the vision and the passion. God has provided friends, changed hearts, provided the necessary resources. In short, I can only say humbly, that we have followed the call of God, and he has been doing everything for us. We ask for humility and strength to follow. God bless all of you friends. A big hug from Cuba.

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • We ask for renewed wisdom and new strengths to move forward.
  • For the new generation of leaders we are working with right now.
  • Also pray for the advance of the gospel on in our nation.

If you would like to reach out to Alfredo, you can visit the church's website at http://lospinos.cubava.cu/.

Street Evangelism in Brazil

Street Evangelism in Rio de Janeiro

In September, which is the beginning of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, our church and a group from Youth with a Mission, went to the street to share the gospel. We wanted to do something creative and at the same time keep the essence of the proclamation of the gospel. We set up a small stand with flowers and we started giving flowers to people and reading small poems about hope to them. That opened up the conversation and that's when we shared about The GREATEST hope, The GREATEST change - Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It was a great experience. We were in a famous square in our neighborhood. For many of us this was the first time we did this kind of evangelism. We really enjoyed it.

Thank you for your partnership.

Felipe Telles

Igreja Presbiteriana Raizes

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Check out our video from that day!

News from Cuba

SRC Friends,

During my trip to Cuba in mid January, I had interesting conversations with leaders regarding US-Cuba relations. Read some brief descriptions of what we discovered in the newsletter below. (click on the link below)

Pray that God will continue to lead these leaders as new opportunities and possible threats affect their ministry.

Allen

J. Allen Thompson, PhD

Cuba Newsletter 2015
Cuba Newsletter 2015