Sunday, September 24, 2006

3 years in Valencia

July 2003 was the beginning of the church in Valencia, State Carabobo, Venezuela. During the first month services were held 3 times a day Monday through Friday so by the end of that time the church consisted of 6 new members plus Nino and Chela. A couple of months later Gustavo, pictured to the left moved with his family and Nino moved back to Barinas. Since that time 22 have been baptized in all--8 have fallen away and 5 have moved away, so with Gustavo's family of 5 they number 12-14. Most of this growth has occurred in the last 6 months so things are progressing.

Another exciting development is the beginning of a second church in another area of Valencia, a city of 1.5 million people. A few months ago a man showed up with his wife and son at services. It turns out he was a Christian but had fallen away. In fact, he had taught some 20 others and the whole church had been scattered--some back to the world, some to the denominations. Out of this group of Gypsys (Roma I think they call themselves) a church has begun meeting again, 14-17 in number. They are excited about serving God and thankful that Gustavo is there to teach and encourage them. The downtown church meets Sunday morning while the other meets Sunday afternoon. One meets on Wed. night while the other meets on Thur. night.

Are there any prospects for growth in other countries? I don't know many places where you can go from 0 to 28, with only 5 moving in, in 3 years.


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