Newsletters Church Planting

Church Planting: San Miguel, El Salvador

New Church Plants 20/20

GCLA announced a year ago about new church plants in the Hispanic world. Since then we have been supporting the church plants in Bogotá Colombia, Oaxaca México, Valle de Angeles Honduras and we are about the send the team to plant the church in San Miguel, El Salvador.

Giovanni Bonilla is 35 years old. He is part of a new crop of leaders in Latin America who are deeply committed to obey the great commission.  together with his wife Susana and two young kids, will be moving November 1st 2019. Gio, as we call him, is a college graduate with a Master on finances. He is giving up his professional career to pursue serving God and proclaiming the Gospel.

San Miguel is a town located 3 hours East of San Salvador, with 300,000 people, a business and production hub near the Pacific coast. There are five universities, and Gio and team hope to reach students and faculty as part of the initial core team.

Gio was trained in the local church. He has served as a Worship Leader, part of the teaching team, has attended the courses at the Leadership Training Institute, and was part of those trained at the Church Planter Workshop. He speaks English, and has a beautiful way to celebrate others. When you come in the presence of Gio he will always clap and whistle and even looks star-struck making feel good old and youth, locals and foreigners, Christian and non-believers welcome at all times.

We ask for your prayers as he begins this new initiative. We are confident that God is going to use Gio to transform lives in Christ in San Miguel, El Salvador. We also invite our sister churches in the US to mobilize mission teams to come along the planting team to become part of this great commission.

Pastor Sergio Handal visita IGC Valencia, VE

El éxodo de Venezuela: crece cada día. Gobierno de Venezuela niega que está enfrentando una crisis migratoria. Brasil puede limitar a los venezolanos que cruzan la frontera norte: Temer

Los grupos de ayuda se tensan a medida que la crisis de refugiados venezolanos se desborda. La iglesia de Valencia es un faro de luz en medio de la crisis. Artículo escrito por Sergio Handal

Muchas noticias se escuchan de Venezuela en el exterior. Pero nada es mas útil, para darse cuenta de lo que realmente sucede, que visitar el pais. Y eso fue lo que hicimos. Después de ser una de las naciones con mayor crecimiento de America Latina, y después de casi veinte años de socialismo, Venezuela es un país en ruinas. Millones de personas han salido huyendo del país en calidad de refugiados, las empresas están quebradas, el aparato productivo del país es de solo un 18% según la OEA, la criminalidad ha alcanzado cifras mas que alarmantes, el transporte ha colapsado en casi todo el territorio, la producción de petróleo se ha venido abajo por la incapacidad del gobierno para administrar. Solo se puede decir que lo de Venezuela es una catástrofe humanitaria. Pero en medio de esta desolación y del ambiente adverso, la iglesia de Valencia esta creciendo en Venezuela. En el mes de julio tuvimos un retiro espiritual  de 400 personas, aun cuando casi un 40% de los jóvenes de la iglesia han salido huyendo del país. Los grupos de crecimiento crecen llenos de entusiasmo. La iglesia se ha convertido en un faro de luz en medio de la oscuridad reinante.

“If we can win the university today, we will win the world tomorrow.”  

Dr Bill Bright (Founder of Campus Crusade)

I concur with Dr. Bright’s words

College students are living and learning at the crossroads of ideas that ultimately shape the direction of the world, reason that they can become the most influential and powerful shapers of tomorrow.

The two most important developmental windows in a person’s life come between ages 0-5 and 18-25.  College years are the most vital window for instilling church planting into the lives of individuals. If engaged in a church plant during college, students see church planting as normative for Christians.

Carlos Lagos
Church planter in Heredia’s university

H@ngout – a college church plant

Over four years ago, Carlos Lagos, leader in the college ministry of the GCLA church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, moved to San Jose, Costa Rica, to assist in the planting of a GCLA church in that city.Through firsthand experience, Carlos learned the basics of church planting, and this year made a leap of faith to plant the church in Heredia, a college town with the largest concentration of colleges in the country. 

The public university in Heredia has over 19,000 students of which 80% are from rural areas.
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Heredia’s university church plant strategy is simple:

  1. Concentrate Gospel outreach efforts in areas of the university that students frequently visit, and create spaces to build personal relationships through service
  2. Develop communities of friends who share life-changing spiritual experiences and live out their faith in ways that inspire others to join them
  3. Micro-multiplication – making disciples of Christ one person at a time
H@ngout promo video
In January of 2018, Carlos Lagos started a Bible study with new believers in an outdoors students hangout spot at the university. In the Spring, with the assistance of U.S. short-term mission teams, the Bible study grew, leading to its first public outdoors service in June with 70 students in attendance. Since it’s the rainy season in Costa Rica, Carlos is looking for a house near the university that would serve as a hangout place for students to have spiritual conversations while enjoying a “cup of joe” in a relaxing ambience.

Join me in praying for Carlos and his church planting team as they embark on reaching students with the Gospel and building a disciple-making culture.

Nelson Guerra, GCLA’s Founder & Director