Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bolivia Home Run

What happens when a pro baseball player hits 12 for 12? Bats 1000? He gets lots of attention, and if he keeps it up he gets a big raise!

What happens when God enables a church to bat 1000?

Pastor Gary Willett asked me to speak his weekend (10/21-22/06) at Potomac Heights Baptist Church in Indian Head, Maryland. Pastor Gary and many in their church have been with us to Bolivia. In fact, they are the first church to adopt Bolivia as one of their strategic missions projects.

I asked Pastor Enzo Saavedra, our Bolivia e3 leader, to check back with all the new churches PHBC members have worked with during their 3 campaigns.

What Pastor Enzo learned astonished me, and also challenged me to continue to develop the work in Bolivia. God enabled them to bat 1000! Here are the stats—

12 -- New churches planted by PHBC members
12 -- Areas still active! (although one has moved to another location)
44 -- Average attendance
150-180 -- Attendance at largest new work
10 -- Attendance at smallest new work

I’d call this a spiritual “home run.” But not a “Grand Slam.” For in addition to this great news there also is sobering news to share. One area has kept going, but experienced a split. Another area continues even though the pastor moved to Spain to find work. Many are experiencing difficult economic conditions. Several are looking for new places to meet because they have outgrown the home or other place where they meet. All need more encouragement and equipping to continue to reach out to their communities.

--Please pray for the God to strengthen the leaders and churches with whom we have worked.

On Saturday we teach their ministry leaders our First Steps church planting curriculum. While they plan to focus on planting churches in Bolivia, Pastor Gary wanted their leaders to learn the ministry multiplication principles in First Steps. Then on Sunday I’ll be sharing this glorious good news with the congregation. Please pray:

--For God to multiply ministry as He challenges His leaders at PHBC
--For God to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” through these sessions (Eph 4)
--For God to raise up more laborers, prayer warriors and financial partners for the work in Bolivia

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