An evangelistic series sparks the beginning of a new congregation in a difficult town.
Mission Projects International director Mike Bauler, accompanied by his daughter Hannah (Isabel) and her friend Hannah, recently traveled to Buenavista, Colombia for a special church-planting project.
Buenavista, known for its “good view” of the Andes Mountains on one side and the Maravelez Valley on the other, is a strongly Catholic town in the corner of a coffee growing region of Colombia. Local Adventists have struggled over the last 20 years to plant a church in this town. About six years ago Fundación Las Delicias began helping with witnessing endeavors. Students and ministry staff visited Buenavista, making contacts by selling bread, giving English classes and offering lifestyle education and health treatments. This gave us the opportunity to make friends in the community and begin offering Bible studies. As the interest grew, we saw that the time was right to move forward with the church-planting effort.
Mike came to present an evangelistic series from June 16 through 21. We had eleven consistent visitors each night, with as many as 21 visitors on some evenings. Isabel and Hannah held meetings for 16 to 20 children each night, teaching them Bible songs, telling Bible stories, playing Bible games and doing crafts. Many special children and adult visitors attended the meetings. Among them were Juana, Edilberto and Michael.
Several years ago, Juana began to worry about her eldest son. In his adolescent years, he always seemed to be looking for amusements and trouble and avoiding the simplicity of their humble home. Juana wasn’t looking for God, but she decided to try attending the local Pentecostal church in an attempt to help her son. While he was not interested in spiritual things, Juana became a Christian. She began attending the Pentecostal church faithfully and accepted Christian principles for living. Her younger son, Michael, attended church with her and is a kind, caring ten-year-old interested in spiritual things.
Juana’s husband, Edilberto, was an alcoholic. He went to the bars on the weekends and drank away his week’s earnings. Juana faithfully prayed for him every day. Michael didn’t like to see his father drunk, either and he encouraged his dad to quit. Little by little, by the encouragement and prayers of his wife and son, Edilberto quit smoking and drinking. He was still reluctant to embrace religion, but Juana knew that God was working in his heart.
The family moved to Buenavista where Juana continued to seek the Lord. Juana met Andrés Marin, a health and Bible worker for Fundación Las Delicias, in Buenavista. Andrés invited Juana and her family to the meetings. Surprisingly, even Edilberto decided to attend with his wife and son.
Juana shared her story with us and said that she was really enjoying the meetings. “You teach me the Bible as it is, and how to study it,” she remarked. “I don’t know of any other church that sticks so faithfully to what the Bible says. I want to attend your church, and I want my family to be baptized.” God heard Juana’s prayers and continued to work in her husband’s heart. At the end of the week, Juana, along with her husband and son Michael, made the decision to become Seventh-day Adventists. On Saturday evening, the three of them were baptized. Juana is determined to continue praying for her older son who is now 23.
The evangelistic series may be over, but a new chapter has begun in Buenavista. We have acquired a building and a small church is worshipping there on Sabbaths. We have 12 contacts studying with us and some that desire to prepare for baptism. Please pray for Juana and her family, and that many more souls will be reached for Christ in Buenavista.
Daniel and Kelly Miranda are volunteers at Fundación Las Delicias, a self-supporting ministry equipping youth for ministry in Bible work, health, and agriculture. Fifty students, accompanied by staff, go into the surrounding communities, like Buenavista, on a weekly basis to give Bible studies and health education.
How You Can Help
Pray for the new church in Buenavista that they will be a light in this small town. Pray for those who were recently baptized.
Donate. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible Workers reach more people in Colombia mark your donations “Colombia Workers,” and send it to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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