Making Disciples of All Nations

Classes at Seminario Concordia El Reformador in Palmar Arriba, a Santiago suburb, begin next week, but almost all of the students have already arrived from their respective home countries. Thursday evening, I had the unique opportunity to accompany them on "visits." The concept was totally new to me, but it's a regular part of what these guys - who are being trained to be church planters by church planters - do. We divided into four groups of 3 and were each given a list of 3-4 homes in our target community, Licey, to visit. I was with Marcelo and Mario, the two students from the furthest away (Chile and Spain, respectively). Talk about making disciples of all nations!

The "order" for a visit is as follows:
Bible reading (in our case, Psalm 32)
Invitation to worship

Stop #1: Críspulo & Negra

Críspulo & Negra are the parents of Yban (the vicar at our Lutheran church plant in Licey). They've been together for 41 years but were never married. That's changing come December, though!

Marcelo, Críspulo, Mario, and I. 

Críspulo walking us back to the main road, where we awaited our ride to our next stop.

Stop #2: Justina

Justina lives across the street from the original Licey church building (the current facility was dedicated in February). She shared how she had willingly opened up her home for many a congregational celebration and even worship on one occasion. Her son Luis ("Lucho") is one of the leaders of the church in Licey. Lucho's nephew, Josué, was also present. Josué's mother - Lucho's sister - is not a churchgoer, but we prayed that God would use Josué as a catalyst for welcoming her back into the Lord's house. 

L to R: Mario, Lucho, Josué, Justina, and Marcelo. 

Josué's eyes were fixated on Mario as he meditated on God's Word. 

Stop #3: Leydi

Leydi used to attend the church in Licey regularly, but has since stopped. We learned in talking with her that she struggles with issues of fear and shame as a result of her 13-year old son's uncontrollable and inappropriate behavior. He's taller and stronger than her, and no one - not the boy's father, not Leydi's extended family, and not Leydi's current husband - want anything to do with him. We were able to share with Leydi the importance of corporate worship and the assurance that her church family would welcome her and her son with open arms. Mario also gave her a Bible!

Leydi's home is on the right, just beyond the streetlight. 

Although our task grew increasingly emotionally draining as the afternoon wore on, I felt like I could have listened to Marcelo & Mario proclaim the pure Gospel message all day. Their Christlike love for each soul was undeniable, and I'm grateful that I had the chance to join them for what turned out to be an incredibly eye-opening experience. 

Until next time, blessings!