A key aspect of Community Church Planting is planting churches through a “person of peace” (a concept based on Matthew 10 and Luke 9).
Three years ago, Pastors Sebastian and Vanessa Carballo followed up with Claudia who had recently given her life to Christ at large evangelistic event in Durazno, a small city in the middle of Uruguay. Claudia used to hate Sundays as the day in the week that came before an arduous work week. When she met Jesus, Sundays became a joy — a time set aside to commune with her beloved, and her spiritual family.
But Sundays soon became even more. When the pastors were inspired to begin meeting in homes to reach more people in the city, Claudia opened her home. She walked side by side with them as they shared and she watched. She met weekly to pray with them, and even when they were just the three, they met together for worship on Sundays. Since then, the Lord has been giving her dreams for even more.
Early this year, she had a dream of a street in her neighborhood. She was standing at the beginning of the street, looking directly down at a beautiful palm tree in a new section of relief housing for families that have been displaced by the chronic flooding in the city. This particular palm tree has, unfortunately, become a place of drugs and other illicit acts. However, God put in her heart that people from her neighborhood will encounter Christ and begin a church there.
This year we have had the opportunity to be received in her home and work alongside her as God begins to carry out the dreams He has put in her heart. We have spent time this year learning to read and interpret the Word, praying together and discipling others. In September, we felt the Lord leading us to stop meeting in her house and to seek a person of peace on the street she had the dream about. For three weeks, the two of us walked the streets near the palm tree and prayed the Lord would show us that person. For three weeks, we prayed and strangely did not even see someone to talk to in this area usually filled with people. Finally, on the fourth week, we made eye contact with a 10-year-old girl who came to talk to us. Then many other children followed.
Claudia was convinced these children would be the beginning of the church, so we decided to have church with them right there under the palm tree. For the rest of the year, we prepared songs, stories from the Bible and games. As a resident of the community, Claudia has been able to meet the parents and shares God’s love with them. In February, she will be able to attend the annual conference of Argentina and Uruguay and will receive training by Bruce Bennet in Community Church Planting. Her hunger for the Lord and His kingdom is contagious, and we are honored to play a small role in walking alongside her this year as she develops as a leader.
Andrea Green and her husband, Mike, are associate/Visa missionaries to Uruguay. Visit fmchr.ch/magreen to support and learn more about them. Free Methodist World Missions’ annual Uruguay support budget of $4,000 currently has no commitments or giving for 2017; please go to fmchr.ch/fmuruguay to give or to fmchr.ch/argurug to make a commitment.2