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Ministry Updates

Carlos' Story

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Revenge consumed Carlos' mind. His father had been killed and he was determined to avenge his death. At 16, he discovered where he could best carry out his plans—a gang. The beating Carlos received to join the group didn't even phase him. It couldn't compare to the bitterness and anger he harbored against the people who killed his father.

But as Carlos spent more time in the gang, he came to see that the rules they lived by were also used against them. There was no mercy shown to anyone. After Carlos learned that his father's killers had died, he wanted to leave the gang. It seemed impossible and Carlos began to feel desperate.

"I was crying and felt they were going to kill me," Carlos shares with a shaking voice. He had just held one of his friends while he died from a gunfight with another powerful gang in El Salvador. Carlos was surprised he had survived the fight because he could feel the bullets as they shot by him. He recognizes that it was God's hand protecting him.

Carlos' Story

After watching his friend die, Carlos gathered his courage and decided to leave the gang. He knew he could not approach the gang leader and instead asked Edwin, the pastor and church planter of his zone, for help. It was Edwin who went to talk to the leaders of the gang and told them that Carlos had given his life to Christ and they should let him go. They accepted the decision.

"They respect the things of God just as we respect the gangs," Carlos says. God freed Carlos from his life of killing. His wife Dora has seen the transformation God has done in him and is thankful Carlos will be able to watch his four-month-old son grow up.

"God is the only one who has been able to transform me, and He did it. I feel content and different," says Carlos, now 18. His life is a testimony for other members of his ex-gang. They recognize that transformation is possible.

Now Carlos and his wife serve in the Church of God in the community of San Vicente, El Salvador. He is working with a group of young people and older people to learn the Word of God. Even as he leads, it has been vital for his spiritual journey to have Edwin encouraging him and discipling him.

Esther's Story

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My name is Esther and I'd like to share my story. Thursday, October 9, 2014 will forever live in my memory. My husband had just abandoned me. I was nine months pregnant. I had little hope of giving birth safely as no single week of my pregnancy had passed without my husband beating me. Once he had beaten me until I was unconscious and left me laying on the floor. My neighbor rescued me.

In the wake of his abandonment and his abuse, my spirit was weak. Why was I going through this? Will I even be able to give birth successfully?

With thoughts like these filling my mind, the shaking began at 8 pm. I was in intense pain and bleeding. There was no one around to help. I thought I was going to die along with my unborn child. In my haze of pain, I heard someone knock on the door. I couldn't muster up the strength to tell the visitor to come in. A man I had never seen before came in but I couldn't have done anything to stop him.

He slowly walked in and stopped when he saw me. His shock at finding me like that was evident. He immediately helped me up and took me to the hospital. There I received treatment and eventually gave birth to the most beautiful twins—Joyce and Emmanuel.

Esther and Pastor CharlesA few days later, while I was still recovering in the hospital, the same man who had brought me there came back to visit. He introduced himself as Pastor Charles Mulale and that he was a church planter who God had sent to plant a church in our village. That Thursday evening, he had been going from hut to hut sharing the gospel and he believes it was no coincidence that he came to my hut during my time of need.

Pastor Charles shared the gospel with me and I gave my life to Jesus at that very moment. I will never forget the peace that filled my heart that day knowing there is a God who cares for me and loves me. I cannot express how thankful I am that Pastor Charles was obedient to God's call to come to my village and plant a church. God has already used him to save my life and my children's in more ways than one—praise His holy name!

Antonio's Story

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Within the vast country of Brazil is a state called Bahía. This area is about the same size as France and is one of the most-populated regions of the country. In this region, in the town of Sertaro Baiano, lives Pastor Antonio, his wife Veridiana, and their children.

Antonio's Story

When Antonio was invited to a seminar for Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) and their program on More Churches and Stronger Churches, he jumped at the opportunity. As a leader in the Church of God, he invited a couple pastors to accompany him.

They were amazed at what they learned because, for some time, their denomination had tried to make progress in planting more churches. The result was only a few new churches and many closed soon after opening.

Church planting has not been easy in this area. In the religious realm, the Church faces a great challenge—even though people are open to the gospel, the traditional religious practices are deeply rooted into the culture and the people. Witchcraft is viewed as just another approved tradition and is an active part of the people's faith. This has made it difficult to work here and oftentimes very tiring as well, Antonio admits.

However, Antonio and other church planters in the area are aware of the spiritual resistance and it has helped them to see the need for the light of God in the darkness.

"The people need to know Christ and we need to push ourselves to reach them. We believe God will provide the resources to do this—we only need to begin the work and believe," Antonio says.

This is why Antonio is so excited to receive the training from MNM—they are given tools and a clearly marked path on how to plant healthy churches that will multiply themselves.

"We do not have money but we have faith and this will help us to grow quicker," says Antonio with complete conviction.

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