The minute they began worshipping, music blared even louder from the bar across the street. Hugo continued to lead the service, but his heart was heavy and he could tell those meeting were also distracted by the music.
Hugo and his wife Angela are passionate about serving the Lord and their community. When they first came to Santander de Quilichao in Calí, Colombia, Hugo says they suffered a lot of rejection from those who lived there. Alcoholism is a common problem in the neighborhood and families have many issues. The people were wary of them.
They began work in the town with houses of prayer but did not have the resources or knowledge of what steps to take to plant a church. The leadership of their home church encouraged Hugo to take part in Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) church planter training.
Hugo began to utilize what he learned in the training—he and Angela began to pray over Santander de Quilichao as they assessed the need and their vision for the area. In one year, they had around 70 people meeting in the new church.
However, the bar across the street was such a distraction for the worshippers. Hugo and the church began praying against the bar and cursing it. But the situation only seemed to get worse.
Then, one day, Hugo heard from the Lord that they should not be cursing something God created and should instead pray for blessing on the couple that owned the business. So they switched tactics and they started blessing the owners and asking God's favor on them. In two weeks, the bar closed down!
Hugo and Angela saw more positive changes happening. "Planting a church here has helped entire families change," Hugo shares. They hear the truth of God's Word and He works in their lives to restore relationships. Hugo says that from the beginning, they have focused on working with the families and praying fervently every Tuesday at 4:00 in the morning for the people of the church and also to see the glory of God in this zone.
God has been faithful and they have seen that. The church in Santander de Quilichao is growing! They now have over 100 people involved in their worship services and various ministries. Hugo had to switch from one service to two to fit the people in the present building. People are leaving behind their alcohol addictions, marriages are being repaired, and families are being restored.
Hugo shares excitedly that this experience has motivated them to go into other areas and his dream is to plant more churches in the remote places such as the indigenous reserves, where they have invited them to share the Word of God.