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Ministry Updates

Juan Carlos' Story - Spain

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Juan Carlos Expósito 1 AVB editJuan Carlos Expósito belongs to the Assemblies of God of Andalusia in the southern region of Spain. He has been serving his church for some time but he became involved in the challenge of planting new churches with his local church a few years ago.

“When we started the church planting vision, we were in four areas. Now we are in 22 different places,” he says. “We assumed the responsibility we have as believers to preach the gospel and we did it in an intentional way.”

It has been vitally important to Juan Carlos to motivate the members of his church and the leadership with the vision of planting new churches. He works to ensure that all their efforts in the communities revolve around church planting and outreach including social activities, counseling, work with children, battered women, etc.

One of the main challenges facing Spain is the lack of workers, says Juan Carlos, since not everyone is willing to assume the dedication of being committed to church planting.

Another challenge has been that Catholicism is ingrained as part of the culture—many people do not want to develop a close relationship with Jesus Christ because it would imply renouncing their customs and religious culture. However, Juan Carlos and his team continue with the vision of evangelizing intentionally to reach the places where they do not know about Jesus Christ.

“We decided to go into a marginalized neighborhood with families that struggle with drug addiction,” Juan Carlos shares. They managed to establish a home group in that area and a woman came whose son was murdered earlier that year. She was full of hate and wanted to take revenge on the family who killed her son. Her situation at home was made more difficult because of her alcoholic husband. This woman went to Juan Carlos’ small group and heard about Jesus Christ. “She gave her life to the Lord and was baptized!” says Juan Carlos.

As people continue turning to God, Juan Carlos and the leaders of the small groups are discipling them and teaching them how to share the gospel with others. The result of this vision has been to go to more communities and multiplying their efforts to spread the gospel.

Connecting in Crisis - Maryuris' Story - Ecuador

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Maryuris' StoryMaryuris Rodríguez is a church planter in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The area where she is working is poverty-stricken. God called her to work with children and adolescents and to her joy, the kids’ parents are also coming to hear the gospel.

“We worked to provide the children and adolescents with activities to help prevent them from falling into bad habits such as drug addiction, which is very common in this area,” Maryuris says.

She has had this passion for serving others since she met Christ. When Maryuris was invited to the training provided through you by Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM), she immediately accepted because she felt she had been limited in her knowledge to be able to pursue her calling and share the love of God with others more strategically.

Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, however, the circumstances have changed. Maryuris has not been able to continue directly attending to these families through meetings as she had been doing. The city where she lives has registered the highest number of cases of both infected people and deaths. As a result, Guayaquil has declared a health crisis and put a curfew in place.

But this has not stopped Maryuris from following her call.

She saw the difficult situation that was arising in her community and recognized that many would be looking for an answer of hope so she set to work. She established devotional times for prayer, family Bible study at home, and has committed to counseling people through phone calls or video calls whenever possible.

Maryuris also mobilized her church to help low-income families with supplies as they have been directly impacted by the inability to work every day. She is grateful God is using her to bring His light and hope.  She is constantly reminded of her favorite verse from Psalm 126:5-6: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Maryuris continues to sow seeds of hope during this time of international crisis.

Connecting in Crisis - Marcos' Story - Paraguay

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MarcosMarcos Blanco is a church planter for the Assemblies of God in Paraguay. He is currently halfway through the church planter training provided by Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). Marcos has a discipleship group established in an area where the people have difficult lives and struggle to get ahead every day.

When Marcos learned that a state of emergency had been declared in his country due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, he knew he needed a plan to continue to serve the vulnerable people of the area.

Marcos organized several members of his discipleship group

to make food kits for families who would be affected by not being able to work or leave their homes. In each of these packages he wrote a verse and a note of encouragement for these families.

He also knew he couldn’t stop providing spiritual care for each of them, so Marcos prepared discipleship materials for the days of the quarantine, even providing activities for the children.

“The Word of the Lord teaches us to be light – this does not stop us. May we continue to advance and be strategic in the Work of the Lord,” says Marcos.

This church planter knows the work has not stopped and that this moment is crucial to show the love of God in a time of despair, uncertainty, and fear.

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