Escarlet Pacheco, a church planter in the Dominican Republic, can’t remember a time when she did not know Christ. “Although it may seem strange, I really do not remember living without knowing Christ,” Escarlet says. “I have been a Christian since I was a child and I serve my Lord. I have almost always been working in the ministry of the local church.”
Escarlet believes that planting churches is crucial because only the reconciliation of men and women with God can solve the spiritual problems people face. Escarlet also says that church planting motivates stagnant churches to bring life to communities. When a church is established in the community, the people can hear the Gospel and be saved.
After receiving the call to bring the Gospel to another community in a dream, Escarlet and her husband Andres began their ministry in the community of Jacot in June 2022 with the blessing of their pastor, Jorge. At first, there were not many people around because the area was still being developed. “I did not know what I was going to do,” Escarlet says. “I asked the Lord, ‘If there are no people here, to whom am I going to share your Word?’”
Despite the lack of people, Escarlet continued to return to the community. Two weeks later, people from another community began to arrive. In a matter of weeks, Escarlet’s meetings with the members of this community went from 12 people to more than 35. Currently, the group does not have a building to meet in, though they do have land to build on. However, a building is not necessary for the church to grow and for the people to be discipled. The group has been meeting weekly under a large tree and people are continuing to come. Escarlet’s husband supports her ministry and her son plays in the worship band.
Pastor Jorge and his wife have also come alongside Escarlet to help her start this church. “Escarlet asked us to visit one day,” Jorge recounts, “She didn’t tell us where but we realized after we arrived that this place holds lives for God in need of God… We know that with the help of the Lord, we are taking steps to plant a church.”
David Silverio, the national leader of church planting for the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) in the Dominican Republic, has also noticed the change taking place thanks to Multiplication Network’s training. “Without Multiplication Network, we might not be talking about a church in this place. We used to think we needed to construct a building, have a salary for a pastor, and a house for the pastor. And because of this belief, for many years the COGOP did not plant any new churches. Thanks to Multiplication Network, they have changed our thinking. … The most important strategic value is leadership training. A trained leader is a leader who is going to prosper in the field.”
Regarding Escarlet’s ministry, David says, “I believe that if there is not a mentor or your leader does not support you, it’s an uphill battle. Escarlet is here because her pastor sent her. If Jorge had not grasped the vision, it’s most likely that Escarlet would be a frustrated leader who wanted to do something but couldn’t. We are here because Jorge understood the vision and this is thanks to what Multiplication Network offers to us.”
Escarlet is grateful for the training she is receiving through Multiplication Network. “I have been able to see better results and growth in the small group that I am leading,” Escarlet says. “This taught me that God loves people and when He sends us, we should go. I pray to God for Multiplication Network to be blessed because, without God’s help and this training, I would not be giving my testimony today.”