God has sent His Church to the uttermost parts of the earth. Although we have a clear commandment, it’s not an easy one to carry out. Pastor Diego Fernandez shepherds one of our Hispanic SBCV churches, Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva Para las Naciones (New Life for the Nations Baptist Church). This Richmond church has taken the call to reach the lost seriously.
Pastor Fernandez is also part of a group of Hispanic churches called Movilización Hispana. He and Jason Carlisle, former IMB Hispanic mobilizer, along with the rest of the group, have been mobilizing Hispanic churches for years. They host an annual conference where participants can hear about mission opportunities in unreached countries and even have the opportunity to meet some of the missionaries from those countries. God has used this ministry to lead pastors and members of Hispanic churches on mission trips to Africa and Asia. This is unusual and even impossible in most Hispanic churches, but Movilización Hispana has proven that when we follow God, He makes the impossible possible.
Although 2020 was a challenging year to organize a mission conference, Fernandez, Carlisle, and the group decided to make it an online conference. Hispanic brothers from around the country and overseas registered for the November 5–6 conference. Participants connected with missionaries in India, Spain, and Senegal. Many of the participants had heard of these missionaries at previous conferences and had been praying for them and their ministries.
The fruit did not end with the number of people and churches that connected those nights. Many of the churches that joined the conference decided to set a church missions budget moving forward.
Pastor Fernandez’s church has always encouraged its members to go on short-mission trips. Some have gone to places like Senegal, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Turkey. According to leadership, the members who have gone are more involved in ministry and small group discipleship. The church helps supports an orphanage in Myanmar and two church plants and feeding ministries in both Argentina and Senegal. They set a mission-giving goal of $27,000 for 2020. By November 2020, they had good faith commitments for $24,000. By the end of December, they had met their goal, which became their mission budget for 2021. These kinds of things happening in a local congregation are an encouragement to other Hispanic SBCV churches—to know that when we follow God on His mission, He can accomplish more than what we ask or think, according to His power (Ephesians 3:21).
God has called us to trust Him and focus on Him, not on circumstances. As a preacher once said, “the greater the trial, the greater the miracle.” This is a season where we can learn to follow God on His mission and see Him work in miraculous ways through us and the local church.