Well, it’s been several weeks now since our conference has passed, and I wanted to catch you all up on how that went and what’s going on here. I didn’t write before, because among other things, I was preparing the pictures so that when I sent this, you could see all that we were talking about. …
Well, from April 20th to the 22nd we had our 2nd Cell Church Conference here in Sucre. As you all know, and with your help, we held it in a small coliseum. That was necessary because of the number of people we planned to have in assistance during the entire conference. We can fit a maximum of 350 in our church, and that is REALLY pushing it, so we needed a larger place to meet, since in our church we have more than that who assist regularly.
The conference went great. Pastors Gustavo and Susana Rossi, from a huge church in Argentina were to come, but Susana ended up not coming. They had been traveling a lot lately, so she needed to stay home with her kids. But one of Gustavo’s disciples, Christian Vignali came with Gustavo. Cristian and his wife have over 500 cell groups under them in their ministry. They arrived on Friday morning. The Conference started on Friday evening and went through Sunday evening. God moved in a special way. We had participants from churches in La Paz, Oruro, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Potosí and Villasón, many who were pastors. Over 50 people from Potosí arrived for the conference. There were also several churches from Sucre who participated in the entire conference. The slogan of the conference was “A Church of Leaders”. Gustavo and Cristian taught a lot on the calling that we have as a church of first being disciples of Christ and second in raising up disciples who love God and also raise up others. Norah taught on “Conquering our Promised Land”, and I taught on “Creating a Culture of Growth in our Churches” for pastors and “Being One of the Chosen”, talking about Gideon in Judges 7 and 8, about the 300 men who were chosen to fight in the war with the Midianites. That message was given on Sunday Evening, and the idea was that all are called, but not all are chosen. The interesting thing is that those who are chosen actually choose themselves. God can and will only use those who trust in him, who are brave, who work in unity with their leader and who are diligent in their walk with Christ, just as those 300 men who were chosen for that battle.
Altogether, it was a great time of motivation and a new push for us and for all of the people who were part of the conference. In our church, many of the newer members attended, and were challenged to open up their group now. Several new groups have been opened since that conference. We finished last year with 173 cell groups, and although I don’t have the exact numbers, I’m pretty sure that we’re up over 200 now. ALSO, there are 3 churches specifically, 2 in Sucre and 1 in Cochabamba who are completely decided to work with the cell church vision now. Those churches have asked us to supervise their work with the cells, and we will do our best in helping and encouraging them to go forward with that.
During the conference we had a little over 300 signed up in the day classes (which is lower than I had expected), but we had close to 600 some at the evening services which were open to everyone. We really thank God for the gifts that so many of you sent to help out for this, because it ended up to be much needed. My original estimate of $3,000 for the event ended up being low. It´s amazing how much it costs to do these type of things, but I believe that it is worth it. I still feel that we this year were/are in the “Planting” mode, meaning that we are planting this word to later see the harvest. My hope is that next year we will be able to have enough people in our church and from others to be able to pay all costs, at least that is my hope!
The weekend following the conference, an 85 year old Canadian Evangelist, Roy Durman, arrived here in Sucre, and had a healing crusade. What an amazing weekend. First, let me say that I was very impressed by this man. What a humble man, and at 85 years old (that’s what they told me his age was), he had plenty of energy. He seemed like someone about 25 years younger. Anyway, so many people were healed that weekend. People with tumors, growths on their bodies, cancer, deaf and dumb, blind, crippled were all healed. Peoples growths on their bodies just disappeared. Blind people were running all around because they could see. I watched as at least 15 if not more crippled got up out of wheelchairs and just started walking. Two people that I know very closely were healed there. One is a boy who is in our church, who just about died a year ago. He has had tumors in his brain, and he went in for operation. We prayed for him last year and he got much better. He still went through operation, but things got much better after that. Even after all of that, he still had a tumor in some part of his brain that couldn’t be removed. (I really don’t know the whole reason of why). After those services, they took him to get all the tests done, and his tumor was completely gone. Anyway, we worked there as a church, and hundreds received the Lord as their savior that weekend. Now those who were assigned to our church are each in a cell group, and we are working hard on consolidating them so that they will continue strong in their walk with the Lord. God is Great!
I guess I’ll stop there. I could tell you a lot more, but what will we talk about when we go home this year? We’re just so excited about what God is doing here, and we hope that you can somehow feel that excitement there too. We thank you for your prayers and also your financial support, which is paving the way for literally hundreds, and soon thousands, to be coming to the Lord! THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU RICHLY.
I’ve attached a few SMALL photos here, and I have set up a photo album on our churches website which is in English and Spanish. You can find it here. http://www.mcc12.com/coppermine/. There you will find about 90 photos from the conference. You can look through them, and if you click on any of the pictures you can see a MUCH bigger version of them. It may be in Spanish when you go in, just click on the American flag and everything will be put in English. God Bless and write when you can. We love you all!
Jason, Norah, Erynn and Jordan