Catching a Glimpse

By Bill Mangham, regional director for Latin America 
      Missionaries often work for years to see a solid church planted only to move on to start over again, sometimes wondering what impact their ministry has had. Recently, my wife, Ann, and I caught a glimpse of the impact one of our church plants has had in Quito, Ecuador. On July 16, the Republic Church celebrated its twelfth anniversary. We rejoiced as we sat in the new 1,500-seat sanctuary that was nearly full. We thought back to the church’s humble beginning with fifty people from the Batan Church who left to embark upon this new adventure. The vision was to develop a dynamic, reproducing church of approximately 1,000 members to reach Quito’s middle class.  
     At times the pastoral team wondered if this vision would become reality as the church endured many trials. It’s amazing to see what God has done! As our missionaries in Latin America serve faithfully, planting churches among unreached people, I am reminded of the apostle Paul’s words, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  
     It’s a bonus when we are blessed to see the impact of our ministry. It gives us a much-needed “shot in the arm.” But it honors God when we continue in faith when progress is slow and the vision seems unattainable. May the Lord supernaturally empower each missionary in The Alliance to persevere as we strive toward the goal of seeing people of all nations experience a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.


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