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The Home Missions Department exists to communicate the gospel,
make disciples, and plant new churches in the United States,
Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Find out more at www.homemissions.net.
Easter Miracles in Marana
Brightly colored new outfits, sunrise services, egg hunts, and baskets filled with goodies are all pictures that most likely pop into your mind when you think of Easter.
As a church planter, Easter is our greatest opportunity for outreach, for sharing the message of the cross and Christ’s resurrection with our community. Last year’s Easter service brought several key families to The Springs FWB Church, as well as a 40% growth in attendance. We anticipated and prepared for the 2013 Easter celebration. Our faithful and awesome God did not disappoint!
Nearly 400 people were in attendance, with more than 200 first-time guests. Many visitors gave positive feedback and asked for more information about our church. The people sang praises and listened intently to the message from God’s Word. At the close of the service, 15 people acknowledged their need for Jesus. The Holy Spirit was moving.
Our congregation partnered with Mountain Faith Mission to collect a special offering. From the amount given, the mission will be able to build a kitchen for the children’s home. The kids’ programs were jam-packed, with over 90 workers and kids ranging from infant to age 12. The children were greeted enthusiastically and shown God’s love by amazing volunteers. Most important, they learned of Jesus’ love through His sacrifice and resurrection.
The spectacular day continued outside in gorgeous Arizona spring weather. Kids of all ages hunted for 3,000 eggs. Nearly 450 Sonoran dogs (hot dogs unique to our area) were served with chips, drinks, and desserts. Guests interacted with our people in a great afternoon of fellowship.
Our Springs Church “Peeps” stepped up in incredible ways. Volunteers arrived early to prepare for the day and the crowd. The congregation stayed busy preparing food, hiding eggs, greeting guests, working in children's classes, leading worship, running behind-the-scenes sound and tech, bringing in and giving up seats in the service, and, ultimately, tearing everything down to do it again the following week. This Easter celebration would not have been possible without people committed to reach the Marana community for Christ.
“To Him who is seated on the throne, be all glory, honor, and praise. Amen!”
About the Writer: Ashley Bennett and husband Josh are partnering with Jeff and Heather Goodman to start a church in Marana, Arizona, a community near Tucson. Learn more at www.TheSpringsChurchMarana.com.
Get to Know Your Hispanic Missionaries
God has given Free Will Baptist Hispanic ministry great missionaries whose lives are consumed with sharing the gospel with the Hispanic community. Building new churches is a way of life for these men and their families.
Pastor Fernando Bustamante has been involved in missions work for many years. This dedicated pastor’s focus is on the ministry constantly. If you go to the Bustamante home, you will usually find a full house of people eating, sharing fellowship, having fun just being together. I have always said you have to make a friend before you make a convert. The Bustamantes make “a family” before making a convert.
I invited Alfredo Botello and his wife to Mississippi for a mission conference for two reasons: to help the conference and to give them a break together. Pastor Alfredo called me two days before the conference and told me that his wife Ruth could not come. A man had been arrested, and she needed to stay with his wife and work with her husband while he was in jail. While Alfredo and I had a great week at the conference, Ruth led the man to the Lord.
Dr. Rufo Gomez and his wife Marie have built a great work in Lexington, Kentucky, and have started other churches in the United States and Latin America. Their two older boys are dedicated to the ministry. They understand why their parents are involved in so many lives. They also are following their father’s footsteps into the ministry. Their oldest son already has answered the call to preach.
All of these men freely share their time to teach at Gwen Hendrix Free Will Baptist Hispanic Bible Institute. They not only teach, they become involved in mentoring young people in ministries throughout the Americas. They look for every opportunity to win someone to Jesus. Their wives and children are just as involved in ministry. Why is God blessing their efforts? It is because they have given over everything to God for Him to use for His glory.
About the Writer: Rick Bowling, Director of Hispanic Ministry serves under the umbrella of the Home Missions Department.