An Eternal Investment
As Project 2012 draws to a close later this year, we want to highlight a few news items that have happened in two of the locations being assisted through Project 2012—Kick Start 2.
La Ceja, Colombia
The focus of the last two national projects has been church planting. While most of the churches highlighted are being planted here in Canada, each project has also had one international component. Project 2012: Kick Start 2 focused on La Ceja, Colombia. The following is an interview with Carlos Jaramillo, who pastors the mother church in Llano Grande.
THRIVE: Carlos, tell us about La Ceja.
CARLOS: The municipality of La Ceja is the second most important town in eastern Antioquia. It was home for many convents and Catholic seminaries. We have been working in La Ceja for two years with the dream of planting a church there. The town has close to 100,000 people and there are very few Christian churches and no doctrinally healthy ones.
THRIVE: What witness for the gospel is there presently?
CARLOS: Cesar and his wife, Yuly, are working in La Ceja. Cesar graduated with a degree in theology from a Bible Institute in Medellin. Though he has had pastoral experience, he is presently working in a factory. He would readily leave his job and work full-time in the ministry if the finances were available. They have been going to this town each Thursday for the last year to lead a home group and have had the privilege of seeing new converts and shepherding the Christians there.
THRIVE: What is the vision for this couple?
CARLOS: The El Redil Oriente Church would love to see this couple be able to move into the town and be involved full-time in ministry. Their home would become the place for meetings and this new group of believers would be pastored more effectively. There are about 20 from the area who presently travel from La Ceja to Llano Grande for Sunday morning services. Only ten minutes away from La Ceja is another town, El Retiro, with another 20 people who come all the way to Llano Grande for services.
The Llano Grande church would be extremely grateful for funds to help with a home for this couple or funds to help with their salary. The church would be able to take on one or the other of these needs, but not both. Project 2012 dollars would be helpful to pick up what the church can’t.
THRIVE: Has the Fellowship ever done anything like this before?
CARLOS: The Fellowship has helped in most of the church plants that the El Redil Churches have started by providing part of the pastor’s salary for two or three years until the church is able to be self-sustaining.
THRIVE: Tell us briefly of your involvement in this ministry?
CARLOS: My wife, Cristina, and I have been meeting weekly with Ceasar and Yuly as mentors. They are presently leading the young adult group in the El Redil Oriente church. All this is happening at the same time the mother church is putting up its first church building.
THRIVE: Be assured of our prayers for you and La Ceja.
Surrey, British Columbia
Parkland Fellowship Baptist Church in Surrey was planted out of Newton Fellowship Baptist Church over twenty years ago. Church planting has always been a part of the DNA at Parkland and finally the time came for Parkland to use its resources to birth a brand new church. Parkland anticipates that God will use this new ministry to expand the impact of the Gospel in Surrey.
On September 1st, Dustin Laird joined the staff of Parkland as the church planting pastor. After five years of youth ministry in Salmon Arm, BC, Dustin, and his wife Kim, felt the call of God on their lives to pursue church planting on the lower mainland. While they were interviewing for the position at Parkland, they packed up and moved into the area with their two young girls in tow. Shortly after, the Lord led the people of Parkland to vote unanimously to hire Dustin as the church planting pastor. This has been a tremendous step forward. While in many ways the work has only just begun, Parkland Fellowship looks forward to celebrating the launch of the church plant between the Spring and Fall of 2013.