Below is the most recent update from the Del Castillos as they work to plant a church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We rejoice with them in the encouraging work the Lord is doing, even while they are still limited in quarantine. Please continue to pray that the Lord will provide brothers and sisters to faithfully serve with them, and that God would continue to financially provide during this difficult season.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We hope you are well and that God is blessing you in your activities. We want to start by briefly explaining what is happening here in Bolivia. The prohibitions during the working days of the week are being gradually suspended, people attend almost normally to their work centers, the only limitation is the ceiling in the schedule since the movement of non-essential services concludes at 5:00 pm. We point out that the prohibitions on weekends are in force, which is why the Church cannot gather on Sundays yet.
Also, Bolivia is going through difficult times in the political sphere, because the appearance of the pandemic caused the change of date to the presidential elections that were to be held in May 2020, first until the beginning of September and now until mid-October, these Aspects caused unrest in the country, which resulted in marches, road blocks and coercive measures, which for the moment and thanks to the Lord have eventually ceased.
Beyond all of this and in relation to the activity of the church, we see encouraging results in the lives of many people of the church, an example of this was listening to a sister from the church, who responded to a preaching by Jorge in a very positive way, she had had relationship problems in her family for more than 40 years, due to the content of the message she was able to achieve a personal reconciliation with her father and encourage her brothers to do the same, and it happened, she described with great emotion the details of this reunion in our prayer meeting of Tuesdays, we were very grateful to God for what happened. Currently in our Thursday meeting led by Jorge and David, we are reviewing the Gospel through the book “Gospel Centered Life” by Thune and Walker. It was nice to hear a sister tell us that it is the third church she has attended in her life and that she had never understood the Gospel in this way, and it is moving to see how every week she is particularly amazed by what we share of the Gospel.
Our prayer meetings on Tuesdays has been very important in this difficult time, two families had close relatives with Coronavirus during this time, in one case their children (who are already adults and have families) and in another their parents, we were praying for them weekly and it is pleasant to see the answers from the Lord as they recovered but also the communion that has taken place, because these families appreciate a church that welcomes and accompanies them, and they have made it known to us in that way. There are more testimonies that are happening and this leads us to the assurance that this is the correct time for us to be here in Santa Cruz, despite not being able to meet in person.
Something decisive in this time has been the personal counseling that has been provided, since there are people who do not have access to the internet and who are part of the church since the beginning of our activities, these brothers, who do not have the technological means Today, they have received calls mainly from Jorge and Teresa, undoubtedly God is using us to lead these brothers who were without coverage. How good is our God who had all of this in his plans for us and led us to this place in a troubled time.
We want to thank several of the pastors who have participated in our series “knowing our brothers of Sovereign Grace” there are many that have not yet been released, but we thank them in the same way, the idea of this series is to be able to publicize the ministry Sovereign Grace here in Bolivia. There was a lot of impact on the church hearing pastors they don’t know express that they are praying for them, in addition to the extraordinary messages shared. You can see this series on our Facebook or also on our YouTube channel https://youtu.be/q2wk0fbsq8o. This series is a great blessing, first for us, because we feel that we have a family that supports us, and also for the brothers of Gracia Soberana Santa Cruz who prove that they belong to a very large family of churches, also point out that the messages in English they are being subtitled by Jadwy and this aspect is fundamental for obvious reasons.
The sisters are already used to women’s meetings, whose leaders are Teresa and Jadwy.
Our weekly Sunday meetings continue to be taught mainly by Jorge and David, in this last time we had the opportunity to invite Johnny Dueri and Oscar Vargas, whom many of you know, they love Sovereign Grace and were able to share in church one Sunday each. It was a great blessing for the church of Santa Cruz to hear them.
We ask you to pray for Fabricio and Gigliana Salazar, they are a couple that intend to be part of our church, they are from the church of La Paz and want to reside in Santa Cruz in early 2021. Fabricio served with David for more than 8 years and has been accepted to carry out online theological studies in “Integridad y Sabiduria” which are beginning in September (ministry of the Church of Pastor Miguel Núñez in the Dominican Republic where our dear Jeff Purswell has taught classes) and Gigliana has been part of the ministry of children in the church in La Paz for more than 14 years in addition to having a degree in psychopedagogy. They would undoubtedly contribute qualitatively to the church, their desire is to serve in our church, we ask you to pray for confirmation from the Lord for them and work for them here in Santa Cruz, as they have the desire to move.
Also request prayer support for a new financial growth project that we want to develop, if our God opens doors for its implementation, it will be of great benefit to us and future plantations in Bolivia, we will abound in information in the short term about it, here and I know in most of the countries the pandemic has affected our economic growth specially because we weren’t able to grow in number yet and this requires us to work in alternative ways so that the church can be properly sustained, so we are working in them.
This report was extensive, but we wanted to refer to the highlights that have happened in recent times. We appreciate to read this much.
May God bless you very much.