Growing the Church One House at a Time

By Doug and Cindy Tankersley

A thriving congregation in Colombia.
A thriving congregation in Colombia.

In June, we visited some of the churches where we had taken evangelism teams in 2015 and 2016. We wanted to present Bibles donated by MFM-Canada, follow up, and seek suggestions on how to improve future evangelism teams.

In July 2015, the team led by Willie Hochhalter and Jim Smith, served alongside Pastor Olga at Jesus’ Friends Church in Granizal.

Several church leaders reminisced how the team was an answer to prayer. This was their first time to do door-to-door evangelism. Many in the community didn’t know about the church. Pastor Olga said, “Our training with Satura Colombia (Saturation Colombia) has changed the way we think. We were more of a closed group before.”

Since then, they have led two more door-to-door evangelism teams utilizing their own church members. The EvangeCube (a folding block that illustrates the Gospel) has made a huge impact and is a great tool for teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each day, they pray for the lost from 5:00 a.m.–7:00 am. They continue to prayer walk because they know it is foundational in preparing the soil.

This church now has five house church groups outside the church. Some new contacts cannot attend church but are able to attend the small groups. We prayed with them and gave a case of Bibles to help with the discipleship.

The same week in July the evangelism team served alongside Pastor Freddy Lopera at The House of Prayer Church in Villa Hermosa. We reunited with Pastor Freddy, some church leaders, and associate pastors.

A church receives shipment of Spanish Bibles.
A church receives shipment of Spanish Bibles.

Pastor Freddy shared, “I was so embarrassed that it took a group of laymen from the U.S. to come and teach us what we should have been doing all along. However, I’m thankful they came, challenged us, and provided us with the tools and training to continue reaching the lost in our neighborhoods.” This church continues with the Satura training and is already on the third generation of church member training. From July 2015 - January 2016, through their evangelistic efforts, they have witnessed over 200 decisions for Jesus Christ.

The April 2016, evangelism team led by Bill Huebner worked alongside Pastor Nelson in Bello Oriente. They have added 12 new people, have 20 new people in small groups, and baptized two new believers. They feel God leading them to reach a new area in San Pedro de Milagro. Please pray for them as they seek to evangelize this area. Please pray for Pastor Nelson and the church leaders as they continue Satura training and discipling new believers.

We visited the Center of Faith and Hope churches in the Kilometer 7 area where Bill Huebner and team had completed door-to-door evangelism in April 2016. While we met with Pastor Olga, a group of women prayed with deep compassion. Also, three young children are comfortable and confident using the colorful EvangeCube blocks. She reports, “These children have a passion and heart for the lost, but I need additional leaders and materials to disciple them. It is difficult to find leaders willing to commit.”

The InterAmerican church in Girardota with Pastor Doiler, Pastor Jorge, and Pastor Gabriel continues to thrive as they have two simultaneous services within a block from each other, serving over 300 people. Their daughter church in Barbosa (resulting from the July 2015 evangelism team) continues to grow under the leadership of Juan Luis, a church leader from Girardota. Their other daughter church in Bello (July 2015 team) with Pastor Marta is thriving and growing rapidly, causing them to seek their third location to accommodate their growth. For those that like a love story, Pastor Doiler and Pastor Marta were married in June 2016.