Dear Friends of RGBM,
For the Rio Grande Bible College, the doors are opening wide.
On June 27, 2017 twelve students will head to the Chicago metro area to begin a six-month training regimen combined with hands on practice of what they have learned in the classroom.
You may remember a little over a year ago we started a venture to help meet the need of the Hispanic population of the United States. We called it the “Church Planting Initiative.”
Essentially it is our vision to help local churches reach into the Hispanic community that surrounds them, reach them for Christ, make an impact on their spiritual lives, and incorporate them into their current churches.
We started just outside of Chicago in a town called Summit, at the Summit Bible Church and helped them begin a ministry to Hispanics. It’s gone very well. There have been many hurdles, many challenges along the way, but the church has grown steadily and have since called a bilingual pastor who is beginning to work there.
Why did we start this initiative?
Perhaps the testimony of Viridiana will answer this question:
My name is Viridiana Paniagua and I was born in Mexico. When I was
three I came to the United States with my parents and we crossed illegally.
I grew up in a home where there was no hope. There was pain. There was
suicide among family members, alcohol, and abuse. It was really bad.
There was nothing I could hold on to. There was no hope in my life. And so
growing up that way, I was always hungry, wanting for more. So I started
drinking, started partying, and never found that fulfillment until I was invited
to a Christian church. When I went to church it was so good! It was
different. There was something different about this church and I loved it.
I told my parents, ‘Let’s go to this church.’ And they said, ‘Oh, it’s not in
Spanish and we were born Catholic and we will die Catholic.’ That year,
2009, my life completely changed. I was invited to a Christian church but
this time it was in Spanish and I was able to invite my parents, my family and
that summer, in the span of two months, my Mom, my Dad, my sister, my
brother, my brother-in- law, my sister-in- law, and my little brother and I all
received Christ as Saviour and my life changed completely. There was no
more alcohol, no more hopelessness. We found our identity in Christ.
Now we are in phase two. We are not only wanting to help one or two struggling churches or one or two little communities. We would like to start a movement in North American churches that will reach the immigrant populations.
We are ready to retool to help facilitate other churches to do the same thing.
We would like to train church members and help them reach into the community that surrounds them and begin making disciples.
We have often asked the question: “Where do we get the manpower?”
We are beginning a six-month internship program in our Bible College. Essentially, each one of our students will take six months out of their four years to train and we will use them to help out in penetrating these communities. These interns will already know the Latin culture, know the Spanish language, and know how to reach people in their own language. They will spend six months assigned to a local church. When they finish their six months of practical ministry, another group of students will come and pick up where they left off.
In the end, we hope to have churches that will know how to reach Hispanics, that in fact, have reached in and incorporated them into their church. Our students have been theologically trained and have sound doctrine and a good grasp on the Scriptures to be able to teach and minister to the Hispanic community.
This is a win-win proposition. Our students get real live experience in cutting edge ministry as part of their educational program and the churches get the benefit of people who know the language, who know the culture, and help reach the immigrant population.
There is also a great urgency to connect our Christian Education and Women’s Ministry major’s students to the ministry needs of children and youth. The Spanish-speaking community has a real need that I believe the students of Rio Grande can meet.
We see this as a God thing. Only God can put together so many details at such a time as this, so we can move forward with this giant program of making disciples of all nations.
We need help.
We need prayer partners; men and women who will lay hold of the throne of grace so that our efforts would be supernaturally empowered and that the Spirit would lead us through this, giving eternal consequences.
We need men and women who can partner together with us financially. As you can well imagine, there are ongoing expenses that will be a part of the program. Our cost of transportation will initially be high. We need to transport all of the students in this program to and from the cooperating churches every six months.
Here is the immediate need: We need your help to purchase a replacement van so that we can provide a safe vehicle for our student teams to travel to the Chicago area training center. We also need to have transportation funds for each group that travels. These trips will repeat themselves every six months.
Please seek the Lord’s direction and make a contribution for the purchase of this vehicle and towards the transportation costs that we will incur. Make all donations payable to Rio Grande Bible Ministries and designate them to Project 952.
Would you prayerfully consider a generous gift today so that we can know how to budget for this van by April 1?