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Antiguos miembros de pandillas ahora comparten sobre Cristo

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (BP)--En el pesado ambiente de crimen de Guayaquil, Ecuador, donde más de 60.000 jóvenes están involucrados en pandillas, la escena en el parque público parece algo que hay que evitar.

ETHNIC CHURCHES: Japanese church members live out faith, change lives

EDITOR’S NOTE: Southern Baptists are one of the most diverse denominations in America, with more than 9,330 ethnic congregations — almost one in five Southern Baptist congregations. Many ethnic churches — from New Jersey to Oklahoma to Oregon — are excellent examples of what it means to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ with a […]

EDITORIAL: El Plan de Dios

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--El otro día fui a una actividad musical en la ciudad donde vivo. Toda la música de sabor navideña fue muy placentera y enfoco nuestros pensamientos al tiempo de la celebración del nacimiento de Jesucristo, el salvador del mundo.

ETHNIC CHURCHES: Unique Thanksgiving meal helps introduce Hmong to Gospel

ST. PAUL, Minn. (BP)--Thirteen groups of people spread out across St. Paul, Minn., to deliver more than 60 boxes filled with food for Thanksgiving meals. The groceries were welcomed with joy and gratitude -- and no small degree of puzzlement.

ETHNIC CHURCHES: Engaging Native Americans

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (BP)--It's the Christmas story like you've never seen it before.       All the participants are meticulously dressed in Native American regalia. Tribal chiefs portray the Wise Men. The shepherds who come to worship the Christ child are seen as hunters.       Across the packed auditorium at Glorieta Baptist Church, members and guests watch as "A Native American Christmas Story" unfolds.       This is one of the more popular outreach activities at Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Okla., a 350-member congregation that is 90 percent Native American.       The church conducts a wide range of activities to engage its community and mature people in Christ, says Emerson Falls, who grew up just a few miles from the church and this past fall was elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.       But of all the initiatives the church undertakes, Falls says the most important thing they do is pray. Like many other churches, the Wednesday night schedule begins with a meal, but then the rest of the evening focuses entirely on prayer.       "Whatever we do comes out of a dynamic relationship to God," Falls says. "We encourage members to read Scripture daily and keep a journal of what God is saying to them. We have to be connected with God before we can do anything."       One of the major changes the Lord led the church to make since Falls became pastor five years ago was to move its Sunday evening service to 2 p.m. and change it from a time of worship to a focus on discipleship training. That helped them involve more church families, many of whom travel to the church from all over the metropolitan area.       Falls tries to use the afternoon session to equip members for witness and ministry.       "We recently did Becoming Contagious Christians, and we revisited Experiencing God," Falls says. "We also train our people in the 'Roman Road' plan of salvation once a year."       But the church also works to get people in the pew so they can hear the Gospel.       "The No. 1 reason people come to church is because they know someone," Falls says. "Therefore, our outreach tends to be relational."       Toward that end, the church launched "Give Friday Nights to Jesus," a non-threatening social time -- a cook-out, game night or other event -- where unchurched people are special guests.

ETHNIC CHURCHES: Multi-ethnic N.J. congregation shares Gospel worldwide

RANDOLPH, N.J. (BP)--Bible Church International lives up to its name. The Randolph, N.J., congregation, started as a house church with 30 people in 1982, now draws nearly 350 regular attenders from China, Nigeria, Ireland, India and the Philippines.

Las iglesias-casa ecuatorianas sostienen a su propio misionero

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (BP)--Cuando los jóvenes consideran unirse al equipo sudamericano Xtreme de la Junta de Misiones Internacionales para llevar el evangelio a áreas de difícil acceso, deben ser atraídos por los aspectos "extremos" del entrenamiento -- aprender a construir balsas, cocinar en fogatas y sobrevivir en las montañas.

Un hombre cambiado usa el rap para esparcir la Palabra

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (BP)--Sin lugar a dudas, él es su líder.       Las trenzas rastas de Byron García se agitan con el ritmo latino, el ex líder de pandilla acepta los aplausos y las peticiones de autógrafos desde los puesto ubicados en la parte trasera del lugar del concierto.

Insólitos iniciadores de Iglesias prueban efectividad

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (BP)--Siete años de humedad y exposición a través del barato marco de madera han dañado el delgado papel, pero el desteñido certificado retiene su prominente lugar en la pared de cemento. Carlos Solís señala orgullosamente la inscripción: Él es un iniciador oficial de iglesias.       Solís y cerca de una docena más de ecuatorianos igualmente orgullosos de sus certificados no eran exactamente las personas que el misionero Guy Muse había ambicionado cuando empezó el entrenamiento de iniciadores de iglesias en julio del 2000. Una mujer era ciega. Otros tres eran muy viejos. Aun Carlos y su esposa María, eran tomadores que vivían en "La Frontera" -- una zona de Guayaquil donde las pandillas se reunían y se atacaban, y las puertas se cerraban con llave a las 5 p.m.       Sin embargo, en seis semanas, los insólitos trabajadores han comenzado cuatro iglesias. Un año después, ellos y otros creyentes locales han establecido 70 más. Ahora, más de 100 iglesias se reúnen en las calles y barrios de la pobre y asolada Guayaquil.       Guy y su esposa Linda, ambos oriundos de Texas, han servido entre los 3.3 millones de mestizos -- mezcla de españoles e indios -- del área de Guayaquil por 20 años.       La gente de esta ciudad, la cual sirve como puerto a las Islas Galápagos, se mantiene firme en una cultura de catolicismo romano nominal, con menos de un 5 por ciento de evangélicos.