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400 Hispanics pray for Kingdom advance

HOUSTON (BP) — About 400 Hispanic leaders and church members gathered for the Spanish “Revive Us,” or “Avívanos,” worship celebration in conjunction with this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Houston

Coalo Zamorano, minister of music in the Hispanic ministries of Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, led the worship service that concluded the “Avance Hispano SBC 2013” gathering at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Zamorano has worked since 1986 with composer and worship pastor Marcos Witt and CanZion Productions.

Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board, challenged the group with four concepts from the Bible.

The first concept Elliff noted was “the uncertainty of this world and the time of the second coming. … [W]e need to work hard for the night is coming. We have very little time.”

Elliff’s second involved “the necessity. It is very important to be filled with the Spirit. We need revival in this land.”

The third concept Elliff relayed was “the reaction. We will go and share the Word with others,” while the final concept Elliff shared was “the notion of extremity. Jesus said ‘your witness will carry you to the ends of the earth.’

“Folks, it is time to get the job done,” Elliff said, after citing several examples of churches on mission. “There are 3,000 people groups that do not have a single witness.

“My prayer,” Elliff continued, “is that this will begin a new day in the relationship between the IMB and the Hispanic Baptists. My hope is that in the coming years we will see hundreds of Hispanics going as witnesses to the ends of the earth.”

Jason Carlisle, IMB Hispanic mobilization director and translator for Elliff, noted that “the IMB recently committed itself to sending 40 Hispanic missionaries in the coming year.”

Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, recapped the Send: North America strategy that Southern Baptists are using to impact North America through evangelism and church planting. Joshua del Risco, Hispanic evangelism director for NAMB, translated for Ezell.

“I want to share from my heart about North America,” Ezell stated. “The population is growing exponentially faster than we are planting churches.”

Ezell said NAMB has set a goal “of planting 15,000 churches in the next 10 years.”

Ezell also asked attendees to make the prayer of Luke 10:2 their own, as he challenged them to join NAMB’s nationwide effort to pray daily at 10:02 a.m. and p.m. and “ask God for the next generation of missionaries.” He asked participants to specifically set apart Wednesday, Oct. 2 to pray and fast for this request.

Gerardo Custodio, who planted Iglesia La Familia de Dios in Ontario, Calif., also was one of the featured speakers. With Custodio as pastor, the church has planted six new churches since its inception in 1995.

Custodio’s message was based on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:22. He shared examples of the work that God is doing in Ontario, Calif., and the importance of all Christians to use the gifts God has given them.
David Raul Lema Jr. is associate team strategist for theological education ministries at the Florida Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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  • David Raul Lema Jr.