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Saturation evangelism project yields 6 new congregations

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (BP)–Nothing today, a church tomorrow. That’s church planting through saturation evangelism.
It works; just ask missionaries Glenn and Belinda Cantu, based in Colombia with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. The Cantus participated in an evangelistic crusade with Global Mission Fellowship Nov. 1-8 during which 35 volunteers saturated the northern coastal city of Barranquilla with the gospel.
GMF is a nondenominational organization that recruits volunteers from the United States to work with missionaries and national Christians in cross-cultural settings.
“It was a unified effort,” said Belinda Cantu, who helped coordinate the project. “We had people from Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states come together for the purpose of sharing the gospel. Most of them had never met each other until they got here, but we all worked together to tell many people about Jesus.”
The volunteers worked with nine churches during the week. Six new congregations were begun as a result of 2,665 professions of faith. Christians shared the gospel with onlookers at a park as volunteer Bob Paramore drew a chalk picture of Zacchaeus. Workers conducted door-to-door visitation during mornings and evenings and organized services at night.
“Many people made a great sacrifice to participate,” Cantu said. “We have one Colombian lay pastor who works construction who did not work the entire week so he could lead his church in the campaign. Last year, his church was the church in formation receiving the visitation from the Global Mission Fellowship teams. This year, that church opened a new work in a nearby neighborhood.”
A Colombian nurse worked extra shifts the week before so she could dedicate her time to visitation. She had prayed for 10 years that God would allow her to use her home for his work. Several GMF volunteers ate and lodged at her house.
“We spent a lot of time in prayer and prayerwalks preparing for the GMF group to come,” Cantu said. “The joy of new and old believers joining together in evangelism and church planting was evident everywhere.
“The GMF volunteers commented that they had never seen so many Baptists and IMB missionaries work together with so many who were from other evangelical denominations,” Cantu reported, reflecting an IMB emphasis on working with other Great Commission Christians to pool resources and lead people from every ethnic group in the world to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.