Carlos Bonilla and Mayra Giovanetti, “the BGs,” have been used by God in discipleship formation and training in churches in Chile, Spain and Nicaragua. UNIBAUTISTA has invited them to continue this work with ethnic groups in one of the most neglected areas of Colombia, the Guajira Northern Region.
They write – Our relationship to Baptist life in Colombia could be summed up as follows: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3.6 NASB) Only, the “I” means José Norat-Rodríguez, our previous area director, and the “Apollos” means Adalia Gutierrez-Lee, our current area director, and us. The “God was causing the growth” remains the same for only He can provide any growth to any relationship! So, with that said, and because of the long-standing relationship Norat-Rodríguez developed with UNIBAUTISTA, and the current Denomination’s general secretary being a graduate from UNIBAUTISTA, the doors opened for this new relationship to be explored and established. The intertwining of God’s interconnections.
During our scouting trip with Adalia Lee-Gutiérrez we were able to meet with Pastor Arnulfo Durán-Gómez, general secretary for the Colombian Baptist Denomination. It was so refreshing to see their love for missions and the study of the Word. Their coordination with UNIBAUTISTA through the extension programs opens up ministry possibilities between our mission society, UNIBAUTISTA (our main host partner in Colombia), and the Denomination. We are truly looking forward to harmonizing these interconnections to bear much fruit to His glory!
Let us pray for the Denomination and their annual gathering in Bogotá this month (20-22). We are looking forward to meeting many of our siblings and connecting with those among whom the Lord has been preparing us to serve. We have already visited some of their churches and pray for upcoming visits to worship and serve the Lord in this beautiful country through love, discipleship, peace, and justice.
Now, when you talk about relationships and God’s interconnections… Walla and Mayra have a lot in common. Both are Puerto Ricans married to Colombians, homeschooling moms, and related to FBC Yauco, Puerto Rico. And, both will be together at the 117th annual gathering of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico (like in 2015).
What a blessing that the first church where we were invited to preach when we arrived in Colombia was the Baptist Church Family of Love in Bosa (Bogotá, Colombia) where Walla and her husband Leo are co-pastors. They have served in Colombia for many years, commissioned by our churches in Puerto Rico. Now we are serving in the same country and we surely have a lot to learn from them. Pray as we seek to best harmonize our partnership in ministry here in Colombia.
Meanwhile, we keep writing our Bible study materials, working toward the Global Baptist Peace Conference (GBPC) in Cali, July 15-20, 2019, and visiting churches. Next month we ponder about Holy Week and will share about last month’s launching of the GBPC and this month’s annual gatherings in Puerto Rico and Colombia!