Back in the early 2000s Noé Acosta, of Gospel Through Colombia, and I had begun to get involved with the ministry of developing church leaders in the northern coast of Colombia, especially working with two brothers who pastored there, Rev. Jaime Leal and Rev. Rafael Leal. Both of them ran a small seminary program and out of that some young leaders were developing. But after they had finished their training, there was no support to see them enter the ministry. Consequently, some of them dropped off into secular work. The two churches at that time were small and poor and they could not even support their own pastor. These two leaders were even finding it difficult to carry out their leadership training because of lack of resources.
Tenth and a few other churches have been very generous over the years in providing for building of the children’s home Hogar La Providencia, with some minimal support for the running of the home. However, there has been woefully inadequate support for leadership training and planting of churches, particularly in the presbytery of the north coast of Colombia. This has held back the potential for rapid growth of the presbytery. Tenth began giving some support for travel and meal expenses for the general assembly to meet so that the Colombian pastors could transact the business of the church. While vitally important, it still was not meeting the need for church planting. Consequently, a group of those concerned for the growth of the churches and planting of new ones from several PCA churches began Colombia Reformed (Reformada) as a ministry that would focus on this need.
The immediate goal of the north coast presbytery is to have established churches in each of the five provinces on the north coast. Just this past week, a young man that was trained by Jaime Leal has come back reporting that he has established a church and would like to join the presbytery. His church is in one of the provinces that are not yet represented in the presbytery. A couple of other men that are leading church plants are preparing to be ordained this year. Some men are currently in theological training, studying part time. However, a new development is emerging in Santa Marta, where a dozen young men are ready to start full-time study and church internships. Apartments have just been built at the back of La Puerta Church so that students from out of town can live there. However, this training is only possible with scholarship assistance which would go toward food, books, desks, administration and lecturers. Those teaching are Jaime Leal, Rafael Leal, Edison Florez, and various local and foreign guest lecturers.
Please come to our ¡Viva Reformada! banquet this Saturday, May 17 at Tenth Church at 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall. Enjoy terrific music, food, and catch the vision for God’s work in Colombia. Confirm your reservation by Wednesday via AccessTenth or by emailing Kari Randall. If you’re interested in supporting this ministry but cannot attend, please designate your giving to Tenth Presbyterian Church with “Colombia Reformed” on the memo line.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Bruce McDowell. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org