“I never wanted to go back to Colombia,” explains Fernando. “I was born and raised there, but I left the country due to extreme violence and crime.”
Fernando immigrated to Canada in 1998, where he heard the gospel and was saved. As he matured in the faith, he decided to pursue theological studies at seminary. His intention was to be equipped so that he might serve the Lord better in North America. Returning to Colombia was not even a blip on the radar.
But that has changed since Fernando became involved with IDEX, a TMAI training center that offers pastoral training to Spanish speakers both in the United States and around the world. It began when he met a group of Colombian pastors and graduates from IDEX at a conference. “I had an overwhelming emotional response,” he recalls, “when I heard their testimonies, the work they’re doing for the Lord, and their desire to develop a network of pastoral training in Colombia. And it was at that moment that I realized I would not be able to stay here in North America any longer.”
Fernando soon took a trip to Colombia to see it for himself. “From our vantage point in the States, it is hard to see the impact that IDEX is having all over the world, but when you get there in Colombia and hear their stories, it is truly an eye-opener! We called up all of the IDEX students and graduates and invited them to meet with us, and 25 of them accepted our invitation. They told us countless stories about how IDEX has changed their lives, transformed their ministries, and is reshaping their very churches and communities. It was almost too much for me to handle, and it hit me very heavily: this is what I needed to dedicate the rest of my life to.”
“This is the reformation that Spanish-speaking peoples have needed for a long time, and nothing is so powerful as God’s Word.
Fernando has now finished his MDiv and ThM degrees at The Master’s Seminary and plans to move to Colombia within months. There is already a network of churches and pastors eager to partner with our efforts in Colombia, including offers to share buildings and facilities in major cities free of charge. Most importantly, there is a huge demand for theological education and expository preaching that is developing in Colombia. “This,” explains Fernando, “is the reformation that Spanish-speaking peoples have needed for a long time, and nothing is so powerful as God’s Word. Here we have a real opportunity to train men all over the country to preach and teach the Bible, and I think we must take it!”
Many of us do not have stories quite like Fernando’s, but God does use our exposure to His work around the world to animate us to join in the labor. Though we know Christ has promised to build His church, we are always encouraged to see His promise being fulfilled before our very eyes. We pray that this story, and others like it, would be useful and instrumental in all of our lives, to spur us on to live for the one dream that we all share: seeing disciples being made in every tribe, tongue, and nation, and seeing Christ receive the universal worship, honor, and praise due His name!
For more info, or to partner with us, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org