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Gunnison (Colo.) Church begins a Hispanic ministry
We received this amazing story from Karyl Krieger about Lazaro and his conversion and passion to begin a Spanish-speaking ministry in Gunnison, Colo. You will be blessed as you read this story.
Resurrection at Gunnison
Shortly after New Year’s 2013, a man named “Lazaro” (Lazarus) walked through the door at Gunnison Seventh-day Adventist Church in Colorado. Through interpreters, he revealed a recent decision to serve God. Lazaro wanted to be baptized as soon as possible.
Dennis Magaña, from the recently formed Montrose Spanish group, drove out with Pastor Fritz Krieger to interpret and review the baptismal vows. Lazaro gave ready assent to each point and was baptized on Feb. 23. Lazaro invited everyone he knew to witness his resurrection through baptism. The Spanish group from Montrose, Colo., joined Gunnison Church members for the day, providing Spanish praise songs and fellowship for the service. Many of Lazaro’s friends from a Spanish non-denominational group also came to celebrate.
Gunnison Church members and leaders began to brush up on what little Spanish they knew. Spanish Bibles, hymnals, Sabbath school lessons, Bible studies and other materials were procured. All-out efforts were made to meet Lazaro’s needs in spite of the language barrier. He was included in the English studies and prayer request times as much as possible.
It didn’t take Lazaro long to bring friends, forming a Spanish Sabbath School class. He uses the Bible study sets and also studies with friends in the community who are not attending church.
In May, when Pastor Mike Shannon conducted a short evangelistic series at the Montrose Church, Lazaro made the 1.5-hour drive from Gunnison and back every night, taking along any friends who would go with him.
Lazaro begged for Spanish meetings to be held in Gunnison. Through the cooperation and friendships of Pastors Krieger and Shannon, Gunnison leaders, and Montrose Spanish leaders, another short revival series was held in Spanish the week of June 29-July 5 by Pastor Shannon; this time in Gunnison.
Pastor Shannon’s wife, Alicia, provided programs for the children. At least ten of Lazaro’s friends attended with him the first night, and several continued throughout the week. He longed for more. Lazaro visited, Facebooked, phoned, and distributed fliers, tantalizing those he knew with the promise of a free, illustrated Spanish Bible if they attended all the presentations.
Two of Lazaro’s teenage friends continue to attend with him because they enjoy the friendships they have established.
Wayne and Lois Oldham and other leaders at Gunnison are eager to do what they can to overcome language/culture barriers in order to make the Spanish-speaking community part of their church fellowship.
Please pray for ongoing life from the Holy Spirit at Gunnison.