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Exciting New Opportunity

03.15.20 | by Keith Russell

Exciting New Opportunity

    LAST SUNDAY MORNING I had a brief meeting with the Deacons of Westside to discuss an exciting new opportunity to reach people for Jesus. It has always been the heartbeat of Westside to reach the lost. We have sought to share the gospel with our city. We have sent mission teams around the world to share the gospel. I centered my presentation to the Deacons around five questions.

    WHAT? I believe we need to launch a Spanish-speaking mission. A few years ago we had a Spanish-speaking Connection Group that was taught by Raul Marticorena. Raul led many people to Christ who were then baptized at our annual Beach Baptism. Unfortunately, Raul died of cancer a few years ago, so that ministry died as well. This would not be a class, but a mission of Westside.

    WHY? There are hundreds of Spanish-speaking people who are living on the Westside. They have come from places like Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba, and other Spanish-speaking countries. Rather than us going to the mission field, the mission field has come to us!

    WHERE? The adult Spanish-speaking class will meet in one of the Beige Buildings. The Worship Service will meet in the same room, or a different Beige Building, or the Teachey Chapel. They will meet at the same times Westside meets. The children will meet with our existing classes because many of them speak English, but not all of them. Some of the children already participate in our sports ministry and many more want to.

    WHO? The pastor will be Pedro Duran. Pedro and his wife, Leah, are from Venezuela. Pedro pastored in Venezuela for 25 years. Leah is a pastor’s daughter, and her dad was the founding pastor of the First Baptist Church in Venezuela. Pedro and Leah are soulwinners and have led many people to Jesus since coming to Jacksonville. The Duran’s came to America to flee from Christian persecution in Venezuela.

    WHEN? The goal is to launch the mission on Easter Sunday, April 12. That will be an exciting day for them and us!

    LAST SUNDAY MORNING the Deacons enthusiastically supported the vision to start a Spanish-speaking mission and approved a motion to do so. It is my prayer that all of Westside will embrace this opportunity to reach more people for Jesus!