“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9
Welcome to Grace Church Medellin, the first English Speaking Christian Church of Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia. Medellin is a very large cosmopolitan city in central Colombia with almost 3 million residents. And there is a growing community of foreign residents – many of whom are from the U.S. and Canada. But until we started in March 2018, there were no English speaking churches in Medellin. Grace is the first of what we hope will be many such churches.
Medellin has infrastructure that would be the envy of many large cities in the United States and Canada. The metro is extremely popular and cheap. It covers a huge portion of the city. Rides cost an average of 75 cents USD. And with the many connecting bus systems, we have easy access to almost anywhere in the City. Air travel to and from North America and Europe is also easy and inexpensive with daily direct and non-stop flights available.
Medellin is known as “The City of Eternal Spring”. We have spring-like weather conditions year round. And the cost of living is much lower here than almost anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. These are several of the reasons that draw thousands of visitors each year. And many of these visitors choose to stay or move here to retire.
Medellin needed an English-speaking church
But with all that, there were no Christian English speaking churches in Medellin prior to 2018. Fortunately, that changed a few months ago. Our goal in coming here was to help establish an American style non-denominational Bible church with music and messages in English. We want residents and visitors to be able to experience church in their language.
More importantly, we believe God wants to develop a Christian family in Medellin to minister to one another in times of need. When you are far away from home as so many of us are, it is nice to know that you have friends to come alongside and share burdens and provide comfort. In that regard, we are very much like the First Century Christian churches described in the Book of Acts.
Our English-Speaking Church Begins
The Expat community of Medellin is very transient. We have had visitors regularly, and it seems that as soon as we add a member, another one leaves. Slowly, but surely God is adding to our numbers. We are exploring options for a worship service, including use of video sermons from well-known American preachers. We use Youtube videos with text for our music. And we communicate with one another using WhatsApp. We also have a Facebook page for the quicker posting of news and events. When it is time, God will supply what we need to have regular church services.
Currently, we do not have a Pastor or paid staff. Our members alternate in presenting Bible studies and messages. And those experiences are resulting in spiritual growth in each of our members. We also have access to many resources online that bring excellent Bible messages to our group. This is working well right now. If and when God is ready for us to have a Pastor, we are confident that God will provide exactly what we need.
Small Group Bible Studies
We meet weekly for Bible study and prayer at the home of one of our members. In the past year, we have had a study in basic Christianity, Evangelism, and a verse-by-verse study of the book of 1st Peter. We started a study of the Gospel of John in February 2019.
Do you know how many times the word “Grace” is used in the Bible? Neither do I, but it is a lot. And it is the foundation of Christianity. Ephesians 1:3-14 speaks over and over about God’s grace, His blessings, the kind intention of His will. He blessed us, He chose us, He predestined us, He freely bestowed grace on us, He redeemed us, He forgave us, He lavished His grace on us. And those verses also say we obtained an inheritance, and we were sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise. We deserved none of this, but God did it for us “according to the riches of His grace” because He loved us.
For 2019, we are looking forward expectantly to see God accomplish His will through us and our small church. If you are living or visiting in Medellin, we invite you to contact us and plan to visit our church soon. If you are considering relocating to Latin America, we encourage you to visit, think, and pray about Medellin. Most of us have lived in many locations in Central and South America, and we feel Medellin is one of the best places to live.