Laureles Update – New English Bible Study

For several months, we have had a burden to reach out to English speakers in other parts of Medellin, specifically Laureles.  This post is titled Laureles Update and tells a little more of our adventure with God in this community.

Why is Laureles so important?  Laureles is the second most popular area for North Americans and other Expats who live here.  Laureles is on the other side of the Medellin River from Poblado and is much flatter than most other parts of Medellin.  So walking is much easier.  And from what we have been told, prices for rent, food, and most other things are less expensive there than in Poblado.

Sweet Georgia Cafe - Laureles, Medellin, Colombia
Sweet Georgia Cafe and their famous “all-day breakfast“.

Search for Location

This week, the Lord really opened up this community to us.  Sweet Georgia Cafe is a restaurant owned by Robert Lester from Fort Valley, Georgia.  They have great food and a very popular feature – they serve breakfast all day long!  Robert is a Christian, and almost all of his customers speak English.  So it is a very comfortable environment, especially for Americans.

At one time we had talked with Robert about allowing us to host a small group Bible study in his restaurant and he agreed. The last time we visited with him he also encouraged us to check out a Spanish Evangelical Christian church just around the corner from his restaurant.

As I explained in my last post, we visited the church the next Sunday morning and immediately connected with Pastor Carlos.  Pastor Carlos was excited about the possibility of an English speaking Christian group and wanted us to hold it in his church.  So fast-forward to this week and let me share with you all God has done.

“Opening Night”!

Tuesday night, Michael, Nichole, Paulette and I drove over to Laureles, with all the supplies we thought we needed to host a small group.  We got there early so we had dinner at Sweet Georgia Cafe.  Nichole had the standard breakfast – Waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon, while Paulette had the same but skipped the eggs.  Michael had one of their specialties – Waffles and Fried Chicken.  I was the boring one and ordered the grilled chicken salad.  Everything was delicious!

Laureles Update - Group photo of two small group Bible Studies at Iglesia Cristiana Confraternidad in Laureles, Medellin, Colombia
Group photo from our host church on our first night. Paulette, Nichole, Michael and Steve with our new friend, Juan David are in the middle. Pastor Carlos is seated in the middle. The other men are from Pastor Carlos’ Men’s Bible Study.

While there, we met several new friends and having previously received Robert’s permission, we put up a poster about the new small group Bible study.  Then we walked over to the church.  We arrived early, and while we were waiting, Michael couldn’t help but try to entertain them and make them laugh.  That gave me the opportunity to show off the article and pictures of Michael in his Christian clown ministry.

We didn’t know if anyone would show up, but we went in faith.  The church had a men’s Bible study group scheduled at the same time so we shared the sanctuary with them.  We had a few logistical issues especially when both groups were singing – different songs in different languages!  Even though they outnumbered us, we held our own, especially in the singing department!  But afterward, we got this photo of both groups.  We were all able to encourage each other.  God is very good!

Our First Visitor

One young man from Colombia who spoke English and who had traveled some in the US attended our group.  We had a wonderful time singing, studying John Chapter 1, praying, and sharing Communion.  During prayer time, I got a little bit “nosey” and we ended up praying for a Christian wife for him!

We ended right on time at 8:30 so everyone could get home at a reasonable hour.  We can’t wait to see what plans God has for this group.

God Is Opening New Doors

As part of this expansion to Laureles, we have met a number of new people who I feel are going to be very important for the future of our group.  I told you in my last post about our meetings with Pastor Carlos at ICC and Pastor Diego at Redil Estadio.  Both of these pastors lead fairly large congregations of Spanish Evangelical Christians.  I have been excited to learn of the many Evangelical churches in this area of the world that is so heavily dominated by Roman Catholicism.

Pastor Diego referred me to Shane Keely who is the owner of OLSA (Official Language School of the Americas).  Please click here to learn more about Shane and OLSA.  Yesterday, Shane generously gave me an hour of his time to get to know him and talk about ways we could work together to accomplish our goals.  Shane immediately gave me 3 ideas for how we could expand the ministries of Grace Church Medellin.  Two of these would also assist OLSA in providing additional services to its students, so a “win-win solution”.

Live and Serve Christ in Medellin

Over the next few weeks, we will be praying about and discussing how God wants us to use these ideas. As I said last week, the Holy Spirit is moving quickly to accomplish His purposes with respect to Laureles. He is already using this to train us and design a process for expanding to other areas of Medellin in the future.

Please pray for Medellin and especially for this growing ministry to the English speaking community.  As Jesus said in John 4:35,

Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.

And in Matthew 9:37-38,

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

We at Grace Church Medellin believe that God is calling and equipping individuals and couples to live and serve Christ in Medellin (as well as other parts of Latin America).  We pray that many others will catch this vision and see the benefits of relocating to help fulfill the Great Commission!

Grace Church Medellin

 

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12 thoughts on “Laureles Update – New English Bible Study”

  1. My dear, it is a joy to be experiencing our current adventure with you. God is definitely being faithful to us, and I’m looking forward to seeing what He does with Grace Church Medellin!

  2. Thank you dear for your faithfulness to God’s purpose and for marrying me! Looking forward to the study on Tuesday! It will be fun!

  3. Roland, I appreciate that your comment adds to my post.  We are very interested in being used by the Holy Spirit to share our stories  “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you”.(1 Peter 3:15)

    We definitely need and appreciate your prayers for this work.  And consider visiting us here in the “City of Eternal Spring”.  Medellin has much to offer.

    Steve

  4. This is really great to read on concerning your updates in Laureles and the new English bible study starting over there. To be honest, I feel delighted knowing that people like you are taking up the eternal message and are winning more souls for the Lord. I really pray that the Lord will take charge and manifest Himself more and more in Laureles. May the grace of God be with you all. Your post is worthy of reading and I will check for more updates again. Thanks

  5. Thank you for your insightful comments.  Here in Medellin, and in all mostly Spanish cultures, there are many English-speakers who have trouble learning the language.  And we have that same issue.  In those cases, it takes an English-speaker to be able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with another English-speaker.  So we feel that is one reason we are here.

    The second is that being far away from home, when problems arise, it is comforting to have people you can rely on to help.  This is exactly what a “church family” does.  So our second mission is to build a supportive community of English-speakers available to do something as simple as bring a meal, as well as help meet all sorts of needs associated with living in a foreign country.

    Thanks again for your encouragement.

    Steve

  6. I applaud you all in your efforts to grow the English Speaking community in the church. It is always better to go to a church service if it is in your own native language, but this is not always possible when there are many different nationalities in one place.

    So your idea is to get all the people who speak English into a group that can grow that part of the church together. I wish you all the best and I am sure you will grow from strength to strength, especially with the Lord behind you.

  7. Chloe your comments are right on point.  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says,

    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    As Christians, this is our mission, and we believe God has called us to serve the thousands of English-speakers who live in or visit Medellin.  I hope one day you can visit.

    Steve

  8. This is indeed a very great achievement I must say.  There are lots of churches coming up and who are in light of calling more peoples to Christ. The lack of awareness around it one major delay in that aspect. I’m glad this post have made this known to everyone. I’ll inform others about this wonderful achievement. Thanks for your time. God bless you 

  9. Tracy, thanks for that encouragement.  And we will pray for your ministry in Tennessee.  Our Bible studies here are very interactive.  We encourage everyone to read a few verses and share what they mean to them, and this opens everyone to share and participate in the discussion as well as ask questions.  And we could definitely use more Christians, because Medellin is a very large city, and Americans are spread throughout the many neighborhoods and suburban cities. 

    Steve

  10. The Lord be praised for His greatness exceeds all. All thanks to God that the souls are coming to the Lord through the manifestation of the bible study you are starting at Laureles. Thankfully that the Lord is establishing Himself already in the Land and He will do more. There are a lot of souls waiting to be saved and we need more people to take up the mantle. The Lord is using me here too in Tennessee and hopefully we will start our study group too. Thanks

  11. Thank you for you positive and helpful comment, John.  I agree with you, and we are trusting God to draw his people to our group.  We are also praying for additional Christians to accept His call to serve either here in Medellin, or in all parts of the world.

    Steve

  12. Wow, this is a really beautiful thing. I am happy that there are a group of people who can persevere and are so bent on spreading God’s word around. Seeing that there was a little problem with the new group pertaining to the songs and you could keep up is really good. Glory to God that someone joined and you could pray for him on something he really needed. Its a good thing you are doing and I pray that God continues to strengthen you. Amen.

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