During one of the eyeglass clinics held this year at the International Welcome Center, a lady who seemed very excited, approached me and asked me two questions: “Where did all these people who are doing the clinic come from and what encourages them to do this?” I responded, “These people come from different Baptist Churches around the city; and the reason why they do it is because they love Christ and they want to share His love with the rest of people around our communities.” Later, I learned she was from Northern Mexico, and she told me, “What you guys are doing is very commendable, you‘re doing this without expecting anything in return. These days almost nobody does anything without expecting something in return.” I replied, “You are correct, the difference is Christ in us. As Christians the Lord compels us to help our neighbors without expecting anything in return.”
This year the eyeglass clinics have been of great impact. We helped more than 300 people get their free glasses and at least 50 people made professions of faith. Some of which are already connected with some local churches. We were so excited about the local results, that with the assistance of some local churches and other organizations, we decided to conduct a clinic in Mexico City. This clinic was also a great success. More than 1,000 people attended and 247 of them made professions of faith. A local church that we are planting in Mexico is doing the follow up with these new believers.
Another emphasis was to help families understand the culture where we live. Many people who have just arrived are unaware of the educational and legal system of the United States. For that reason, we defined the most important areas in which people should be trained; and we invited specialists in each area to come and train others. Many families were blessed through these trainings. Afterwards, they felt better equipped to deal with certain specific situations in their homes. We are grateful to all the specialists who made time to share their knowledge with the families that attended.
After conducting a survey with all inter- national pastors in the Kansas City area and beyond, we learned a good group of them felt alone and without the possibility of having fellowship with one another. From that moment, we decided to have pastoral meetings with them. In these meetings we worship together, encourage one another, pray for one another, find different ways we can exchange resources and material and we provide some specific training. With the assistance of some local leaders, this year we had the possibility to train several pastors in the area of how to prepare and preach biblical messages. These trainings have been of great value to pastors, considering the reality that many of them do not have seminary training. It is very encouraging to see that in every meeting we see larger participations of pastors and leaders.
These gatherings have also helped us find leaders with skills and gifts to plant churches. With the assistance of BR-KC and local churches, Orlando Blas has started the process of planting a new Hispanic Church in the Lee’s Summit area. Orlando, who is originally from Guatemala, has been part of a church planting team in his country, has developed and trained leaders in the past and is certainly willing to help us develop this new church plant. We ask for your prayers so Orlando and his team can make an impact among the people group he is ministering to.
I would like to express our gratitude to the churches of BR-KC for allowing us the opportunity to minister to the different people groups represented in the city. Your prayers and support are essential. Thank you!