Training church leaders for impact
Daniel Rangel joined with Mario Gonzalez, director of Texas Baptists Multi-housing and House Congregations, to train house church leaders on ministering to new congregations in Laredo. Church leaders learned skills for small group Bible study, 4xFour evangelism, Study Bible resources as well as help with sermon outlines. Texas Baptists River Ministry missionaries facilitate many training opportunities on both sides of the border. Other training opportunities include “No Mas Violencia,” teaching how to stop physical and emotional violence in families, neighborhoods, schools and city streets; Raising Highly Capable Kids, parenting classes taught by church leaders in local schools; and ministry training for local church leaders.
Meeting physical needs
Every Friday, Brenda Bermudez, and a group of women from Iglesia Bautista Emanuel in Alton, serve food to more than 80 families in her colonia. The ministry provides Brenda and other women from their church with the opportunity to build relationships with neighbors and shine the love of Christ. (Read Brenda’s story on page 22). The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering supports local church feeding ministries, just like Brenda’s, by providing funds for food through River Ministry partners.
Facilitating church partnerships
In June, Lakeview Baptist Church and Inglewood Baptist Church, sister congregations from Grand Prairie, coordinated a joint mission trip through Texas Baptists River Ministry Missionary Osvaldo Lerma to Brownsville. The group of 25 served alongside Iglesia Bautista En Bien Pastor, a mission church which began 10 years ago. During the week, the team led conferences for youth and women, helped with much-needed repairs on Mata’s home, repaired the flooring in a church member’s home and hosted a block party for children in the community.
Caring for refugees
The McAllen Refugee Relief Center has been in constant operation since 2014, when refugees from Central America began traveling in large groups across the border into McAllen. Around 72,000 people have crossed through the center, where they have received love, care, prayer and much needed respite before continuing on their journey to their final destinations. Churches who partner with Texas Baptists River Ministry send volunteers to work at the refugee center during their visits and also provide donations of clothing and toiletries as they minister to spiritual needs.