On February 23, Eglise Chretienne Reformee DHaiti (Christian Reformed Church of Haiti) had its first public meeting in a new building that was recently rebuilt after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti destroyed their previous building.
Sovereign Grace partnered with La IBI (Iglesia Bautista Internacional) in the Dominican Republic, pastored by Miguel Nuñez, to finance the reconstruction of this church building. Felipe Castro, an associate pastor at La IBI, visited for the first meeting.
This work in Haiti was possible because of the partnership we share with La IBI and because of the funds given to the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund we set up in 2010. To those of you who generously gave, thank you!
Below you’ll see some photos of the first meeting of the church. The text on the front of the building, underneath the church name, says “Donated by Sovereign Grace Ministries” followed by “received through IBI International.” Join us in praying that God would bless Christian Reformed Church of Haiti in their gospel witness as they begin to use this new building!
Mauricio Velarde shared an update on his recent trip to the Dominican Republic to participate in the Musiclass13 conference. Read about a few ways the Lord is at work in Latin America and how he is using Sovereign Grace Music to bless churches there.
I was invited to the Dominican Republic to teach at a conference called Musiclass13 hosted by Iglesia Bautista Ozama (IBO) from August 1–3. Musiclass13 takes place every year. Not only do many churches attend, but the conference is broadcast live through Misión Virtual, allowing numerous Spanish churches in different countries to participate. This year, we had the privilege of having 25+ churches, including a church from Ecuador.
I arrived on Monday, July 29 and quickly began music rehearsals with Rogers Peralta and Carlos Garcia, who are music conductors at the church. They are both doing a great job musically by conducting an orchestra of talented and humble musicians, and they are also doing a great job in their theology of worship by keeping Christ the main focus.
I had the privilege of teaching various messages on topics such as the characteristics of a faithful servant, what acceptable worship to the Lord looks like, and the role of the worship leader. The format was much like WorshipGod in that we held a main session and breakout seminars. The emphasis of the conference was to teach worship leaders how to grow more in the knowledge of the Lord and not simply strive to be good musicians.
To end the conference, we had two concerts back to back. Both were packed out! How amazing! During the concert, we sang a combination of Sovereign Grace songs and some original songs written by IBO’s senior pastor, Otto Sánchez. It was an amazing time of worship where we focused on leading the people to see God’s amazing love for us in the cross.
As an encouragement to all of you, I would like to mention that all throughout the conference, I had brothers and sisters from many different churches come to me to say things like, “We sing many of Sovereign Grace’s songs, and they have been a huge blessing to our church.”
I believe God is doing a magnificent work in Latin America, and I am thankful that we can be instruments in his hands. May God continue to give us grace to magnify His glory to His people.
Mauricio and his wife, Sonia, live in the Gaithersburg, Maryland. Mauricio leads worship at Iglesia Gracia Soberana de Gaithersburg. He writes songs for the Spanish Sovereign Grace churches and sung on and helped produce our last two Spanish albums: Eres Dios in 2012 and Allí En la Cruz in 2010.
Our foray into the Dominican Republic began with Carlos Contreras and a contact he developed from El Salvador. Carlos began to serve the Oasis group of churches in El Salvador some years ago and it turns out they had a large network of churches that stretched through out the Latin world to include the DR. Carlos traveled to the DR in 2008 and met with Tomas Martinez the pastor of Oasis church of Santo Domingo and Alvaro Rodriguez the pastor of Oasis church of Santiago. Carlos and I made a follow up trip to the DR together in the fall of 2009 and our relationship with these brothers has grown over the years as Jim Britt and I have made numerous trips by invitation of Tomas and Alvaro to train their leaders, conduct pastoral marriage retreats, and build relationally. It was through these men that we met Miguel Nunez of Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) the host of Por Su Causa.
Recently I had the privilege of spending a week with Alvaro Rodriguez and the Oasis church of Santiago. We worked together to train leaders, evaluate pastors, and talk about team building. Alvaro has a vibrant church in Santiago (second largest city in the DR with about 1 million inhabitants). The most interesting aspect of my visit was the day I accompanied them into Haiti to watch them on mission with the gospel. It was fascinating to observe how they train and fund Dominican missionaries who work with the poorest of the poorest in Haiti. We have much to learn from these men and women who cross the border between these two countries to plant churches, dig wells, help Haitian farmers grow crops and of course preach the gospel and see a new generation of Haitian believers raised up. The churches planted all have Haitian pastors who work with the Dominican pastors. It is a beautiful partnership yielding much fruit. It is a brilliant testimony to the surrounding community to see Haitians and Dominicans working together as historically the Haitian and Dominican people have been at odds with each other. I took some video of my day in Haiti and trust it will serve to encourage us all in the gospel mission in which we partner. Sovereign Grace Ministries funds helped build some of the facilities we see in the video. The missionary couple supported by the Dominican church, Keith and Cookie Davis, are from Alvaro's church.
Al was raised in Miami, born to Cuban parents. He left Miami to join the army and receive his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. He served on the staff of Christ for the Nations in Dallas for seven years and is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. After pastoring a church in Atlanta for two years, he joined the leadership team of another Sovereign Grace Ministries church, Metro Life Church, in Orlando. In November of 1996, Al fulfilled his dream to return to Miami and plant a church that is a part of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Palm Vista Community Church, where he now serves as lead pastor. Al and his wife Desiree have four children: Vanessa, Melinda, Stephanie, and Joseph.
It has been a tremendous joy to get to know the folks serving and attending Por Su Causa in the Dominican Republic this past week. Literally hundreds of members from Miguel Núñez's church have been serving with unspeakable joy and humility.
Steve Cook and I arrived on Monday to prepare the musicians and vocalists for a live recording of Sovereign Grace Music's fourth Spanish album. Steve's leadership in cooperation with Juancho, Por Su Causa's technical director, has been a major part of capturing this live event. Thanks to these men, the musicians, vocalists, and those in attendance, the recording went extremely well last night.
Working with the musicians from Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) was outstanding -- these are excellent musicians not only because of their gifts, but also because of their humility. Each one has wholeheartedly invested in this conference, spending countless hours in rehearsal even before we arrived.
The conference started on Saturday morning with Miguel teaching the first session. He was followed by Jeff Purswell, Salvador Gomez, a time of worship where I had the great joy of serving with Bob Kauflin (who did a great job leading in Spanish), ending with a powerful message by C.J. Mahaney.
Right before C.J. taught, Miguel asked all the Sovereign Grace Ministries’ attendees to come up on stage and introduce themselves. He honored C.J. by giving him a plaque, thanking him for his and Sovereign Grace's investment in the spread of the gospel in Latin America. Last year when the hurricane hit Haiti, there was a church that met every Sunday in a very deteriorated building. (We saw pictures, and it was a very moving sight). Then after the hurricane, the little they had was destroyed. Sovereign Grace collected an offering to send to Miguel's Church so that they could serve these brothers in Haiti. We then saw pictures of how this money was used – they now have a beautiful, yet humble, building where they meet to proclaim the gospel. C.J. was in tears when the pastors from the church in Haiti came on stage to say thanks. What a blessing this was for us to witness!
Some of the highlights of our trip have been:
- Seeing how God is using Miguel and his church to promote sound doctrine in a powerful way in Latin America.
- Promoting our new Spanish album Eres Dios. I was interviewed, and the interview was broadcasted in many Latin American countries, explaining how we write and translate songs.
- After all the hard work preparing for last night’s recording, it was a joy to record our fourth Spanish album. We did something very similar to The Gathering at our last Worship God conference. We did two concerts back to back, where we recorded many of our translations and some original songs written by members of IBI. We were able to sing songs like “All I Have is Christ”, “Let Your Kingdom Come” and “Behold Our God”. Bob led the last four songs to close the night.
Please pray for the rest of our time here, that God will be magnified and glorified in this conference, and that this would not be the last time we get to work with Miguel and his church.
May God be exalted!
Mauricio Velarde: Nuestra experiencia en Por Su Causa
Ha sido un gran gozo el poder conocer a las personas que están asistiendo y sirviendo en Por Su Causa esta pasada semana en la República Dominicana. Literalmente, cientos de miembros de la iglesia de Miguel Nuñez han servido con gran gozo e humildad.
Steve Cook y yo llegamos el lunes para preparar a los músicos y vocalistas para una grabación en vivo del cuarto álbum en español de Sovereign Grace Music. El liderazgo de Steve ha jugado un papel principal en esta grabación en vivo. Él ha estado trabajando con Juancho, quién es el director técnico de Por Su Causa. Gracias a estos hombres, los músicos, vocalistas y aquellos que asistieron, la grabación salió muy bien anoche.
Trabajando con los músicos de la Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) ha sido un gozo-- estos son músicos extraordinarios no sólo por su talentos pero por su humildad. Cada uno ha invertido, de todo corazón, en esta conferencia al pasar un sinnúmero de horas practicando antes de nuestra llegada.
La conferencia comenzó el sábado por la mañana con la primera sesión dada por Miguel, después por Jeff Purswell, después por Salvador Gomez y tuvimos un tiempo de adoración donde tuve el gran gozo de servir con Bob Kauflin (que hizo un tremendo trabajo liderando en español), terminando con un mensaje poderoso por C.J. Mahaney.
Antes de que enseñara C.J., Miguel pidió que todo aquél que fuese parte de Sovereign Grace Ministries que subiera al escenario para presentarse. Él le rindió un honor a C.J. al entregarle una placa, dándole las gracias por la inversión que él y Sovereign Grace han tomado en expandir el evangelio en Latinoamérica. El año pasado cuando un huracán azotó a Haití, había una iglesia que se reunía todos los domingos en un edificio muy deteriorado (nosotros vimos fotos y eran unas imágenes conmovedoras). Después del huracán, lo poco que tenían fue destruido. Sovereign Grace recolectó una ofrenda y se la envió a la iglesia de Miguel para que ellos pudiesen servir a estos hermanos en Haití. Después vimos fotos de cómo este dinero fue utilizado- ahora tienen un hermoso, e humilde, edificio donde se reúnen para proclamar el evangelio. C.J. estaba llorando cuando los pastores de la iglesia de Haití subieron al escenario para darle las gracias. ¡Qué bendición fue el presenciar esto!
Algunas de las reseñas de nuestro viaje son:
- Ver como Dios está usando a Miguel y su iglesia para promover la sana doctrina de una manera poderosa en Latinoamérica.
- Promover nuestro nuevo álbum en español, Eres Dios. Me entrevistaron y la entrevista fue transmitida en muchos países Latinoamericanos. Expliqué como escribimos canciones y como las traducimos.
- Después de todo el trabajo para prepararnos para la grabación de anoche, fue un gozo el grabar nuestro cuarto álbum en español. Hicimos algo similar a lo que se hizo en The Gathering durante la última conferencia de Worship God. Hicimos dos conciertos, uno después del otro, donde grabamos muchas de nuestras traducciones y algunas canciones originales escritas por miembros de la IBI. Cantamos canciones como “All I Have Is Christ”, “Let Your Kingdom Come” y “Behold Our God.” Bob lideró las últimas dos canciones para cerrar la noche.
Por favor oren que el resto del tiempo que nos queda sea para que Dios sea magnificado y glorificado y que esta no sea la última vez que trabajamos con Miguel y con su iglesia.
¡Sea Dios exaltado!
Mauricio and his wife, Sonia, live in the Gaithersburg, MD. Mauricio leads worship at Iglesia Gracia Soberana de Gaithersburg. He writes songs for the Spanish Sovereign Grace Churches, sung on and helped produce our last two Spanish albums: Eres Dios in 2012 and Allí En la Cruz in 2010.
September 22, 2012 by
Categories: Conferences | Dominican Republic
C.J. Mahaney, Jeff Purswell, and Bob Kauflin are in the Dominican Republic this weekend to speak at Por Su Causa 2012, a conference for Latin-American Christians hosted by Ministerios Integridad & Sabiduría. They will join speakers Miguel Núñez, Salvador Gómez, and José Agüero to address the topic, "The God we worship."
Additionally, Bob will lead music for one session and lead a few songs for a live album Sovereign Grace Music is recording Sunday night. Lord willing, this album will come out January of 2013.
You can watch the conference live September 22-24.
For more information, visit their website or contact them via Facebook or Twitter.