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2021 Multicultural Report for EFCA Central Conference Jan. 11, 2022
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. John 4:35
Renato Jimenez, Worku Geremew, Andre Turner, George Tluanga, and Brad Wos continue to serve as your Acts 13 Multicultural team for our EFCA Central in 2021. As a team we have seen our Multicultural ministries multiply from 13 ministries in 2017 to 31 ministries in 2021. Please join us in praying John 4:35 for our EFCA Central churches to multiply the Acts 13 Multicultural team Vision of lifting our eyes to “see” All People living in grace in our EFCA Central district:
To Equip Multi-cultural leaders to follow Jesus in their walk, work, and worship to plant All people churches through regional teams that multiply networks to All People both across the street and around the world in our EFCA Central.
One of the highlights of 2021 is the new book release of Embracing the New Samaria by Dr. Alex Mandes. Alex is our EFCA National All People Director and it has been our prayer for many years that Alex would write a book on multicultural ministry. Our Acts 13 Team of Multicultural leaders are here to serve you by ‘Embracing your New Samaria’ with community development that multiplies kingdom disciples Monday through Saturday in the multicultural marketplace. A second highlight of 2021 is the new 8-week cohort book Work that Makes a Difference by Dr. Dan Doriani. Our Acts 13 team is equipping leaders to bridge the gap between the multicultural marketplace during the week and the local church culture on Sunday. Both of these books are our gift to you to equip leaders for a Multicultural Multiplication Team.
Rev. Brad Wos has served as our EFCA Central Multicultural Director for 5 years and is based in St Louis MO. 2021 was the year of Afghanistan refugees beginning to arrive in 5 of our EFCA Central cities. The Lord has provided a network of Afghan ministry leaders especially with Pastor Satar who is a Dari speaking church planter. In 2022 we are asking the Lord to help churches adopt Afghan families. We are equipping local churches on Zoom with Pastor Satar to begin family friendships welcoming our new Afghan neighbors. In 2021 the Lord has also expanded our Native American ministry through the United in Christ Network at Oak Hills Bible College in Bemidji MN in July. Dr. Alex Mandes was one of the featured speakers at the conference highlighting the release of his new book Embracing the New Samaria. Please pray for the Gospel to bear fruit with Afghan and Native American ministry in 2022.
Plan today to join us at Hidden Acres on August 12-14th 2022 for our annual EFCA Central Latino Family camp. For the last 5 years this camp is one of my highlights every year that models ‘mission across the street and around the world’. Latino Family camp welcomes All People to a Spanish speaking camp to learn community with over 400 people from 11 states. Renato Jimenez and his incredible family have led this camp for many years. In 2021 a Spanish led EFCA Central ministry license council approved 4 Hispanic pastors for recommendation for their EFCA Ministry license. Here is a picture of Pastor Carlos Perez from Christ Community Church of Sioux Center Iowa. Please talk with Brad or Renato or Todd Brooks about EFCA Gateway our online credential training to equip our multicultural pastors with EFCA credentialing.
Brad & his wife Patty celebrated 31 years of marriage in 2021 with 25 of those years raising support as full time missionaries. We are so thankful to partner together in the great commission ‘across the street and around the world’. After 25 years of Mission and 5 years with the EFCA Central Brad & Patty enjoyed their first 2-month sabbatical in June and July. Brad & Patty biked across Missouri on the Katy Trail in early June in sweltering heat. In July they canoed the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota as pictured here. They also attended the Native American Conference in Bemidji. Brad & Patty have raised 5 children and in June their youngest son graduated from High School with a full scholarship to college. In May and August Brad completed 2 classes for his Doctor of Ministry degree at Covenant Seminary studying under Dr. Dan Doriani and the Center for Faith & Work in St. Louis. Thank you for prayers for Brad’s leukemia that returned in September after 10 months of remission. The Lord provided immunotherapy and Brad is in ‘partial remission’.
Please pray for a planned Kenya Mission trip March 12-20th with Reach Global and 6 pastors as we learn how a disciple making movement is reaching the unreached. Please pray for a June conference with National African American Mission Council as we seek to mobilize multi-ethnic churches across the street and around the world. Please pray Ephesians 2:10 for our Acts 13 Multicultural leadership team and here are their reports:
Renato Jimenez has served as our EFCA Central Hispanic Director for 4 years and is based in Storm Lake Iowa. Renato and his wife Nelly as you see in the family picture have 8 beautiful children. Please pray for the Gospel to multiply through their family. 2021 was a year of many transitions. I am very thankful for a time that we can spend together as family in our sabbatical. I was able to take my family and have great quality time during the summer. I know that this was the last year we were going to have with our oldest son. He went to bootcamp and now he is a Marine. We won’t see him much more after this year. Our family is changing as our second oldest is also graduating this May 2022 and he is also enlisted to become a Marine. We had the impression that we will have less kids after the oldest go, but they multiply and now they are bringing their girlfriends into our lives. We are not subtracting kids but adding more to the family. I feel so blessed to be used by God and it is a privilege to serve him full time ministry.
Our 2021 Latino Family Camp was held in August 13-15. We had three different groups leading worship and our speaker was Rafael Oropeza. We invited Benjamin Rivera to lead worship the first night and we were blessed by his wisdom in his workshop. We had 283 people this year. We invited the pastors and their families a couple days before. This was a way to care for them. We had four people present their thesis for their ministry license. The people who presented their license are: Pastor Jesus Alvarado, Carlos Perez, Mario Zavala and Daniel Aguilar.
We finished our theological training Gateway I. We had 8 students taking gateway.
We learned a lot about visas and immigration. We continue the process to apply for Claudio and Claudia to be granted visas from Chile.
We have some new names for potential candidates to join us in the EFCA central district.
We currently have 5 Hispanic churches in our EFCA Central district.
- Iglesia Nueva Vida. Sioux City, IA – Pastor Aurelio López
- Iglesia Summit en español. Storm Lake, IA – Pastor Renato Jimenez
- Iglesia Nueva Esperanza. Orange City, IA – Pastor Jesús Alvarado
- Iglesia de Gracia. Eagle Grove – Pastor Isai Guerrero
- Iglesia Comunidad de Cristo. Sioux Center, IA – Pastor Carlos Perez
Our goal is to have 10 Hispanic churches by 2025. Please pray for these 2022 goals:
- 2022 Latino Family Camp. We are getting ready for our camp this year on August 12-14. Our speaker is Hugo Concha. He is from Chile and he has a lot of experience in pastoring a church. We also planning to invite pastors and their families arriving Wednesday of that week. We want to care for our pastors and so that they are healthy.
- We are also using ProMETA. This is an online seminary from the EFCA. Students can obtain a masters in leadership or biblical studies.
- Multiplication Pipeline and Cosecha network.
Multiplication Pipeline helps train leaders and send the congregation on mission. We plan to meet monthly with pastors to report, support and dream. Our goal is to create a team of pastors to help multiply churches. We can work as a team and use our gifts and abilities to strengthen our churches. This last year, God brought quality people to be part of the team. We are still working on this but the people who are being more involved are: Mario Zavala, Jesus Alvarado, Carlos Perez and Martin Mendez. We are working well together.
We have found the following steps helpful in preparing Hispanic church planters:
- We identify leaders, God wants people willing to be used by him.
- We prepare them by doing ministry in community and coach them to work as a team.
- We get them ready to go by continuing to care for them as a person & church planter.
We are planning to have combined services with other Hispanic churches every 4 months. We had our first service November 14 in Sioux Center. We are planning our next meeting March 6 in Sioux City. In June 2022 Pastor Rafael Oropeza is planning to bring a mission team from Mexico. We are planning to visit all cities where we have Hispanic churches and have a night of worship. We will be having an event every day in different cities for one week in June.
Rev. Worku Geremew has served as our EFCA Central African Diaspora Director for 3.5 years and is based in St. Louis. Worku pastors Rise Together EFCA with decades of experience discipling immigrants and refugees. Worku disciples’ foreign-born leaders in Faith & Work through 3 companies: Rise Together Resale Shop, Rise Together Cleaning company, and Rise Together Woodworking. Rise Together is bringing the healing of Jesus Christ to ethnically and economically diverse people in St Louis and beyond!
2021 has been a wonderful year with a lot of opportunities and we thank the Lord for his Kindness. 2020 with Covid there was a lot of struggles but in 2021 the Lord helped us to do a lot of unexpected things and we praise him!
2021 Job Development Program Story:
Steven Hays an Iraqi war veteran, abandoned by his wife with two kids because of drugs, who just got out of jail for drug charges walked into our thrift store and pick somethings out for his two kids, Skyler 10 and Charlie12. He paid for his items and thanks my wife working the front desk and walks toward the door. Then he saw an ad about woodwork training and asks another volunteer Joshua, about it. Steven grew up doing woodwork with his grandfather and was making furniture in the Army. Joshua has him fill the application form and finds out that Steven is a single dad. Joshua went into the bathroom and cried quietly because he himself is abandoned by his wife with 2 kids for another reason. Joshua calls me and says please let us take this guy because I feel God brought him to our resale store today. There is a lot to the story, but Steven is leading our woodworking program and is part of our church prelaunch training program. That is one of our blessings with all the struggles we have been through in 2021.
Elaine is Steven’s Mom and she is leading our janitorial group in training.
In 2021 our woodwork and janitorial business were able to train about 25 people.
Because of the nature of the area we are located the demographics we are getting people who are hurt and seeking. Mainly refugees and inner-city people live in South City St Louis. Our model is to go and humble ourselves to see gospel transformation in people.
Resale Store: My wife Rebecca oversees the thrift Store. It has been growing through a lot of struggles to cover its cost. Pray for innovative ideas on how to bless the city.
Church Plant Prelaunch:
Our thrift store and job development programs are an opportunity for us to find people whom we can engage. Out of that we picked 5 people who are part of the prelaunch program who started the training in mid-November and goes through February. We are hoping later in 2022 or early 2023 we will have a new church plant.
Andre Turner has served as our EFCA Central African American Director for the last 3 years and is based in St. Louis. Andre has pastored Truth & Grace EFCA for 5 years and is also planting a new church in Lovejoy Illinois. Lovejoy is named after Elijah Lovejoy and was the first African American town in the USA.
In 2021 despite the pandemic and experiencing the residual from the racial tension during the George Floyd crisis, I can honestly say that I’m very impressed with our St. Louis and Illinois churches. Even though attendance dropped like other churches throughout this nation with Covid we have seen people return.
Truth and Grace Fellowship
Our St. Louis Church has gradually come back and 5 NEW MEMBERS were added to the Fellowship (this includes a Latino and African American young couple that I married at the church). We also currently have 2 Native Americans coming regularly in addition to the others returning to our regular services and community outreach.
Brad Wos and Christ Community EFCA have really blessed us during the past year. We revitalized our NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION, Our CHURCH BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT and continued to model and teach PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP.
We’ve been teaching discipleship classes in the Lovejoy Illinois location. We’ve reached people through our COMMUNITY DINNERS, CLOTHING & TOY GIVE AWAYS and COMMUNITY DRIVE THROUGH PRAYER.
Plans for 2022
- To prayerfully Strengthen Truth and Grace through DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING and COMMUNITY OUTREACH In view of making it a solid Church glorifying the Lord Jesus.
- Get fully Credentialed in the EFCA
- Recruit 5 Pastors to join our Multicultural pipeline and be credentialed in the EFCA
- Prayerful engages in aggressive Outreach and continue to love and provide resources for the people in the Lovejoy Community of Illinois.
George Tluanga has served as our EFCA Central Burmese Director for over 2 years and is based in Kale Myanmar. George also pastors the Mizo Church of Columbia Missouri via Facebook Live that meets at Compass EFCA . Since November 2019 we have been waiting for George to receive his Visa that was delayed due to Covid. Praise the Lord that we just received a letter from the Myanmar visa office that February 15th is George & C-tay visa interview!
In 2021 George modeled living & telling the gospel across the street & around the World.
- 20 young people accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord at Kanan village Gospel campaign: At the Kanan village, God has done great miracle for us, one of the young men who is Lal Biak Chhawna (25 years old) God healed his right eye after accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour and Lord. Our Gospel rally was from 7:30am to 3:30pm for 5 days. We praised God that I was able to share the gospel with 32 young people in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and other problems.
- Preaching on Sunday at Varpui village. By God’s grace I was able to preach the gospel 2 times in a week at Varpui Church near Kalaymyo.
- Preaching the Gospel of Salvation at 3 Rehabilitation Centers at Tahan and Vutbuak village. By God’s grace I was able to preach on 31 October 2021 and 7 November, 2021. God’s grace, some of young people came to Christ and dedicated their lives to God and began to get involved in life of the local church.
Goals for 2022 for Burmese Multicultural Ministry/ Church Planting Ministry:
- My Vision is Planting Healthy Churches and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people group of Burmese (Myanmar People) in the USA. And seeing laypeople and church leaders becoming Great Commission leaders who are making disciples, who are making disciples, who are making disciples, who are sharing the Gospel to transform lives and planting churches. (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20).
- My Mission is to Intentionally Make Disciples, produce servant leaders who have a passion for church Planting movement and partnering with existing members for developing Church members to fulfil the Great Commission in the people groups of Burmese to transform their family lives and planting churches by using Win, Build, Train and Send process. (Matt. 28:18-20)I have been praying for the USA in the next 10 years, (One Church for each Year) I will be seeing 10 Churches planted among Burmese people who are waiting for me and eager to hear the Gospel in spite of many challenges in their daily lives.
- My big dream for Extending God’s Kingdom in 4 States:
- I have a dream of sharing the gospel to 1000 people through personal Evangelism and through mass evangelism (Gospel rally).
- I have a dream to train Church Leaders for fulfilling the Great Commission and intentionally making disciples.
- I have a dream to make friends with community leaders in 4 States of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and South Dakota.
- I have a dream to Train lay people for discipleship and evangelism.
- I have a dream to plant One Church in 2022.
Our EFCA Central Staff is here to serve you to be on ‘Mission across the street and around the world’. As you have read through this Multicultural report, please continue to pray for our Acts 13 team and these big 5 goals of 2022 Goals for Multicultural Church Multiplication in our EFCA Central Churches.
- Pray that the Lord mobilizes our EFCA Central Churches to ‘see’ the harvest of multicultural ministry ‘across the street and around the world’ especially with Afghans.
- Pray for our Acts 13 Multi-Cultural leaders to equip our churches with a theology of suffering through their stories and ministries to love All People in our EFCA Central.
- Pray for Mission leaders to start Embracing the New Samaria and Work that Makes a difference small group roundtable ministry in action teams to bridge the gap between the multicultural marketplace and the monoculture of our churches.
- Pray for our Acts 13 team to cast clear vision and for innovative support raising ideas.
- Pray Eph. 2:10 that we follow the Lord as he loves All people in our EFCA Central.
If you or your church want to be on ‘Mission across the Street and around the World’ please email Brad at [email protected] If you are interested in starting an Embracing a New Samaria or Work that Makes a Difference Roundtable small group for your church please let us know for group pricing on books and resources.
Rev. Brad Wos
EFCA Central Multi-Cultural Director