By Owen Wilkie
More than 200 Spanish-speaking pastors and laypeople from many parts of the United States came to the annual Hispanic Convention held March 19-20, 2010, in Santa Ana, California.
Hosted by the Southern Pacific District, with assistance from the AGWM Mobilization Department, this event featured a banquet, teaching sessions, presentation of a missions musical and time for praise, worship and fellowship. Assistant District Superintendent Raul Castro moderated the event. The sessions were conducted in Spanish with some portions translated into English.
Richard Nicholson, the Latin America and the Caribbean region director, preached at the Friday night banquet. Amos Garza, the missions director from the Gulf Latin American District, delivered the closing sermon on Saturday afternoon.
Six of the 29 world missionaries from Hispanic districts were at the conference and introduced during the Friday night banquet.
The purpose of the Fly-In, according to Castro, was to bring awareness to the constituency about AG world missions abroad; what the church is doing, and what needs to be done.
Fourteen ministries brought their exhibits including Women’s Ministries, the Spanish Pentecostal Evangel, Global Initiative and several others. Latin American Bible Institute had an exhibit with eight students in attendance.
Promotions Material Specialist Sheila Kiser, working at the missions booth, said among those who purchased missions materials was a pastor who had just planted a new church. He wanted his young congregation to get involved in missions right at the start. Several pastors didn’t realize that the monthly missions Newsbreak videos were also in Spanish, and took samples to take back to their churches.
At the conclusion of the sessions, AGWM missionary Benny Ferguson said: “The Hispanic districts are coming into their own in missions. It is exciting to watch these district leaders emerging to take their place in world evangelism.”
David Lee commented: “I felt the Hispanic Fly-In was an excellent meeting. The presenters were well-prepared and provided very practical information to the attendees on how to strengthen the missions program in their churches. The event was informational, inspirational and practical. Each participant went home encouraged and challenged.”
Raul Castro said, “I am personally very pleased with the presentation from all the staff. Based on the comments from pastors this conference was very beneficial. They mentioned that hearing reports from other countries really helped them in their understanding of world missions.”
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