At just 19 years old, when Enrique Villaba began pastoring a small church that was on the verge of closing its doors, he couldn’t have possibly dreamed what God had in store for that little congregation in 1994.
Today, The Foursquare Church in Cumana, Venezuela, comprises nearly 6,000 members and is still growing. People are coming to faith in unprecedented numbers, Enrique and his wife, Ruth, report. The ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country has many turning to the one thing that can offer real hope—Jesus.
The gospel is being preached in churches as well as the nearly 600 home groups that have opened in the midst of the crisis. Power outages, social unrest, sickness and malnutrition are only a few of the widespread consequences of the economy collapsing in recent years. The church has been instrumental in providing food for families, but especially as a result of the unrest, people are hungry for more than just food. There is a strong spiritual hunger among so many desperate people, and their hearts are open to receiving Jesus.
Though many are fleeing the city of Cumana and the country, many others who have come to faith are staying. A powerful move of God has been sweeping through the church in Venezuela; in May, nearly 1,000 people were baptized on the beaches of Cumana, and Enrique is planning to baptize around 3,000 people—1,000 every four months—in this coming year.
A powerful move of God has been sweeping through the church in Venezuela. Pastor Enrique Villaba is planning to baptize around 3,000 people in this coming year.
With so many new people coming to faith, Enrique’s greatest challenge is the development of leaders. He encourages the Foursquare family to pray not only for the harvest in Venezuela, but also that new leaders would be raised up in the midst of such incredible kingdom expansion.
God, who has drawn so many people to Him by His Spirit, will be calling new leaders out to shepherd new flocks. May each one respond with obedience. The need is great, but our God is greater.