The Church in Toronjal
Update from Pastor Rod:
The church in Toronjal is just five years old and is located in one of the poorest sections of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pastor Matias Mojica's eldest son, Matias Jr., is pastoring this church.
We visited the church on our first Gateway missions trip in 2012, and the building project was 80% completed. That night was cold and rainy, and the windows hadn’t been installed yet.
When we visited again last year, the building was finished (including heating), but this year we couldn’t meet in the building due to rain. The rain, combined with road construction in and around the neighborhood, has left huge puddles and mud so thick that you can't get a vehicle near the building or reach the building on foot without being covered in mud.
So, what does a church do when they cannot meet in their facility? Do they simply not meet? No -- one of their members, Felina, opened up her home, and the church meets on her porch. With the whole neighborhood listening, they sing and celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ with joy.
Tonight, we had the privilege of gathering with this small group of believers to sing songs of praise to the Lord and be encouraged through His word. After the service, we all went inside and enjoyed Sprite and cake. (Felina makes cakes for a living and we were forced to partake -- rough, I know!)
The church in Toronjal is an example of the kind of vision that Matias and his fellowship of pastors has in planting churches in difficult places.
. . .
This morning, on the way to the airport to get JohnE (who arrived safely), we were traveling on a new road built specifically for the President of Bolivia who was hosting an international summit. This new road is long and goes through many neighborhoods. Matias is already talking about the possibility of taking advantage of the new road that has now given access to these communities. These are poor communities with dirt roads, chickens, dogs, horses, and the occasional gecko.
Would you continue to pray with us for these communities? Pray for Matias Sr., his vision, and his leadership.
And pray for Matias Jr. as he continues to minister to the church in Toronjal.
Photo: Pastor Rod preaching on Felina's porch with Matias Jr. translating
Photo: The church in Toronjal worshiping