This week the roads in Esterillos, were paved for the first time.  The roads are smooth, and easy to follow, there are lines separating lanes and signs telling drivers to stop, slowdown, turn.  We can drive through town with our windows down without being choked by dust and kids are everywhere riding bikes, skates, skateboards.  The old road was fine, it got you where you needed to go.  You had to move slowly to avoid pot holes and the shocks on our car wore out rather quickly but the road served its purpose, it got us from point A to point B.  In the nine years we have been here we have been following God’s call in forging relationships with people in communities,  discipling them and planting  churches, but sometimes it felt like a dirt road.  It was slow going, we had to swerve around pot holes and there weren’t really any lines or signs to keep us on the right side of the road.  We have had a vision and a system, but it wasn’t a smooth ride with clear guidelines.  It has been organic, beautiful and messy but not always easily reproducible by others which has slowed down the spread of  the gospel.  Over the past year we have begun to implement the guidelines set out by the Community Church Planting strategy and it is like a paved road!  It is smooth, with easily implemented strategies for forming disciplining relationships and training people to make disciples and plant churches.  We recently had our annual district gathering where the guidelines for Community  Church planting were mapped out and it was like a light went on in peoples heads.  Where they had been forging a path ahead they now had clear, biblical guidelines on how to move forward to provide people with access to a living church in every community.   In our own church we have already seen the results of the implementation of this system with six new groups meeting in different communities and five leaders receiving pastoral training.  As paved roads facilitate travel,   biblical church plating strategy like CCP facilitates the spread of the gospel.  To support pastoral formation, discipleship and church planting click here.

As exciting as paved roads and annual gatherings are, our advent season activities at Pura Vida Church Esterillos are in full swing!  We were invited to put on our annual live nativity in Parrita with over 350 children and their parents coming to hear the story of Jesus’ redeeming birth.  Then this last weekend we put on the live nativity here in Esterillos with fun and games for the whole family.  It was the third year we have been able to put on this out reach activity and it was so cool to see how many families have made it a part of their Christmas tradition with over 400 people in attendance this year.
And to complete the story we celebrated new life with Christ today as we baptized two people from our church.  The transforming power of the gospel never ceases to amaze us!
To join us in this great commission quest click here.
– we will be going to visit friends and churches in Florida in February
– praise God we got to celebrate two baptisms 
– safety of children on new roads now that cars are moving so much quicker!
– wisdom as Dennis and national leaders form boards for the 360 district