The call and the vision
In 2018 God gave my wife and I the opportunity to be equipped at Covenant College, the bible school based here in Cardiff. Our heart’s desire was to serve Jesus and His Church in the way he had planned for us; but we really didn’t know what that looked like. By the end of our studies at Covenant College, we found ourselves committing our lives to support the work in Adamsdown, a small area in the city of Cardiff with as much need as there is diversity. Alongside other wonderful brothers and sisters from our church family, we sowed the Gospel of the Kingdom and saw many people encountering the Lord Jesus in their personal lives; people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Before I continue, let me explain a little of our own background. My name is Pedro, and my wife is Andrea. I was born in Peru and Andrea was born in Ecuador. After being in Spain for many years, I moved to Cardiff in 2012 to study. In 2014 Andrea and I got married and she came to live in Cardiff too.
All this to say that God was placing us amongst people with a similar background; and looking back, we can clearly see that nothing in our lives (our background, skills, language, etc) is small or useless for the Kingdom. During those days something significant began happening in Adamsdown: we were constantly meeting Spanish-speaking people who had just come to Cardiff (As you may be wondering, yes, our native language is Spanish!) In the years since we joined the work into this area of the city, especially after the pandemic, God had brought to us a good number of people, and whole families, from Hispanic countries; from South and Central America, people hungry for Jesus and embracing His rule and reign in their hearts.
By this point, we understood how the call of the Lord in our lives was bringing a new vision but always with the same mission: to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of Jesus and teaching them to obey the Lord. Jesus told us to lift up our eyes and see; and this is what we envision: plenty of “Hispanic fields” (right here in Cardiff!) that are white for harvest.
By the grace of God we are now a well-established community of Spanish- speaking people that gathers at the St. German’s Church Hall every Sunday afternoon to worship Jesus and encourage one another. There is an average of 60 people gathering weekly, with at least 20 of them as active and serving members of the church.
We are blessed to have a body of people where each one has the opportunity to play its part so that the whole body grows and builds itself up in love – whether that’s welcoming people into our gatherings, serving in the kitchen so all can enjoy fellowship, preaching and teaching the word of God, being part of the music team to facilitate times of praise and worship in song, teaching the children about Jesus and the Bible, doing youth work during the week, leading small groups in homes, or the women gathering to encourage one another. We are so excited to see Jesus building His Church, full of the life He promised us. In the past few months we have seen people being saved, baptised in water and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Prayers are being answered and promises fulfilled. It’s is proving to be a great adventure!
At this point, it’s important to explain that most of our people have arrived to this country seeking asylum and refuge fleeing from very hard (and even traumatic) circumstances back in their home countries. Whilst some of our friends have been granted leave to remain in the UK and work permits allowing them to better integrate into British society, others are still waiting for their cases to be successful; and the waiting can be very long, and full of challenges.
Nevertheless, we see that God is putting together a community to be salt and light to others, a city on a hill, Mount Zion, where God bestows his blessing and life forevermore for those who come to this country in the same situation. The church welcomes and receives new folks who might feel lost and lonely in a new country and a new culture for them, and aids them with the practicalities of basic life in this city (interpreting from Spanish to English, registering at a surgery, enrolling children in school, etc). Moreover, not only do they find practical aid but they find a spiritual family where they can belong and they can grow into the destiny the Lord has for them.
Over our time with this community we have seen great miracles and promises fulfilled in people’s lives. Let us share one story of God’s goodness with you:
Fernando and Johanna are a wonderful couple from El Salvador that we met over 3 years ago. Since then, God has taken hold of them and has turned their lives around; not only have they turned to Jesus in faith and were baptised but they have persevered through trials and tribulations.
For this couple, one of their deepest desires was to have another child and so they prayed fervently to God. It took them 6 years altogether (since their first child was born) to conceive again. And after a few months into Johanna’s pregnancy, the doctors gave them a report that the baby would have a heart murmur and microcephaly. One of the options the doctors gave was to stop the pregnancy and cause Johanna to miscarry. As you can imagine, they were devastated by the news and so we came together to pray and speak God’s life into the baby; we stood together and believed God’s faithfulness to fulfil the promise that He would give them a child.
In faith they decided to go ahead with the pregnancy with no interventions, trusting that God would sustain the baby all the way. After many scans and checks on the baby, and in the last couple of months of Johanna’s pregnancy, the doctors gave them another report that the heart and brain conditions were clear and no longer showing on their scans; their baby was totally healthy.
Mia was born a healthy, beautiful baby girl to Fernando and Johanna as a gift from our Heavenly Father; and today they are a very happy family and very busy parents.
We are so thankful to Jesus that he would call us to follow him and be part of such a great adventure in seeing Him building His church. This is what God spoke to us almost 4 years ago:
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
Everywhere Jesus is opening the eyes of people to the realities of His Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy; He is leading them in a path of fullness of life; and He is working all things for the good of these folks who love Him and want to follow Him.
We trust that this is an encouragement to you to keep praying for us, to keep serving His Church, and to keep believing that the best is yet to come.