Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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I Will Go Plant Churches

Editorial by Mario Thorp

Read in Spanish

Eleven years ago, I traveled down the coast of Costa Rica to Talamanca, a town just southeast of Port Limon. In Talamanca there is a small settlement of Costa Rican aboriginals living in the community of Bribri. While there, I learned of a Seventh-day Adventist member who wanted to start a small group in the town of Suretka, an hour from Bribri.

I went to Suretka to meet José Brown, also known as Piecito. When we sat down, I identified myself as his new pastor. Piecito said, “I would like to see a church in this community.” I replied, “Well, let’s plant a church!”

He looked at me and said, “Pastor, I will go and plant the church with you.”

Piecito opened his Bible to Romans 10:14–15 and read: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (NKJV).

Piecito reiterated, “Paul says ‘they are sent.’ That is more than one. You and I are the preachers that Suretka needs.”

From that conversation 11 years ago, we now have four churches of native Costa Ricans in that area. How did they grow so fast? By a simple principle found in the book of Romans. Piecito instructed every new believer that there was a neighbor who needed help. The first believers in the New Testament were challenged to go in pairs to plant churches (Luke 10:1), and so Piecito and I did.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” God grew good things in Suretka, and He longs to do the same in New Jersey. Will you go plant a church? Invite someone to join you today.

Mario Thorp is the executive secretary for the New Jersey Conference.

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