When Manuel, a professional racquetball player, became a disciple in Los Angeles about nine years ago, he always dreamed of returning to Tarija, Bolivia, his hometown. He also dreamed of planting a church there.
In December of 2016, Manuel’s brother-in-law, Carlos, and four friends took a 12 hour drive to La Paz to study the Bible. They studied the scriptures diligently for a week! All returned home to work out the details of their repentance, and David and Jessica Pineda traveled to Tarija two weeks later to check on their progress. Out of the original five, God revealed that Carlos and Barbara were ready to make Jesus Lord, and they were baptized into Christ.
When La Paz church leader David Pineda wrote an article for Disciples Today in January 2017, Manuel had returned to Tarija to form a house church of four disciples. The La Paz church was thrilled to send Einar and Jimena, two strong singles, to help lead with Manuel. Einar’s girlfriend, Nicole, relocated and joined in to help. Manuel got married to Patti, a disciple from Paraguay, and she moved in to help. As of April 2018, Tarija has 16 disciples and many more friends making decisions to follow Jesus. The Spirit decided that it was time for Manuel’s dream to be realized!
Let’s remember our early Kingdom dreams and to mature in our follow through. Let’s imitate Manuel as we develop crucial partnerships. Remember, God loves our dreams to reach out to new cities and new people groups. Please pray for the faith and love of this group to become strong and for God to be glorified in the beloved city of Tarija!