The Pastor of La Perla (el Barrio Pt 2)

pastor Ivan TSC

Pastor Ivan, before La Perla, with a call upon his heart…

 

If the Lord is seeking a soldier that will stand his post, a shepherd who will stand with the sheep – however few remain,  and a beacon that will bear light through the storm… He found a Pastor in La Perla.

Six years ago, God called Pastor Ivan out from a vibrant NYC ministry into a neighborhood in Puerto Rico described for years as “decrepit” and “dangerous”.  Please see:  When God Moves Into el Barrio (Pt 1)   Over the course of 40 years many ministries and churches have staked a claim in La Perla, perhaps hoping to be the shining vessel through whom God will bring deliverance.  But they did not last.   God is not looking for our enthusiasm, He’s seeking steadfastness….

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the  work of the Lord, since you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  ( I Corin 15:58)

Although working alone in La Perla, the presence of God never left.  A remnant of believers arose and Pastor Ivan opened Iglesia La Perla.

But when the eye of the storm swept through Puerto Rico, many in La Perla fled.  The small flock of believers dwindled,  leaving behind those who would live without water, electricity or food supply for two months. 

“Not having electricity and water for 2 months was not easy.  And going out each day seeing where to get something to eat was not easy.”  Pastor Ivan

How many American pastors are praying for running water?  A light?  Even a sure meal…for two months? 

Pastor Ivan likened Hurricane Maria to “a bomb” hitting the island, “apocalyptic”.   I pressed him to share his feelings and challenges during that time…

“You try to understand your place as a Christian in the newly devastated world…I had the opportunity to go back to New York, many friends and family members were telling me to go back and it was tempting but I didn’t.  Even though my mind and flesh wanted to leave I knew I needed to stay and be there for others…. Like Jesus said, leave everything behind and follow Me…Learning to live a day at a time was challenging, but isn’t that what Jesus taught us?  To let go of everything and rely on Him.”   Pastor Ivan

The Lord strengthened Pastor Ivan and, at the right time, brought a mission team to encourage, provide and share in God’s plan.  Renovations for Iglesia  La Perla and plans for a youth workshop and Bible study building are already underway!

pastor ivan outside truck

Pastor Ivan – a shepherd with a calling and vision…and a truck with lumber!

truck by shore

Le Perla by the sea…God rebuilding upon what Maria blew away…

There is an active work of God moving throughout this world and our call is to join in.

Please join in the Lord’s work here through focused prayer.

  • Pray for Pastor Ivan, that the Lord encourage him and minister to him through His word
  • Pray for the Youth Workshop, that the Lord’s design and plans prevail and bear fruit
  •  Pray for the souls of La Perla and for others to find deliverance and salvation, entering into the freedom and promises of God.  May Iglesia La Perla grow and be a shining star to exalt the glory of God.

What God is doing here He can do in your life, in your home, in your community – no matter how devastated.  Pray for God to raise up leadership, stand together on God’s word and be steadfast.  Let’s see what the Lord will do!

12 thoughts on “The Pastor of La Perla (el Barrio Pt 2)

  1. Powerful indeed, Lisa. Stories such this one of Pastor Ivan are extremely convicting to all of us Christians who are not facing nearly as challenging circumstances. Your quote here is particularly convicting: “God is not looking for our enthusiasm, He’s seeking steadfastness …” May God continue to bless the incredible work Pastor Ivan is doing, I will pray for both him and the people of La Perla. Thank you for posting this, and looking forward to more!

    • Thanks again brother, your comments and prayer mean a lot. I really hope to encourage folks who are in the middle of a ‘devastation’ to hold on…God can send emissaries at any time!

  2. Well said. Thanks for sharing this story that encourages us to have the long view to overcome and endure. I agree that “God is not looking for our enthusiasm, He’s seeking steadfastness…” Rev. 21:7 tells us, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

  3. Lisa,

    What an inspiring story. I was convicted by the calling by Jesus for us to leave everything behind and follow him. Easier said than done. I will pray for the pastor.

    I hope you are well.

    • It’s so good to hear from you Terri. I am convicted also by Pastor Ivan’s steadfastness, leaning upon the Lord. I do so want my heart surrendered to the purposes of God, esp in these last days.
      I hope you are well also, praying for you and looking forward to your next post! 🌹

  4. Wow, this is awesome! thank you for sharing. I love what you said, “God is not looking for our enthusiasm , he’s looking for steadfastness.” this i believe. Sometimes i get so excited about a work of the Lord, and yet when the excitement fades i fall away from the task. and i love what you said at the end, “what God is doing there he can do in your life.” what a wonderful reminder.

    • I really appreciate your visit and encouraging words, thank you. I’m watching what the Lord is doing…anticipating “El Barrio Pt 3”! God bless you, sister. 🌹

  5. Pingback: Progress at La Perla! (Pt 3) | theburninglampdotcom

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