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!
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!