Colombia's House of Prayer
Come with us to Cali, Colombia, to the Casa de Oración (House of Prayer) Church of the Nazarene. In March 2004, we preached to over 3,000 people, but this past March we worshipped in four services with nearly 6,000 happy Colombians. How is God moving? Children and Youth: On Saturday night we joined the weekly youth service with 400 enthusiastic students. The youth pastor envisions reaching 1,000 by next year. Every Sunday they also have four power-packed children's services. Evangelism and Discipleship: I arrived for the Sunday 7:00 A.M. service to find 1,100 adults worshipping in full force. Each member had been challenged to pray for three lost friends for one month and to bring them to church on this special Sunday. As a result, seventy people embraced faith in Christ. We led them in prayer, after which they met with caring assimilation counselors. Within 24 hours each new convert received a phone call to set up a personal visit. Each person's profession of faith was affirmed, and he or she was tied to a nearby cell group. The congregation is proactive in incorporating new believers. Daughter Churches: At 8:50 A.M. the first congregation exited through a side door while the next crowd came in the main door. The street filled with excited people as policemen directed traffic. The church has superb greeters and ushers. After greeting the congregation in the second service, we rushed across Cali to a thriving three-year old daughter church that reports 500 in attendance. Both the pastor and his wife are orthodontists. They rent a warehouse, which has become an electrifying worship center. This visionary pastor followed my evangelistic message with a call to holiness, and the front filled with sincere seekers. A precious group of 30 people embraced faith in Christ and were led to a follow-up room. Passion for holy living is at the heart of what God is doing among Cali Nazarenes. We rushed back to Casa de Oración for the late regional director Bruno Radi's second message. At 7:00 P.M. we started the final worship service. Altogether, 230 people accepted Christ in the four services that Sunday. Groups Of 12 Discipleship:Much of the church's health is a result of its leadership multiplication strategy. The pastor disciples 12 leaders, who each disciple 12 others. Each leader must
  • be in a group being discipled,
  • lead a cell group for new and non-believers, and
  • mentor a group of 12.
This discipleship growth system allows the church to multiply in quality and quantity. House of Prayer: The heartbeat of the church is the personal and collective prayer ministry. This includes a team of intercessors who pray every day, during a non-structured prayer time at 5:00 A.M. every Tuesday, and at three-hour prayer and fasting services every Wednesday at 6:00 A.M., 9:00 A.M., and 7:00 P.M. The pastors, Adalberto and Nineye Herrera, began praying with a group of five people and a year later only three were still joining them. Today, however, 1,800 attend these weekly prayer and fasting services. Physical Plant:The church recently purchased a lot for $400,000 (U.S.) with the vision of building a sanctuary to seat 6,000. They felt checked by the Holy Spirit and are now attempting to purchase an adjacent lot to build a worship center for 15,000. We will never be the same after being with our brothers and sisters in the House of Prayer. Lord, show me one person I can:
  • pray for
  • invite to church
  • witness to
  • disciple
for thy glory! Jerry D. Porter is a general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene. Holiness Today, September/October 2005
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