with a focus on church planting and evangelism.
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“We are the simple paper on which God writes His letters,” said Eugenio Duarte, one of the Nazarene denomination’s general superintendents, to the 330 participants at the One by One Iberoamerica Conference, April 26-29 on the Portugal coast.
Those letters touch and transform people and communities when believers, revived and empowered by the Holy Spirit, love others – one by one – in culturally appropriate ways.
Nazarenes representing 44 countries from around the world gathered to seek that revival and to learn from each other about how to share God’s love more effectively with those who don’t yet know Him.
"It was a privilege for Nazarenes in Eurasia to organize and host this celebration of holiness evangelism," said Gustavo Crocker, Eurasia Region director. "The participation of leaders from 44 nations in all six regions enriched the exchange and challenged all of us to reach others for Christ, plant thriving churches in His name, and transform societies with the message of hope."
The conference included worship, fellowship, and training with a focus on church planting and evangelism. Iberoamerica was held in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Nazarenes translated for one another both on the platform and through translation technology.
Iberoamerica was first held in 1999, dreamed up by Bruno Radi, then South America regional director, and Mario Zani, then Mexico and Central America regional director. They envisioned an exchange between Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Nazarenes. This is the second time for the Eurasia Region to host the event.
This year’s conference was opened to Nazarenes from around the world. Training meetings for regional directors and field strategy coordinators from all six regions were held in conjunction with Iberoamerica.
"It’s very exciting to know other cultures and meet some people (from) all over the world; it’s great to hear their stories of our church," said Tania Vaz from the Casal Novo Church of the Nazarene in Lisbon, Portugal.
Workshop topics, which ranged from church planting in Europe and Christian apologetics to living incarnationally, were geared toward equipping Nazarenes to plant healthy churches.
“Six years ago we had the privilege to host IB2006 in Spain,” Crocker said. “As a result of that, more than 10 new missional works have been started in Europe and young pioneer church planters were identified, trained, and mentored by those of us who participated. My prayer is that the nearly 100 leaders who stood up to bridge the gap will be equally encouraged to serve.”
More than 20 children also spent the four days learning about the fruits of the Spirit through songs, crafts, and games. They presented their song during the final worship service.
Coming together from around the world reminds those who attend that they are part of something bigger than themselves, working toward the same goal, said Carla Andrea Zabala Vidaurre, from the Church of the Nazarene in Madrid, Spain.
“The most amazing thing is we have the opportunity to worship together,” Vidaurre said. “I know this is the normal answer, but it’s so meaningful. We’re different people worshipping the same God because He’s almighty.”
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region