A report from Carlos Contreras, Senior Pastor of Gracia Soberana de Ciudad Juarez and Regional Leader for Mexico…
By many reports this has been the best conference experience we have had in the last 6 years that we have undertaken the effort to encourage and equip the pastors, leaders and the wives of our family of churches in Latin America, as well as many of those that are looking to Sovereign Grace as a friend in ministry.
This year we changed the date for the conference in an attempt to make it more accessible financially, but we ended up with fewer attendees probably because we went from a vacation month to a non-holiday date.
However, most of the 230 registered attendees were leaders that had attended before. This made the conference feel much more like a family gathering with much joy, fellowship and freedom to receive and enjoy God’s grace. And our faithful God, in His kindness, did in fact pour out much grace and blessed our desire to encourage, equip and provide a refreshing experience for many pastors.
The highlights of the main sessions were the two classic messages that CJ brought on Cultivating Joy and Gospel Centered Pastors. Teachings that have defined Sovereign Grace for decades were freshly laid as foundation stones for the growing SG Mexican churches. It was a joy to see folks approach CJ with great gratitude after hearing him. One leader from Colombia was so impacted by the message on joy that he asked permission to send out the translated message to all his contacts in South America.
Another highlight was the message and workshop by Bob Kauflin on dealing Biblically with Spiritual Depression. His humility in opening up about his own past struggles with this issue touched many lives and resulted in a heartfelt time of ministry with much tears and encouragement for many.
I had the privilege of opening the Conference with a message on 1Peter 2 and we also invited Kike Torres, a young pastor who leads a large church in the city of Queretaro to speak on Biblical Fellowship. We also enjoyed powerful messages on the Humility of Christ from Jon Payne from Austin, on the Need to be people full of faith and the Spirit by Hellman Avila from El Paso, and on a culture of Grace by Joselo Mercado to close the Conference.
In all we are extremely grateful that God again poured out His Spirit among us as we gathered to receive from His goodness and are very excited to do it again next year!