An update from Roberto Estupinian, Pastor, Gracia Soberana in Guadalajara…
Thirty-five years ago, a man of faith with his family, planted a church in Guadalajara (second largest city of Mexico, with a population of about 7 million). His name is Luis Bermea. As the time passed, he felt the need of being in partnership with other gospel-centered churches that shared the same values in doctrine and practice.
In God’s sovereignty, in 2012, he was introduced to Carlos Contreras and the Sovereign Grace family of Churches. After a couple of years, Luis requested a formal adoption to SGC. The church was adopted in 2014, and since then it has been a walk of communion and partnership in Christ.
An important need the church, was the need for a plurality of elders, so Luis and the leadership started to pray to have another Pastor in the team as soon as possible.
In 2015/16 I went to the Pastors College, sent by Gracia Soberana de Ciudad Juarez, after PC I returned to serve in the Juarez staff as a Pastor in training, and started the process of ordination, which I completed in 2018. In November 2017 the Pastoral Team, and Carlos as Regional Leader, asked me to pray about if I would like to consider moving to Guadalajara City, and become part of the pastoral team, and serve this church, if it was the Lord’s will. So I visited the church www.igsg.org.mx prayed about it, and finally confirmed that was the Lord’s plan for our lives.
We moved with my family last December. It was a sweet and sour experience; we left a church that we deeply loved, but also had great expectation of how the Lord may use us to spread the Gospel in another city, and to share with the what we had received. Five months on, I can say that we are more than blessed. The church is a wonderful church, they are faithful disciples. We are about 190 people (adults and children) and growing. We have an average of about 6 guests every Sunday, we now have a staff of two Pastors, and we are training 2 potential Deacons or Bi-Vocational Elders (Mario and Gerardo).
We have seen great progress in six months. We have established weekly Elders meetings, a preaching series on the book of Romans, an Alpha Course, a Parenting Class and a Membership Class with an attendance of 20 in each class. We are having good fellowship among the pastoral families, and my wife and I have found great grace within the church.
We have also had some events in the Region in partnership with other ministries. In April we had the Charles Simeon Trust workshop for Expository Preaching, and we had 60 Pastors from all over Mexico attend. Carlos Contreras, Jeremy Meeks, and myself were the instructors. It was a true blessing to witness how all of the Pastors were blessed and equipped, and how the Church responded. In addition, in October we are having a Gospel Coalition event for Women, with around 400 attendees.
I am impressed on how fast our Church is moving towards a unified integrated team and am happy to watch how my family loves the city as well. We ask for you prayers, for wisdom, for opportunities for the gospel, for a smooth transition, and for continued grace in our own lives and parenting.
In Christ, Roberto.