August Bonham Family Newsletter
THE SECOND FLOOR
On the first floor, you can find your groceries for the day. The bodega, although not very big, has just about every ordinary food you might need. If you go to the third floor, you can find a machine to work out just about every muscle in your body. The cost of membership is a little steep, but it is an excellent gym. If you went into the second floor just a few weeks ago, you would find small maze of drywall within the bounds of a concrete and cinderblock border. But in the Lord’s goodness and the faithful partnership of many of you, that second floor is now occupied.
Although the first floor offers physical bread, we know that we must feed upon the living bread that is Christ (Jn 6:51). Although the third floor offers physical training which is of some value, we must pursue godliness which has value in every way (1 Tim. 4:8). This is why the second floor is needed: to proclaim Christ to the community and make disciples that grow in godliness. It is the new home for Iglesia El Redentor.
After searching for several weeks, we found this property for rent just one block from one of the main city squares. Because of the unbelievable growth of Rionegro (one of the reasons we wanted to relocate here to plant a church), real estate prices are also incredible. This property was a great find as it was the lowest per-square-meter price that we found. Though it is still pricey, we are hoping for steady church growth and support to increase from within the congregation. In mid-July we signed a lease for the second floor, and immediately we began preparing the second phase of the church plant.
THE SECOND PHASE
Since March 27, we have been working with the Launch Team of the church. Coming from very different experiences and backgrounds, we wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about our identity and mission. Though we can always be growing in the area, we are beginning Phase II on Saturday, August 21. This will be the launch of our first public Bible study where everyone is welcome: Christian, non-Christian, atheist, agnostic, whoever. Each family on the Launch Team has taken hold of the mission to reach neighbors, family, and friends and invite them to the study. We are also doing some evangelism in the parks and handing out invitations. We have no idea how many people to expect at our first Bible study, but the Lord seems to be assembling a group of interested (or at least, curious) people in the community.
Our hope is to walk through the books of Luke and Acts as we study what Jesus did in His earthly ministry and what he continues to do through the Holy Spirit. Our hope is to build a solid understanding of the person and work of Jesus and then to catalyze a love for Christ’s Church. As we move forward with this Bible study, we will the prepare for Phase III: Lord’s Day worship services. In some ways it was bitter-sweet as we held our last meeting as a Launch Team, I marked the end of a very sweet time of ministry and community building. What gave us excitement was knowing what was to come as we move into the second phase and add to our church family.
THE SECOND SEMESTER
Along with church planting, one of our main ministries and passions is training and equipping church leaders. To do this, we have partnered up with two institutions: Escuela Bíblica Nueva Providencia and Seminario Bíblico de Colombia. After a few-week break, the students are back in class for their second semester of the year. It also marks our second semester working with these students. Our goal is to provide them with hands-on ministry experience, specifically in the area of planting churches. he students always come with a boost of excitement and energy that is an encouragement to us, and we hope that it will serve as a long-term blessing to them and what the Lord might be calling them to do. Several of the students who we have been working with will be graduating at the end of the year.
Please Pray for and Give Thanks for:
- Iglesia El Redentor has a new home one block from a main city center.
- We are moving from Phase I (launch-group meetings) to Phase II (public Bible studies) on Aug. 21.
- Students that we are mentoring are returning for their fall semester and will continue working with our team and church plant.
- Nate & Nikki Bonham