A powerful report from HEC

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As Dexton pointed out during the weekend, the Hispanic Evangelism Conference was powerful this year. More than 1,600 people came to the event, flooding the altar and the aisles to make spiritual decisions. Emotions ran high as people embraced each other.

Here’s the report from Nora Frost, who covered the event for the convention:

HOUSTON – Tears fell like the emotional and spiritual baggage people carried to the Hispanic Evangelism Conference, sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas Feb. 1-2.

Conference participants crowded in front of the altar and into the aisles each night to make spiritual decisions. People embraced and prayed for one another and for non-Christians around them as they professed Christ as Lord.

Fueled by a Acts 4:33 theme, the more than 1,600 people in attendance said they were refreshed by the messages they heard as well as the people they met.

“It was a great blessing to be able to learn from our brothers and sisters,” said Juanita Montoya, a member of Iglesia Bautista Hispana in Brookshire. “Plus, it has been great getting to know the great leadership that is around us.”

Those in attendance participated in workshops covering topics such as effective community outreach, new models for missions, personal evangelism and ministering to families along the border.

“This conference is a result of the diversified needs of Hispanic churches in Texas,” said Frank Palos, BGCT director of Hispanic evangelism. “It was resolved that Hispanics needed a conference to address the various types of needs in the church.”

Though the conference featured mainly Spanish workshops and worship, Palos said the conference was meant to serve the diverse cultural needs of Hispanic Baptist umbrella to cover Spanish dominant, English dominant, as well as bilingual congregantes.  

Highly-respected preacher Alberto Mottesi, encouraged those in attendance to show compassion.

“The world is tired of religion,” Motessi said. The best two ways to combat that apathy? Loyalty and holiness, he said.

“Evangelism is a mandate from God,” said Roy Villarreal, a member of Iglesia Bautista Mount Horeb in McAllen. “This conference has prepared us and reminded us of that mandate. It has also helped re-establish the need for knowing the Bible.”

Though HEC drew a large number of Hispanic leaders from churches, the conference also attracted approximately 300 younger and future leaders of the church in its student sessions.

Josh Fernandez, 15, of Katy, said he appreciated the contemporary worship and English workshops geared towards youth because he is able to relate and learn more from that culture.

Those who attended HEC raised $5,700 as a love offering for the Asociación Bautista Latino América to use for Hurricane Dean rebuilding efforts in Mexico.

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