HOUSTON – With hands raised, more than 300 Hispanic Texas Baptists old and young prayed, worshipped and fellowshipped in their heart language of Spanish, celebrating what God has done in and through them during the past year.
The Hispanic Baptist Fellowship met the night before Texas Baptists Annual Meeting began to relay what God is doing in Hispanic churches through Texas Hope 2010 and to rally the group to continue their efforts in reaching the lost through praying, caring and sharing.
Texas Hope 2010 is an effort by Texas Baptists to share the hope of Christ with every Texan by Easter 2010 in ways where each person can respond to the gospel in his or her own way and language. The meeting was also about looking past Easter 2010 to find ways to disciple the new believers.
“We are offering a challenge to Hispanic churches in Texas, especially in the Houston area, to start a focus on follow up for Texas Hope 2010,” Roland Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptists Hispanic Ministries.
To promote the three tiers of Texas Hope 2010, Rodriguez spoke on prayer while Martin Ortega, pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church in Midland, preached on care and Victor Rodriguez, pastor of South San Filadelfia Baptist Church in San Antonio and president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, talked about share.
Rodriguez said the answer to making a difference through prayer comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14. If God’s people will humble themselves, pray and seek His face, then God will make a difference in their lives and in Texas, he said.
“We need to pray that our eyes will be opened so we can do the works of God,” Rodriguez said. “What difference are you making because you pray?”
When speaking on care, Ortega shared Mark 1:21-45, stating that Hispanic Baptists must have a complete commitment to proclaiming and living out the mission of the Lord, going to the poor, blind and oppressed.
“We don’t need more churches in Texas,” Ortega said. “We just need churches in Texas that are caring.”
With Jesus, the commitment to caring includes liberation, treatment of the whole person and restoration of life, he said. His final challenge was to integrate Christ into their entire lives so that they will be able to care in these ways.
For share, Rodriguez spoke about the Texas Hope 2010 compact discs that have the gospel of John in English and Spanish as well as an option to download the New Testament in more than 300 languages.
Attendees were encouraged to purchase 10 CDs each at the end of the meeting to give to those in their cities and to spread the Word of God in a way that others can understand and use it.
The group has held the fellowship meeting the night before the start of Texas Baptists Annual Meeting for the last few years as a way to include the group in the big picture of Texas Baptists mission and ministry efforts, Rodriguez said.
“We wanted to make sure we have a celebration along with BGCT annual meeting to send a message that we are the BGCT,” Lopez said. “We are not just a part, but we are the BGCT.”
The meeting also focused on promoting the centennial celebration of Convencion, the Hispanic Baptist Convention’s annual meeting that will take place in June 2010.
Randel Everett, Texas Baptists executive director, briefly spoke at the meeting say he is looking ahead to next year’s Texas Baptists Annual Meeting being in McAllen as part of the centennial celebration.
“I believe that it is important that we are having Annual Meeting in McAllen during the Centennial year for Convencion,” Everett said. “I believe that God will pour out his Spirit on this and that great things will happen in the Valley.”
By Kaitlin Chapman, Texas Baptists Communications