Antonio’s life exemplifies one completely turned around. In his former life, he partied, cussed, and got drunk regularly. He also stole from his family’s business and abused their trust. He came to the United States looking for a new start, leaving behind a pregnant girlfriend. He confessed, “So many times I tried to straighten myself out, but I always failed.”
Things didn’t improve in the U.S. When his relationship with his girlfriend ended in betrayal, he was devastated and consumed with hatred. His six-year-old son resented him and blamed him for the problems between his parents. In desperation, Antonio told his son’s uncle to care for the boy if he ended up in jail, as he was determined to take his revenge on his former girlfriend’s new partner.
Depressed, drinking too much, and filled with bitterness, Antonio remembers that every time he planned to do something foolish or felt overwhelmed by the pain in his heart, a Christian friend would text him, assuring him of his prayers and God’s love for him. One day, provoked by an argument with his ex-girlfriend, Antonio closed his eyes and prayed, “God, I don’t want to feel this hatred and pain anymore. Please take it all away.” With tears streaming down his face, Antonio experienced peace as God removed all the bitterness.
In July 2016, One Mission Society started a new ministry to immigrants in the United States, a network of Hispanic churches. Red Nueva Vida, or New Life Network, plants churches that reproduce themselves by planting daughter churches. Lay people within the church body are intentionally discipled in their relationships with Christ. They are then trained to make new disciples and start new groups of dynamic believers.
My wife Lupita and I planted New Life Church, the mother church in Indianapolis, Indiana, and now we provide vision and coordination for the New Life Network. In the last six months, New Life has grown from 40 to 80 members. The network has also just started two new daughter churches. Francisco and Blanca recently moved to Tampa, Florida, to plant a church, and Omar and Katia moved to Chicago to do the same there.
Lives like Antonio’sare being changed.
Today, as a growing disciple and prayer warrior, Antonio soaks up Jesus.
He leads the prayer ministry and teaches the children. Antonio and his son now enjoy a restored relationship and attend church together. In July, Antonio was baptized.
His life has been completely transformed. “I love inviting people to church and sharing Jesus with them. I speak to everyone openly about the new life I have in Christ. Many who knew my life before Christ can’t believe it.” Even his ex-girlfriend and her new partner are so amazed at the changes they see in Antonio that they have begun to attend New Life as well. Antonio prays that they will soon be reached for Jesus.
Antonio is one example of many. Others like him are being trained to plant more churches.
New Life has launched an international nine-module church planting training course for lay church planters. Regional centers across the United States will be the hubs to launch this initiative and unleash the potential within Hispanic churches across the States. The first center begins in October in Orlando with more than 100 expected to attend.
The second regional center will open in Indianapolis. Over the next few years, New Life Network will train thousands of lay church planters to impact their local communities for Christ. It’s exciting to see God enabling ordinary people to do extraordinary things for his kingdom.
Jonathan, Lupita, Daniel & Noah Morton- OMS Missionaries
If you would like to support this ministry please contact OMS.