by Pastor Antonio Luis Pitta
In Airdrie a new congregation has been born!
AIRDRIE, Alta.—In 2013, when Emanuel was a three-year-old baby church, I asked a church leader who lived in Airdrie how long it took to drive to Emanuel Church in Calgary. He answered close to 40 minutes if there is no traffic.
I asked him if there was Spanish-speaking church in Airdrie. The answer was no. I told him that one day there was going to be if God would open doors for us.
In 2014 Emanuel’s leadership discussed a plan to grow as a church even if through the birth of another congregation—not a division, but a church plant. Everyone agreed and we started to pray for God to show us how and where.
We spent the next two years praying for God to bring people to our congregation or use us to grow his kingdom in other ways. Our church grew a bit. However, God gave us a love for Spanish-speaking people in Airdrie.
I shared it in our Region Two meeting, and at the convention 2016 we shared it with church planting coordinator Charles Koop. He has always been present to pray, advise, mentor, and encourage us.
During 2015 we started to build relationships with the Spanish-speaking community in Airdrie. Besides the family that was already residing in Airdrie from our Church, another two families moved into the area during 2016. Our leadership at Emanuel approved this motion in Fall 2016: “Iglesia Emmanuel fully supports in prayer, with moral support and actions, as much as is able to plant a church in Airdrie.”
God opened doors and a sister English-speaking church in the City of Airdrie allowed us to rent their building for our services. Our church plant launch service was on Jan. 28, 2017. It was so encouraging; it confirmed us what God had put in our hearts. Many Emanuel members came to support and serve, and about as many people came from Airdrie.
Maria Antonieta, who resides in Airdrie, spoke of how she and her family had been praying for three or four years that God would open a Spanish-speaking church. “God answers the prayer of his children,” she said. “Glory be to God!”
That is a bit of of our birthing process. We are in pain because three of our families are engaged in Airdrie and still attend and serve at Emanuel. It means economic hardship for a congregation like ours. As a pastor I will be sharing my time between two congregations. Pray that we will be wise to delegate work, to care for my own family and self-care.
Pray that God will call leaders from within Emanuel, the EMC, or abroad to serve God on a part- or full-time basis. In spite of the challenges, we are at peace, knowing that, as far as God is praised and known by others, we are fulfilling our purpose as Christians and a congregation.
We, the people from Emanuel Church, would like to thank all the churches of the EMC that have been supporting Emanuel with prayers and economic support through our conference over our seven years of life. We praise God and give him glory that we all have participated in the birth of another church for the glory of Christ. Alabado sea Dios! (Praise God!)