I recently interviewed Mid-America Reformed Seminary graduate, Valentin Alpuche, regarding his urban church planting work among the Hispanic population of Chicago Heights: Ministerio Cristiano "El Pacto de Gracia" (Ministry of Christ "The Covenant of Grace"). His work is based in a storefront shared with an art gallery.
Valentin is second from the left in the front row of this group of men.
Valentin's wife, Betty, and their daughter, Jade, are in the middle chair of the front row in the above photo.
This is what Valentin said about his ministry's challenges and joys:
"There are many different challenges. The first is that a lot of second and third generation Hispanics don’t speak Spanish or they prefer to speak English. Another challenge is that once Hispanics come to America, they become even more materialistic in their worldview since having a job and a salary is what really matters, and they feel no need to have a saving relationship with God. Another factor is that because of their Catholic background Hispanics don’t see faith as a serious matter, requiring a commitment to serve the Lord in all areas of their lives. Unfortunately this same understanding is being infiltrated into many non-Reformed Spanish churches. Another aspect is that many of the immigrants are illegal. A final challenge is that we don’t have our own location in a visible area. We are praying for the Lord to provide a more strategic location."
"The main joy is to see people being saved from eternal condemnation—to see people opening their hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ! I rejoice as much as the angels do in heaven!"
The entire interview has been posted on the website of the Seminary, and you can read it here.