World Partners Regional Strategy Coordinator for Latin America, Nat Brown, was leading a discipleship training in 2009. What attendee José Marocoima learned about how to be a disciple and make disciples changed his life and his ministry. When he returned home, he began to share what he had learned and put it into practice.
Jose felt led to share what he had just learned about discipleship with a local woman named Matilda. Matilda listened to what Jose told her, took it to heart, and the Lord began bringing people for her disciple. She began leading people to Christ, discipling them by walking through life with them, and empowering the leaders she found to disciple others once they had a concrete idea of what it meant and how to do it.
Matilda knew of an extremely rough and vile neighborhood that she felt needed to hear about Jesus. This neighborhood was rumored to be full of murderers and criminals. Matilda could not go into the neighborhood because she was too busy discipling individuals in other areas of the city, but her daughter had been discipling and ministering beside Matilda and knew what to do. Matilda knew that while she could not go into the neighborhood, her daughter could go and so she sent her to spread the gospel.
Matilda’s daughter wasn’t in the neighborhood long before she was kidnapped by the most notorious criminal in the town. Matilda went to this neighborhood and found the notorious criminal that had taken her daughter and asked him for her daughter to be released. The criminal freed her and told Matilda that he had kidnapped her daughter because he wanted Matilda to come so that he could hear about the Lord! This man turned from his old ways, accepted Christ, and now leads a church of new disciples in the same neighborhood!
Matilda is now the Vice President of the Missionary Church in Venezuela. She has started ten churches in the last ten years and has left them in the hands of disciples who are leading them. Nat Brown states, “What an example she provides for all the denomination! Jose was recently with her for a weekend of training for many of her leaders and there were more than forty who attended. Matilda believes the Lord has asked her to start at least forty churches. Just look at what the Lord is doing, and we get to be part of it!”
Photo: José and Matilda