A Desperate Mother
As Pastor Jose Quesada read a heartbreaking email from a woman he had never met, he could feel God stirring his heart to respond.
The email was from a mother whose 27-year-old son, George, had suffered a massive stroke and had been placed at a hospital in Aurora in a coma. Not a believer but desperate for a miracle, she searched for Spanish-speaking churches and found Jose’s church, Iglesia Real. Emotional and terrified, she reached out to Jose asking for prayer, signing her message “from a desperate mother.”
Jose had been in New Jersey when he received the email and upon returning to Colorado, he and his wife headed straight for the hospital to visit George. Entering his room, they found George in a sea of tubes and machines, still deep in a coma.
A tired looking woman rose to greet them, introducing herself as Marta, the man’s mother. She thanked them for coming as tears welled up in her fearful eyes. Jose gently led her to George’s beside and grabbing hands, they began to pray.
At church the following Sunday, Jose shared about Marta and George with his congregation. The church began to pray for George, asking God for comfort, peace and a miracle. George had undergone brain surgery and the doctors were not optimistic.
They prepared Marta that if George woke up, he would likely suffer brain damage and be unable to speak or walk. On top of this news, Marta had lost her job and was struggling in many ways. The church decided to bless her with a financial gift and food, pouring God’s love into her life.
Then, amid preparing for the worst, God did something amazing. To everyone’s astonishment, George woke up. And not only did he wake up, but there was no trace of brain damage, he was speaking clearly and he was walking.
The miracle led Marta and George to tear-filled praise. Having been non-believers, Marta and George were powerfully awakened to God’s power and mercy, and were praising Him for what He had done.
Sometime later, Marta and George attended a Sunday service at Iglesia Real to share the testimony of God’s miracle. The service that day was an emotional, joy-filled day of praise to God for His goodness and for the salvation of these two lives!
Creating a Place for the Gospel
Jose’s passion for ministry first began in Cuba where he came to Christ and planted three churches. God then led Jose and his wife Yeli, along with their two young daughters, to Chile as self-funded missionaries.
After several years of evangelism and church planting in Chile, God connected Jose with Missions Door, prompting their move to Colorado as Missions Door missionaries serving U.S. Latino ministry in Pueblo.
Then, after moving to North Carolina and taking a break from ministry, the Quesada’s moved back to Colorado with the dream of planting a new Spanish-language church in Aurora, partnering with Joaquin Vargas, the man God had first used to invite Jose to the United States.
When they first planted the church, New Hope Community Church in Aurora opened their doors to Jose and Joaquin, offering their building for ministry. Today, they continue to meet there and Iglesia Real has become a diverse Latino congregation with people from 13 different countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The church is thriving with ministry programs for children, youth, men, women, and couples. They invest in leadership training and have partnered with Denver Seminary to offer internships for students to serve with the church.
And at the core of their ministry is missions and community outreach. Nearly 40 percent of Aurora’s population is Latino and the need for the Gospel is great.
Right now, Jose balances his pastoral duties on nights and weekends while working a full-time job. This past January, the church celebrated its third anniversary, and with a congregation of 137 and visitors every Sunday, the church is growing.
With growth comes a stronger demand for ministry. Though the church is not yet able to financially support a full-time pastor, Jose is trusting God for the timing and hopes he can soon devote himself full-time to ministry.
Jose is passionate about sharing the love of God. For him, the greatest reward in ministry is to witness God transform a life. Jose’s church doesn’t just focus ministry within the four walls of their building. Their ministry is focused on the community outside the church. “I want to teach the church how to be a missionary church,” says Jose.
And what a powerful transformation they witnessed through the miracle God worked in George and Marta’s lives. “The church is just a place we meet to engage, to get a booster. It’s a spiritual gas station. Our ministry is not in the church, it’s outside the church,” says Jose.
God is doing great things in Aurora and He is using Iglesia Real to touch the lives of hurting people in need of a loving God. As their congregation grows, so does their impact. Jose is trusting God to work out the details. If they are meant to have their own building, he knows God will provide. If he is meant to serve in ministry full-time, he knows God will make a way.
This is how Jose and Iglesia Real do ministry, by trusting God and sharing His love, and this is exactly how they plan to continue doing ministry today, tomorrow and every day after.
How Can You Help
The Great Commission is what spurs us to do indigenous ministry. Around the world, Christians are bringing the Gospel to their people and making disciples in their hometowns. How will you be a part of this?